A forging process for light weight production
The researchers tried to connect the steel plate and the aluminum block directly in the molding process, without the need for additional connection steps.
Hybrid forging is the first technology to combine two lightweight structures, that is, the formation of a material junction between the steel plate and the lump metal. Different material properties can be obtained according to the different metals selected, for example, connecting light aluminum with high strength steel. The Hannover comprehensive production Research Institute (IPH) is collaborating with the welding and processing Institute (ISAF) of TU Clausthal, TU Clausthal. A new forging process is being developed for the manufacture of light vehicles.
The researchers thought that the connection between the steel plate and the high strength aluminum stud was realized in a process step. In the process of production in the past, each component needs to be prepared separately, and then two parts are connected, for example, by welding a stud. The original purpose of the hybrid composite forging is to save the subsequent connection steps and make the production of the lightweight components more efficient. When designing the new lightweight manufacturing technology, Hannover Institute of integrated production and welding and processing research institute is faced with two great challenges: because the melting point of aluminum is much lower than that of steel, the joint forming process is more complex.
In addition, the mixing of steel and aluminum leads to the precipitation of brittle phase, thus reducing the strength of the obtained connection materials, so it is not suitable for the automobile manufacturing industry. Considering this reason, researchers tried to connect galvanized steel plate with aluminum stud, and found that zinc can firmly connect aluminum and steel without brittle phase.
In the research project of hybrid forging, the task of researchers is to find out the most suitable process conditions, that is, determine the best temperature, pressure and speed to ensure that two parts can achieve good forming and connection. They also tried to determine whether the new process also applies to plates of different thickness and different types of studs. Another task is to determine the load-bearing capacity of the connection area and the machinability of the mixed part after the connection is formed.
In the future, hybrid forging process can be applied to automotive and aerospace industries to produce components such as longitudinal beams, tail lamp brackets or cargo strapping rings. Lightweight structures play an important role in the automotive and aerospace fields, because lightweight means lower fuel consumption.