Scaling up forming processes to their physical limits

Theme XXL products, Forming technology
Project title Scaling up forming processes to their physical limits (FormLimit)
Project duration 01.07.2010 – 30.06.2012

In this research project the potential for scaling up forming processes beyond the current technical limits has been determined. Due to the great relevance of the forming processes open die forging and ring rolling for the production of large-scale components, these two forming processes were considered exemplary. Determining the physical limits was carried out by simulations based on the finite element method (FEM).

Publications about the project

The range of structure sizes for industrial products produced today is increasingly expanding. This trend is evident in both small-scale (e.g. semiconductor applications) and large-scale (e.g. wind turbine rotors) products. While definitions already exist for smaller scale device structures, the conceptual distinction between conventional large products and large scale products is currently insufficient. In this study, we present a potential basis for the definition of large scale products. To achieve this, we derive hypotheses and examine these in the context of an empirical study using the examples of several sample products. It is shown that the transition from conventional products to large scale products is characterized by a disproportionate increase in product costs due to the augmentation of a characteristic product feature. Eventually we derive a proposed definition which characterizes large scale products in the field of production engineering.

xxl-product, large-scale, xxl, definition

Large-scale products (XXL-products), such as bearing rings for wind turbines, pose special challenges to the production technology. For example, the continuous growth of product dimensions puts challenges on forming technologies as they reach their technical limits. Scaling effects, that occur when scaling up, can include physical limits for a further upscaling. These effects have only been studied for small scale production processes so far. The consideration of such effects in the large scale production offers the opportunity to exploit the potential of metal forming processes and improve the calculation forecasts.

xxl-products, forging, flowproperties, scaling factor, scaling effect, ring compression test


The project no. 11.2-76221-99-2/10 was part of the joint research project Innovations for the manufacturing of large scale products funded by the Ministry for the Economy, Labour and Transport of Lower Saxony and the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics, Construction, Transport and Digitalization.

Your contact person

Mareile Kriwall

Manager process technology