Innovative tools to improve incremental bulk forming processes

Sieczkarek, P.1, a; Kwiatkowski, L.1, b; Tekkaya, A.E.1, c; Krebs, E.2, d; Kersting, P.2, e; Tillmann, W.3, f; Herper, J.3, g

Institut für Umformtechnik und Leichtbau, Technische Universität Dortmund, Baroper Str. 301, 44227 Dortmund
Institut für Spanende Fertigung, Technische Universität Dortmund, Baroper Str. 303, 44227 Dortmund
Lehrstuhl für Werkstofftechnologie LWT, Technische Universität Dortmund, Leonhard-Euler-Str. 2, 44227 Dortmund

a); b); c); d); e); f); g)


Sheet-bulk metal forming is an innovative process with a high potential to generate load-adapted parts with high precision. Bulk forming processes of sheet metals especially require high process forces, resulting in an intense contact pressure and, thus, in a very high abrasive and adhesive wear. As a method to reduce or avoid these common wear phenomena, even hardened or coated tool surfaces are not sufficient. The objective of this paper is to show an improvement of the tool resistance during an incremental forming process by an adapted tool design and the application of structured tool surfaces combined with coatings. For the tool surface the structure of the scarabaeus beetle serves as the basis for a bionic structure. This structure was manufactured by micromilling. Despite the high hardness of the tool material and the complex geometry of the forming tools, very precise patterns were machined successfully using ball-end milling cutters. The combination of bionic structures with coating techniques like physical vapor deposition (PVD) on plasma nitrided tool surfaces is very promising. In this work, the influence of process parameters (workpiece material, lubrication, tool design, stepwise infeed) on the tool resistance during the forming operation was analyzed experimentally. The results of the optimized forming tools were compared to conventional, unstructured, uncoated, and only plasma nitrided forming tools. The different tools were applied to 2 mm thick metal sheets made of aluminum (AlMg3) and steel (nonalloy quality steel DC04). As a result, the process forces could be reduced by a modified shape and surface of the tools. Thus, the lifetime of the tools can be enhanced.


Sheet-bulk metal forming, incremental forming, cog styling, micromilling, bionic microstructures, PVD, CrAlN


Key Engineering Materials, 554-557 (2013), S. 1490-1497, doi: 10.4028/