Media-Based Profile Shaping and Kinematic Bending in a Continuous Process Using a Graded Temperature Field

Funding: BMWi/ZIM-ZF
Project: ZF4101119US9
Contact: Mike Kamaliev M. Sc.

The production of thin-walled, load-adapted, and cuved profiles has a high potential for safety-relevant structures in automotive applications.

Currently, there is no process enabling all these aspects in one manufacturing step. In cooperation with the company HoDforming, the temperature-assisted internal-pressure profile-forming (TIP process) is being investigated for this purpose (see Figure a). A profile is subjected to internal pressure and pushed through a forming die. By inductive heating of the semi-finished product, the yield point of the material is reduced locally so that the internal pressure expands the profile in this area. A cooling unit is used to achieve variable thermal treatment along the longitudinal axis, while the profile is formed by a bending tool. The feasibility of the process has already been proven experimentally (see Figure b). Analytical and empirical approaches enable the establishment of a process window with regard to temperature, flow behavior, and the pressure required for plastic expansion (see Figure c).

a) Process principle, b) Experimental implementation and c) A process window for the expansion