SUNConferences, COMA '13

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Manufacturing Flexibilisation of Metal Forming Components by Tailored Blanks
Michael Lechner, Marion Merklein

Last modified: 2013-08-20


The automotive industry is continuously striving to reduce the energy consumption using lightweight constructions. Whereas under laboratory conditions promising results with new lightweight approaches were already achieved, an application under series conditions is often difficult. On the one hand, a high level of automation must be guaranteed to withstand the competition and cost pressures. On the other hand, the manufacturers are trying to consider individual needs of their customers by an increasing variety of vehicle models. A lightweight technology must therefore meet both criteria. It should be well automated and also flexible. A promising way to meet these requirements in metal forming is the use of process optimized semi-finished products. Through a targeted and local adaptation of the sheet thickness or mechanical properties the formability can be improved and thus the robustness of the manufacturing process will be increased. In this article innovative approaches are presented that allow a more flexible production of tailored blanks and thus contribute to the flexibility of the entire metal forming process chain. In particular the laser assisted tailored heat treatment of aluminium alloys offers the possibility to customize the mechanical properties und optimize them for the subsequent forming process. The technology was successfully applied for conventional sheet metal blanks, for accumulative roll bonding blanks and for profiles. Moreover it cannot only be applied before the forming process, but also between two forming operations. Inverse Finite Element based simulation of the heat treatment and forming operation is one way to agile production that helps to save resources in order to come to a more energy efficient production of lightweight components.  

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