Giving shape to heavy plates
It’s like squaring the circle: one of the most essential tasks in automotive engineering is to combine efficiency and safety with each other. But how do we resolve the contradiction between the lowest possible vehicle weight and the greatest possible passenger safety?
This question plays an even more important role in armoured vehicles. And civilian armoured vehicles add yet another challenge: the elegance, ergonomics and comfort of the standard production model are to be retained as far as possible, on the one hand, but the vehicle must provide protection against firearms and explosives.
To assure optimum results, we put our faith in the hot forming of heavy plates, which are used, primarily, in the armoured area of the vehicle, or as load-bearing materials: steel plates of up to 15 mm in thickness are heated to temperatures of 850 to 1,100° Celsius and shaped to the required form in a 1,000 t press. Handling of the up to 150 kg heavy plates is performed by a 7-axis heavy-duty robot, which features PLC control to attain ultra-precision.
Hot forming at our Wilkau-Hasslau location
The benefits of hot forming
Significantly lower forces are needed in hot forming, otherwise known as press or form hardening, than in cold forming. This enables us to produce even highly complex geometries in plate thicknesses of up to 15 mm. Another benefit of this production method: hot forming hardens the steel, signifying that less material is then needed. The finished plates generally possess extremely good dimensional accuracy and a high mechanical strength. In some cases, we use a specially developed steel alloy notable for its particularly high strength.
In short, hot forming
- Reduces the necessary forming forces and thus improves forming behaviour
- Permits higher degrees of forming and optimises both dimensional accuracy and tolerances
- Optimises plate thicknesses, and therefore vehicle-specific weight
- Reduces the residual stresses in the component
- Reduces the forming operations in the tool and
- Makes it possible to adjust the steel’s microstructure without any additional manufacturing processes
Tried-and-proven know-how, ultra-modern equipment
We are at your side from development of a hot-pressed component, via the design of the forming tool, up to and including series production and installation – supporting you with our know-how and the ultra-modern Technology Center for “press hardening” at our Wilkau-Hasslau location, with its automatically operating production line.