Dr.-Ing. Malte Stonis

Managing director
+49 (0)511 279 76-119

Doctoral thesis

Defects like folds can arise using forging for the production of long flat pieces made of aluminium. A special defect is the formation of inner folds. These can be seen in the grain flow. Inner folds have a negative effect on the dynamic properties of the forged part. As a production process, forging can be divided into single-directional and multi-directional forging. The formation of inner folds was observed at the single-directional forging. By using the multi-directional forging, a forming operation working from different directions, the forming can be set variably. Thus the development of folds can be prevented. A newly developed method can help in the selection of the forming process and in determining an appropriate tool geometry. Here especially the area is adapted, where the development of inner folds occur. Therefore a calculation model was developed. It integrates a computer-aided identification of the inner folds. Using this model, a correction of the parametrically constructed forging tool is possible.

multidirectional-forging, long flat pieces, aluminium, fibre orientation


Different challenges arise in cross wedge rolling hybrid parts depending of the material arrangement (serial or coaxial) which need to be investigated fundamentally first.

In cross wedge rolling of serial components, the controlled forming of the joining zone is the greatest challenge. The forming behaviour of the component halves is different, depending on the flow stress of the materials used. In order to allow the forming process to be carried out in a controlled manner, the forming behaviour was first analysed with regard to the displacement and quality of the joining zone, and then possibilities were determined with which the forming can be effected in a targeted manner. For this purpose, the influencing parameters (workpiece temperature, forming speed, cross-section reduction, shoulder and wedge angle) were determined systematically using the Finite Element method, and the investigations were then verified experimentally. In order to influence the forming behaviour the investigations include structural measures (e.g. unequal tool halves) as well as process-related parameters (e.g. unequal temperature distribution).

Cross wedge rolling of coaxial components has other challenges due to the component construction. The aim is to be able to specifically influence the course of the thickness of the applied coating during the forming. Therefore finite element simulations were carried out to determine the influencing parameters. By a systematic investigation of the test parameters according to the DoE method, the layer thickness before the deformation as well as the cross-section reduction are parameters with the greatest influences on the course of the layer thickness after the deformation gave. The results obtained were subsequently verified in experimental tests.

cross wedge rolling, steel, aluminum, joining zone, coating thickness

The volatility of electricity prices is steadily increasing due to the growing expansion of renewable energies. This is particularly observable at the electricity exchange. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector can save energy costs due to these fluctuations through targeted load management methods. To increase this potential, SMEs need to use smart meters and obtain their electricity at pricest as close to those at the electricity exchange as possible.

power procurement, electricity exchange, load management, electricity costs

The forecast of sales volumes represents a challenge for the production planning. Above all, sales forecasts that are difficult to predict, such as those caused by promotions, are obstructive. Often, additional information from macroeconomic indexes is not topical, the level of detail of products to be forecast too low and the forecast expenditure too high. Aim of a research project therefore is to develop a model based on search engine data to forecast sales volumes at product level. By the use of complementary application of search engine data to the sales forecast is expected that the forecast mistake can be reduced compared with conventional forecast models upon product level. In general it should be clarified whether and in which extend the logistical efficiency of an enterprise can be improved by search engine data based forecast of sales volumes in the production planning.

production planning, sales forecast, search engine data, forecast model

For lighter and less consuming car engines the uncercut forging of a steel piston the process has to be designed at first. Therefore the process had been set up in FEA simulations and developed until the final forging sequence was found.

FEA, forging, forge, undercut, multidirectional

Hybrid forging combines forming of bulky and sheet metal elements in one process step. During the forming of the bulky and sheet metal elements a joining operation is initiated by the energy provided by the forging operation. Thereby component areas with high loads can be designed using a bulky element whereas areas with lower loads can be designed using a sheet metal element. In consequence, significant weight reductions as well as energy savings within the forging process are achievable. The paper presents the development of a hybrid forging process, using a control arm as demonstration part. By the aid of Finite Element Analysis computations the interactions between the main process parameters and the target value process quality are being derived. It will be shown that the bulky element’s shape has a major impact on further process parameters and that the temperature is crucial for material bonding.

FEA, hybrid forging, bulge forming, sheet metal forming

A low energy demand and a fast processing time are required in each industrial process for the production of crankshafts. Crankshafts have a very complex geometry and are forged with a high percentage of flash compared to other forging parts. Recent research showed the feasibility of a flashless forging of crankshafts. One way to forge a flashless crankshaft within three steps is to use cross wedge rolling, multi-directional forging and final forging.

