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Advanced integrated surface solution based on ultra-thick coating for high strength steel forming

An advanced tribological surface engineering solution based on ultrathick coatings (x10 conventional thickness) is proposed to increase in a 35% the lifetime of forming dies when extremely high demanding operations on high strength steels (hss) are considered

Safety is paramount importance along with enhancing fuel efficiency of the transport car over the last three decades. HSS play a pivotal role towards achieving the desired structural characteristics of the motor vehicles. Die wear in forming HSS operations causes increased die maintenance cost and scrap rate, being a major obstacle for automation industries to meet upcoming market requirements. Commercial surface treatments will be not suitable to catch the requirements of future HSS forming operations. Continuously increasing strength of HSS sheets requires a completely new surface solution on tooling, as well as the development of the technology/equipment to produce that solution at industrial level. The current surface treatment solutions are CVD coatings or a combination of plasma nitriding plus 5 µm PVD coating. The first approach entails a pre-heat treatment for harden and also a post-treatment to reharden. The main problems to be overcome are tolerances, cost and bad performance of the die when working with HSS. The second approach does not offer enough improvement in die lifetime and the cost of the complete solution is high because two treatments in different machines have to be applied being the first one very time consuming The aim of ULTRATHICK project is to develop an advanced tribological surface engineering solution to increase in a 35% the lifetime of forming dies when extremely high demanding operations on high strength steels (HSS) are considered. An innovative approach combining a new generation of ultrathick coatings (x10 conventional thickness), advanced substrate pre-treatments (etching/implantation, nitriding) and die design is proposed, where a new concept of Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) machine will be properly assessed. Deep drawing has been selected as case study in this project as being one of the most demanding forming operations due to the high depth aspect ratio and the extreme forces that are generated in the tooling
Acronym: 
ULTRATHICK
Project ID: 
12 630
Start date: 
01-10-2018
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 270 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Coatings
Market Area: 
Machine tools, other metal working equipment (excluding numeric control)

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