Hot Forming Aluminum
While the technique of “hot stamping” steel is finding increased application in body-in-white applications (some of the steels are too hard to form otherwise), just as aluminum is making inroads into body engineering—inside and out—it turns out that hot forming aluminum is being developed.
That’s the word from Schuler Group (schulergroup.com), the developer of forming equipment for an array of automotive applications.
Apparently, high-strength aluminum alloys also present a challenge when it comes to forming. With cold forming, there is a limit to the types of geometries that can be achieved.
However, with hot forming of sheet in specially designed forming dies, there are increased opportunities in terms of part shapes.
Schuler, which has been providing systems for hot-stamped steel production, is developing the wherewithal to be a supplier of systems for aluminum, as well.
Parameters that need to be controlled include not only the forming pressure, but material temperature control, as well.
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