This paper presents the investigation results of the influence of the forming angle in cross wedge rolling on different parameters at multi-directional forging. First the state of research, the process development and tool design of cross wedge rolling and multidirectional forging are described. Then the parameter study will be presented and the influence of the forming angle ? on flash generation, billet temperatures, forming degree, forming forces and effective strain are shown. Generally, flash generates because a rotation-symmetric billet is forced into an asymmetric movement. The influence of a rising forming angle leads to a higher amount of flash at the bottom of the crankwebs.

multi-directional forging, cross wedge rolling, crankshaft, parameter study, forming angle

To reduce production costs of forged parts, different approaches are possible. Especially for valuable materials like titanium, material costs represent a large part of the production costs. Therefore, reducing the initial material can decrease the total costs significantly. In order to identify the potential for improvements, an existing forging sequence was investigated.

For a titanium hip implant, a new forging sequence was developed. To reduce the initially needed material, cross wedge rolling as a preforming operation and die forging with flash brakes was investigated. The influence of the different stages on the final result was analysed and presented in detail. To increase the prediction accuracy of the newly developed flash-reduced forging sequence and to decrease iteration loops of die designs, feasible simulation parameters considering the boundary conditions of the forging environment were investigated. This is done using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), considering form filling, process stability, die stress and press forces. Using cross wedge rolling and die forging with flash brakes, the newly developed forging sequence reduces the flash rate significantly from 69 % to 32 %.

cross wedge rolling,forging, flash-reduced, finite element simulations, flash brakes

In this article, image processing of a binary single track code for determining torque is presented. The aim of the research is to determine the absolute angular position of a shaft and the applied torque. For capturing an image of the binary code two independent imaging modules are used, both allowing for measuring the angular position and rotational speed. Combining both imaging modules, torque can be determined. Position markings are directly applied on the shaft using a laser to ensure a simple integration of the system into any application. The selected technological approach is based on a contactless measurement method using angle differences. The concept of image processing as well as first research results are presented for determining the angular position twice and, thus, the torque applied to the shaft.

image processing, single track code, torque

In multistage hot forging processes, the preform shape is the parameter mainly influencing the final forging result. Nevertheless, the design of multistage hot forging processes is still a trial and error process and, therefore, time consuming. The quality of developed forging sequences strongly depends on the engineer’s experience. To overcome these obstacles this paper presents an algorithm for solving the multi-objective optimization problem in designing preforms. Cross wedge rolled preforms were chosen as subject of investigation. An evolutionary algorithm is introduced to optimize the preform shape taking into account the mass distribution of the final part, the preform volume and the shape complexity. A crucial factor in preform optimization for hot forging processes is the amount of flash. Therefore, an equation for improving the amount of flash is derived. The developed algorithm is tested using two connecting rods with different shape complexities as demonstration parts.

preform optimization, forging, evolutionary algorithms, cross wedge rolling

In order to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to use cross-wedge rolling in the future, existing barriers have been eliminated. For this purpose, a method was developed to enable the design of cross wedge tools using software support. For two demonstrator components, hip implant and common rail, cross-wedge rolling processes were designed. With the cross-wedge rolled preforms, flash-reduced forging sequences could be designed for both demonstrator components. In order to be able to roll the parts industrially at low cost, a cross wedge rolliing machine was designed, manufactured and built at the forging company. The complete process chain of the hip implant was successfully tested.

cross wedge rolling, forming machine, ressource efficiency, hip implant, common rail

In multistage hot forging processes, the preform shape is the parameter mainly influencing the final forging result. Nevertheless, the design of multistage hot forging processes is still a trial and error process and therefore time-consuming. The quality of developed forging sequences strongly depends on the engineer's experience. To overcome these obstacles, this paper presents an algorithm for solving the multi-objective optimization problem when designing preforms. Cross wedge rolled (CWR) preforms were chosen as subject of investigation. An evolutionary algorithm is introduced to optimize the preform shape taking into account the mass distribution of the final part, the preform volume and the shape complexity. The developed algorithm is tested using a connecting rod as a demonstration part. Based on finite element analysis, the implemented fitness function is evaluated, and thus the progressive optimization can be traced.

preforming optimization, hot forging, evolutionary algorithms, cross wedge rolling

Flash-reduced forging is a promising alternative for forging complicated high-duty parts. With a new process chain, the ability to reduce the existing flash quota of complex high-duty parts can make the difference in the competition and reduce the costs compared to flashless forging. The European Union is funding a research project which deals with the improvement of the forging sequence of a two-cylinder crankshaft by using flash-reduced forging. To increase the forecast quality of simulations using Finite-Element-Analysis for a future process chain design, the conventional existing process chain is simulated with FORGE3 and compared with industrial forging trials. Furthermore, a variation of simulation parameters has been used to get the significant influence parameters, fitting the results of these forging trials.

Forging, crankshaft, flash reduced, investigation simulation parameters

An artificial neural network is developed to predict the form filling in forging sequences. This model uses various cross sectional area properties to improve the form filling prediction and to estimate simulation results. The effect of different cross sectional area properties on the prediction quality of the form filling is shown and the best way to predict the form filling is chosen.

FEA, forging, preform optimization

A numerical model using FEA is developed to investigate the generation of thin flash in aluminum forging. Significance and effects of the influencing parameters temperature, forming velocity and width of flash gap on the thin flash generation are shown by statistical analysis carried out with the established model. Experimental trials have been made to verify the model.

