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Production technology and network for complex formed sheet metal components based upon tailored blanks

The project objectives have been to develop the steps required for manufacturing tailored blanks industrially. This has involved extensive laboratory as well as industrial work in areas such as laser sheet cutting, shear cutting, laser beam welding and stamping of the blanks developed. In the project efficient routines and strategies were developed for manufacturing of tailored blanks as well as quality assessment of the parts made in the processes.

A major goal of the project was to develop an innovative clamping device for laser butt welding of tailored blanks. This has been accomplished with success, and two of the SME have built their own clamping devices based on this new, flexible clamping device. High quality tailored blanks were made on the clamping device and afterwards industrially formed.

The project has clearly demonstrated that high requirements are needed in order to manufacture high quality laser butt joints that can subsequently be formed with good results. Special attention is needed concerning the cut edge quality, the fixturing of sheets during butt welding and efficient , shielding gas protection during and after welding. If the guidelines developed in the project are followed, a formability of typically 90 to 100 % of the average base material formability can be achieved.

The industrial benefits have been obvious since one of the involved SME is today manufacturing tailored blanks for a customer. Another SME foresees to sell tailored blanks to a customer within half a year. In addition to this, the knowledge gained in the project has increased the participating partners general competitiveness in areas of laser cutting, laser welding and forming technology. All partners intend to implement this knowledge as part of their customer services over the next year.

Reported by

Technical University of Denmark
Building 425
2800 Lyngby
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