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Quantification of steel thixoforming process robustness

Publication Date
  • Thixoforming
  • Thixoforging
  • Steel
  • Robustness
  • Process
  • Thixoformage
  • Thixoforgeage
  • Acier
  • Robustesse
  • Procédé Industriel
  • Engineering, Computing & Technology :: Materials Science & Engineering [C09]
  • Ingénierie, Informatique & Technologie :: Science Des Matériaux & Ingénierie [C09]
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This work aims to assess the robustness of the steel thixoforming process by a qualitative and quantitative study of the influence of the parameters involved in the process. Thixoforming is the shaping of metals in the semi-solid state and with a globular microstructure. In this case, one shows that consistency decreases when shear rate increases and that the process parameters leading the behaviour are time dependent. As a key-step of the technology, heating is studied as well as forming. Influences of heating strategy, inductor’s geometry and external conditions are determined by the help of modelling and heating experiments. Handling system between heating furnace and press is also tackled. To study the forming’s relability and sensitivity, three geometries are used : direct extrusion, a rheological study part and an industrial part. Again, practical experiments and modelling are used in a complementary way. Effects of slug’s temperature, forming speed, lubrication and tool’s temperature are analysed. Repeatability of heating and forming are highlighted. The defects and structures obtained in the parts are presented before discussing the thixoformability of steel grades. In particular, qualification of especially designed grades as well as non adapted grades is discussed. Finally, the tooling wear and lifetime issues are detailed as it is one of the mean locks of the technology industrialisation.

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