FEA, aluminum, forging, flashless forging, thin flash

The most common method of bulk forming processes is closed die forging with flash. In these processes a surplus of material is used to ensure a complete filling of the cavity of the forging die. The surplus material is driven out of the die through the flash land, thus the design of the flash land has a major influence on the filling of the die. All dimensions of the flash land are typically fixed during the manufacturing process of the die and can not be changed within the forging process. By use of a moveable flash gap that can be actively changed during the forging process the material flow can be altered. This permits to improve the filling of the cavity. In this paper a moveable flash gap for a hot forging process is described and the influence of such a system on the filling of the die cavity is determined. This is done by a comparison to a conventional forging process with a fixed flash land. Furthermore, the results of experimental trials are compared to results of corresponding FEA simulations. Additionally, the influence of the initial billet temperature is investigated. Experimental trials showed that the moveable flash gap has a distinct influence on the material flow. The higher the flash ratio, the bigger is the influence of the moveable flash gap. The moveable flash gap is designed as a flash brake of a height of 2 mm. Its usage lead to differences in height of the parts up to 4.5 mm, which correspond to 16.6% of the parts height, compared to parts forged with a fixed flash land. If the forging temperature is decreased from 1200 °C to 1000 °C, the influence of the moveable flash gap is reduced. The average differences in height are about 0.5 mm (about 3%).

forging, die design, material flow, FEA, flash land, flash gap

Flash-reduced forging is a promising alternative for the forging of complex heavy-duty parts. The use of flashless preforming operations is one possible approach in achieving this. Avoiding flash in preforming by keeping dies completely closed during the forging operation is the main challenge in flashless forging, especially when the parting line of the die is located at the center of the part. In order to do this, an advanced closing mechanism that completely locks the dies mechanically without the use of any spring mechanism was developed.

closed-die forging, closing mechanism, flashless forging, forging process, preforms

The most common bulk forming process is closed die forging with flash. One goal of the industry is to reduce flash. For geometrically difficult parts like crankshafts flash reduction can be achieved by flashless preforming and flash-reduced final forging. The corresponding process design is challenging and defects like an insufficient cavity filling often occur in final forging. A controlled, moveable flash gap enables the alteration of the material flow, increasing the filling of the cavity again. In this paper, the flashless preforming for crankshafts and the influence of a controlled flash gap on cavity filling are described.

Forging, die design, material flow, FEA, flash land

In common forging processes for geometrically complicated parts such as crankshafts, an excess on material (flash) is technically needed to produce a good part, which results often in a material utilization between 60 % and 80 %. But the material costs in forging represent up to 50 % of the total production costs. By decreasing the flash ratio, the material usage and production costs in forging operations can be reduced significantly. For a crankshaft, the development of a new forging sequence was necessary, to achieve the reduction of flash. This development was performed for an industrial two-cylinder crankshaft, based on finite element analysis (FEA) simulations. The new forging sequence consists of three flashless preforming operations, an induction reheating followed by a multidirectional forging and the final forging. By use of this forging sequence the flash ratio was reduced from about 54 % to less than 10 %. Due to the huge reduction of the flash ratio, material as well as energy can be saved from now on, thus increasing the competitiveness of the company.

hot forging, FEA simulation, reduction of flash, multidirectional forging, resource efficiency

The more complicated a forging geometry is, the more flash is necessary to achieve a form filling and a part free of defects. Most small and medium sized enterprises (SME) forge many different parts in small and medium batch sizes and cannot afford the high effort to design more efficient forging processes. In the paper the development of a resource efficient forging process chain for crankshafts is summarized. The forging sequence consists of flashless preforming steps and a flash reduced final forging. The tools were designed to work on industrially used fast moving mechanical presses. The last of the four flashless preforming steps is a multidirectional forming of the crank webs and a pin offset. To keep the forging forces on a low level and enable a stable forging process, an induction reheating of the preform before multidirectional forging was designed. The crankshaft was successfully forged with a reduced flash ratio of less than 10 %.

forging, flash, induction heating, preform, crankshaft

Pistons for combustion engines are usually made of aluminum. But increasing requirements on efficiency and performance can be met by use of steel pistons that will probably spread in the automotive industry in the next years. The pistons are forged and an expensive machining process is necessary to finish them. In the usually unidirectional forging process it is not possible to pre-forge some areas, such as the pin bores as they represent an undercut. By the help of a multidirectional forging operation it is possible to forge undercuts. This process is distinguished by a pre-forging of the pin bores and an improved material usage. Furthermore, the following machining operation will be simpler due to an easier positioning of the part. Currently, the forging tools are under development. Once they are finished they will be tested in an industrial environment on an eccentric press. The tools and parts will be analyzed concerning the quality of the parts, the die wear and the economic efficiency of this new process.

piston, steel, forging, pin bore, undercut, multidirectional