Objectives

Objectives

Against the background of rising market opportunities for high quality forged products, the project REForCh – Resource Efficient Forging Process Chain for High Complicated High Duty Parts aims at developing new forging processes, enabling the forges to produce complicated geometries with notably reduced material/flash.

To reach these goals, new technologies have to be developed and embedded within the new process chain: a flash reduced forging operation (including flashless and multidirectional preforming), an induction primary heating and reheating process. In addition to the high potential to increase the material and energy efficiency, these operations improve final work piece properties and broaden the spectrum of producible geometries.

In order to develop the required processes and equipment, it takes expertise of different subject areas as well as Research and Technical Development (RTD) effort and capacity inhibiting the (SMEs) to perform the research on their own.

Summary of the objectives of the project

 –  Saving material: Depending on the work piece complexity, material utilization of forged parts with flash ranges between 60 % to 80 % of the raw material. In flash reduced forging, material utilization can be increased to over 90 % even for more complicated geometries.

 –  Reducing environmental impact: The energy required for the production of forgings is mainly caused by the induction heating. Compared to forgings with flash, 17 % of the heating energy can be saved by the reduced raw material which does not have to be heated.

 –  Reducing overall production costs: Due to better material utilization overall production costs are reduced, e. g. the effort for handling and disposing the flash are lower siginifcantly.

 –  Reducing development effort for applying the technology to other geometries: The utilization of REForCh as a modular tool decreases the development effort for the forming stages of further crankshaft geometries and thus helps spreading the technology. The developed sequences can be transferred to other product classes at the end of the project.

 –  Improving material properties are caused by higher bainite (a special state structure for steel) ratio in the forged part and an improved grain flow, which has a beneficial impact on toughness and hardness.

 

As a result of REForCh project, the flash reduced forging technology is expected to spread – not only to SME involved but also across the European forging industry. Consequently, it will strengthen the competitiveness of European forges.

In a previous project (DeVaPro – Development of a Warm Forging Process Chain (FP7-SME-2007-1, 221967)), the consortium partners IPH, OMTAS, ETP and METAV have been working together successfully. In the REForCh project the collaboration continues, focusing on the new forging technology of flash reduced forging for complicated parts, e. g. crankshafts. REForCh will help SME participants to strengthen and enlarge the consisting international partnership for research and marketing. Consequently, this will help them to keep up with the globalization of markets, especially in the field of innovative forging/heating technologies.