High-precision manufacturing chain for metal micro-parts


Start: 01-09-2014
End: 01-09-2018





Today, quality of products becomes more and more important. With narrow tolerances on the parts of these products, the state of the art optimizations in manufacturing processes are reaching their limits. To push the boundaries of the limiting status, new methods need to be developed. Instead of a single process step the focus shifts to the full process tree Fig 1. This trend enables full process optimization instead of single step optimizations. In this project this methodology will be developed based on a forming and heat treatment process with the goal to improve geometrical quality parameters.
This can be achieved by better understanding of individual process in the manufacturing chain to control the dimensional accuracy. For this purpose, a numerical tool will be developed to accurately predict the material behaviour in individual manufacturing steps. This should lead to the elimination of geometric deviations during part manufacturing hence increasing geometrical accuracy.

Fig 1. A typical forming press for manufacturing chain process
The numerical tool will be able to accurately predict the deformation behaviour of steel during shaping and subsequently heat treatments including phase transformations. The numerical model should capture local effects with the desired predictive accuracy. The model will be calibrated using dedicated experiments, carried out at a length scale representative for the high-precision metal parts. The material model will be coupled to state of the art damage and fracture models and remeshing techniques to result in a powerful 3D numerical model.