Lightweight design: thermomechanical precision forging

Lightweight design: IFUM produces thin-walled gear rim using thermomechanical process. (Source: IFUM)

IFUM | IFUM uses thermomechanical process control to produce thin-walled gear rims. Within the scope of the joint research project “Lightweight Forging”, such gear rims are combined to weight- and efficiency-optimized gear wheels used for gearboxes in cars.

The central demonstrator developed in the joint research project "Lightweight Forging" is a gear wheel in multi-component design with optimized weight and efficiency. IFUM's contribution is a thin-walled gear rim produced using multi-stage precision forging with thermomechanical process control. Thanks to a second forming stage at reduced temperature, the grain size of the case-hardened steel used can be reduced significantly. In addition, the second forming stage serves for component calibration in order to improve component accuracy and surface characteristics.

Research results prove that a fine-grained structure increases the strength and resistance of forged parts, thus making components more robust and less prone to failure. This and the multi-component design make hybrid gear wheels a lot lighter than previous versions. Consequently, vehicles have a lighter weight and an improved energy efficiency. Moreover, the production process is more resource-efficient, because less postprocessing is needed due to an improved contour accuracy and average roughness value.

by Julian Diefenbach

Image gallery for this article

  • Lightweight design: IFUM produces thin-walled gear rim using thermomechanical process. (Source: IFUM)
  • IFUM forges a gear rim which is joined to a multi-component gear wheel in further subprojects. (Source: IFUM)
  • In the first stage, the preform is forged and in the second stage, the toothed ring is expanded, thus forming the tooth roots. (Source: IFUM)
  • Thermomechanical precision forging produces fine-grained structures with improved robustness and strength. (Source: IFUM)
  • The evaluation of the geometric properties shows an improved contour accuracy. (Source: IFUM)
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