Realistic verification of manufacturing processes  Step I

Project time: 2011 – 2014

Budget: 12 600 000 SEK

Funding: FFI – Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation

It is a key issue for the automotive manufacturing industry to sense, and to have the ability to act on changes on the market with respect to environmentally friendly and lightweight products

Special concerns relate to enhanced product performance and the need to reduce fuel consumption; the latter need is directly linked to reduced emissions and smarter environmental impact. A key enabling technology to accomplish this is to exploit advanced materials, processing and machining via virtual simulation technology. Indeed, there is a need to enhance the manufacturing via capable, cost-efficient, and robust simulation tools for specific operations of the production processing chains. In the project we address a couple of key issues related to realistic verification of manufacturing processes based on virtual simulation tools. The issues involve material modelling, material science, experimental and system oriented perspectives of manufacturing processes. On the one hand, the issues relate to simulation of the machinability of heterogeneous cast iron materials and, on the other hand, issues relate to a system oriented formulation of the heat assisted processes of press quenching, used to control distortion of case hardened crown wheels. We thus focused a few steps towards the ultimate goal of providing virtual tools where all manufacturing processes can be tested virtually in a realistic manner. As to heat assisted forming processes, we develop a methodology to analyze how various properties and parameters influence the distortion during press quenching of crown wheels. Distortion in crown wheels may cause excessive grinding, assembly problems,unfavorable load distribution, continuous noise of parts in service and even scrapping. The unsystematic distortion is due to non-uniformity in the steel properties and processing conditions and is a major concern for gear manufactures. To obtain realistic quenching characteristics, to be used for process simulation, a number of experiments are carried out on an industrial press quenching machine. Based on the experimentally obtained quenching characteristics the press quenching process is simulated by FEM. A prediction tool for how the press quenching operation affect important geometrical features for a crown wheel has been developed. The tool is based on 24 FEM-simulations where the steel hardenability and press forces were varied according to DoE-plan. From the simulations data was extracted and used for creating linear regression models for the prediction of crown wheel geometry after press quenching. The regression models was then tuned with data extracted from physical DoE-experiments performed at Scania. To characterize machinability of heterogeneous cast iron materials, we identified an innovation agenda, comprising the current state of the art machining simulation methodology along with research issues of numerical simulation and experimental. The following main components define the agenda: • virtual simulation strategy for 2D cast iron machining • machining experimental associated with virtual simulation of orthogonal cutting • model parameter identification strategy • prototype tool for making predictions of machinability of the work piece material.To arrive at a predictive method (and tool) the microstructure for range of cast iron has been considered in the agenda. Please note that the microstructure can be varied with respect to cast iron nodularity using virtual testing, whereby the complete range from “gray iron” to CGI and nodular cast iron” are handled. The crucial material modeling development in the agenda has been made related to: “consistent heat generation”, “modeling ductile fracture and damage” related to chip formation. Different model assumptions have been developed due to computational robustness, on the one hand, and, on the other, hand predictive model capability. A 2D test describing a 2D machining situation, named the “sliced cylinder” concept, was developed along with the model parameter identification strategy. Based on the prototype tool we carry out predictions of cutting forces for a class of cast iron. Please note the predicted qualitative reduction of cutting force as the cutting speed is increased. We also note the increase of cutting force with cutting depth as well as with nodularity approaching the CGI-type. The message from the predictions is that it is possible to make virtual variations in the cast iron materials and to make qualitative judgments of cast iron machinability.

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