SUNConferences, Computers and Industrial Engineering 42

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An Investigation Into Lubrication Strategies For The Incremental Sheet Forming Of TI-6AL-4V
Ruan de Bruyn, Nico Treurnicht

Last modified: 2012-07-02


Incremental sheet forming (ISF) provides a competitive alternative for economic fabrication of low-volume functional sheet products. ISF as a forming process has received global attention. Particular focus areas include aerospace, customized biomedical applications and automotive prototyping. Especially in aerospace, a mature ISF capability could eliminate storage of fuselage part dies. In medical applications the technology can offer on site custom implant manufacturing capability from current medical imaging technology. In all applications, lead time, cost and local availability can be improved signifcantly over conventional processes. Most applications become competitive through flexibility offered by the process. The process however places high demand on the lubrication of the contact area between the forming tool and the work piece. From literature sources it was determined that hydrodynamic lubrication is not suitable for the ISF process and that solid lubricants should be investigated. Hence, in this study, the performance of different solid lubricants are evaluated and discussed. A series of experiments were conducted, to evaluate the effectiveness of Molybdenum disulphide as well as graphite as solid lubricants. It is concluded that the results are significant and that large process improvements were realised with the investigated materials relative to conventional machine tool lubrication.

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