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Energy-Efficient Product and Process Innovations in Production Engineering
Process Chain Car Body Structures

Implementation of Highly Integrative, Low-Energy Press Hardening Process Chains

As part of the research in the “Implementation of highly integrative, low-energy press hardening process chains for cell structures” field of action, new active principles, construction methods and technologies for the reduction of the primary energy requirement and for increasing energy efficiency in production are to be developed and implemented in a press-hardened demonstrator component. Due to the heating of the workpieces, sheet metal hot working - press hardening as a thermomechanical process chain in the manufacture of high-strength structural components for car bodies, is linked with high energy consumption.
Within the field of action, methodological and technological approaches for the significant conservation of energy are being investigated.
The core of the research is the analysis of parts production, which is divided into the stages of heating, temperature controlled forming and controlled cooling. For example, process management, material indicators and tool design are considered. Parallel to the experiments, thermomechanical process simulation and microstructural joint simulation are carried out. On this basis, the demonstrator component and tool are developed.

The primary goal of the field of action is to link and evaluate the concepts and solutions developed under the overall objective of the research project, namely to achieve high energy and resource efficiency across the entire press hardening process chain.


Energy and Resource Efficiency Through Process Optimisation
By way of an example, one line of research is the process optimisation of a sheet metal hot working process. Due to the required temperature level of 900 to 950 °C, the press hardening process is very energy-intensive and requires systematic process design and configuration.
Development of an Energy-Efficient Forming Strategy
Different property zones within a structural component of the car body can be configured using targeted temperature management from heat treatment to forming.
Design of Energy-Efficient Press Hardening Tools
Tool cooling with locally differentiated cooling rates plays an important role in the configuration of graded component properties. Another objective is to increase the tool life.

Heads of Field of Action

Prof. Reimund Neugebauer

President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Frank Schieck

Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU


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