Innovative coating application in forming

By a systematic study of the relations between coating
characteristics/their performance on forming tools,optimised
coatings will be developed to enhance the reliability and
technical possibilities of cold forming processes.

The reduction of tool wear, reduction of lubricants and cleaning agents and better forming process control resulting in higher quality products are motivations behind the use of coatings on tooling for metal forming processes. Although the potential benefits of tool coatings as well as successful industrial applications have already been demonstrated, the use of coatings in metal forming is not as widespread and developed as it could be. Uncertainty with respect to reliability, repeatability, necessary preparation of the tooling surface, selection of the optimal coating, application conditions and the effect of the coating on the forming process, limit the number of industrial applications. A better understanding of the fundamentals of coating wear, in particular delimination and abrasive wear, is needed. The knowledge of which coating to select for a specific forming process and material will avoid trial and error based methods and will allow a general application of coatings on forming tools. The project starts from the finding that there is a gap in the understanding of the mechanical and tribological characteristics of coatings on one hand and the performance of the coatings in a specific forming operation on the other. Therefore the project aims at bridging this gap by a systematic study of the relations between coating properties and process conditions. This will allow the definition of coating properties needed for a specific application and will allow the selection, tuning or development of an optimised coating for that application. The project will focus on a selected number of cold forming operations such as punching, deepdrawing and cold forging. The different tasks and the partners involved can be summarized as follows: In task 1 (during the Definition Phase) The selected cold forming applications will be characterised, problems and limitations will be described, available data on coating characteristics will be collected and the state-of-the-art will be described. All partners are involved. Task 2 is dedicated to coating and coating development. Coatings will be applied to forming tools and flat specimens by partners CEMECON and WTCM. Starting from state-of-the-art coatings (hard ceramic coatings, carbon based coatings and Molybdenum Disulphide (MoS2) based coatings) optimised coatings will be developed by changing micro/nano-structure, additive elements, a graded architecture and adjusting stress level. Partners LEI and FEI will apply DLC and carbide based coatings as well as thermally sprayed coatings. The development work will be supported by the usual coating analysis and characterisation equipment for structural, porphological and compositional properties. Optimal coating properties (input for this task) will result from task 5. In task 3 the mechanical and tribological coating parameters are determined by dedicated experiments on flat specimens. Partner EEDM (LABORATORY FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING) will study the relevant mechanical properties and the relation with failure mechanisms by advanced measuring and FEM analysis tools. Several deepdrawing laboratory tests simulating the tribological contact will be provided by partner WTCM (high contact pressure tribometer and sider on sheet tribometer developed by a subcontractor) and by partner OCAS who will use a draw bead simulator to study the aspect of galling. In task 4 semi-industrial and industrial testing of coated tools will take place. Partner OCAS will use diverse cup tests to simulate deepdrawing and to validate the laboratory friction measurements of task 3. Also, FEM process simulations will be conducted by WTCM and the industrial partners to simulate the influence of a coated tool. Industrial field tests will be conducted by the Belgian (DEMEYERE, INALFA, PARTS & COMPONENTS, CULOBEL and JAGA), Lithuanian (TECHNOLOGIJA) and Greek industrial partners. During testing the toolings will be closely monitored and attention will be paid to lubrication conditions. The type of wear or failure of the semi-industrial and industrial tools will be examined by WTCM, LEI and FEI. Task 5 is the heart of the scientific work. Coating characteristics and coating performance will be correlated and a model will be developed to select the optimal coating properties for a specific application. The modelling will be supported by Finite Element Method (FEM) process simulation (partner WTCM) and by FEM calculations correlating structure/architecture to overall mechanical properties of the coating system (partner EEDM). This task will allow optimisation of the coatings and eventually optimisation of process conditions. Keywords: metal forming, coatings, reliability.
Project ID: 
2 776
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 120 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Forming (rolling, forging, pressing, drawing)
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.