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Material Forming

To talk about "material forming" really means entering the heart of the manufacturing industry, and a very complex world, due to the technologies this definition encompasses.

It could be really charming flying across each of them in order to permit the reader to catch, for example, how sophisticated the investment casting is or how multiform is the term polymeric composite and its manufacturing backstage, but it is more efficient for readers to get into the challenges facing the transport industry (i.e., aeronautics, automotive, rail etc.) in order to grasp what influence they will exercise on shaping the “forming technologies” R&D needs.

In this respect, it does not give voice to an uniform position in terms of technology demand as each single business area have to face a different market dynamism. It is conversely possible to highlight such common expressed thoughts as lightness, low cost, short time-to-market, safety, robustness, etc.

It is a matter of fact that the automotive and rail sector will have to marry, for this reason , the idea that materials will more and more condition the manufacturer in choosing the forming strategy to be adopted, thus joining the same philosophy of the aeronautical industry in forming CFRP integrated multifunctional panels: material, process and design must concur to innovate.
Whereas the performance becomes a key-driver, the usage of special materials will ask for dedicated forming technologies, while if the guiding criterion will hang on productivity a cost effective approach implying the management of different materials by the same forming technology will be more advantageous.

Shortening the product time-to-market will also mean to evolve from “near-net-shape” manufacturing routes to a “net-shape” forming process or to move towards “rapid manufacturing” ones, thus compacting the product development cycle by short-circuiting the “rapid prototyping “ step.

Although the forming technologies already make daily use of modelling software for the support of new products development, they will surely gain even more prominency in the future. In fact, the design of frames or structures will need to model such more complex phenomena as crash, to simulate the mechanical behaviour of different coupled materials or to accept such very refined modelling approaches as the “multi-scale” one.

So, looking at the future perspectives of forming technologies, it is worth noting that the worldwide market competition will push the material community toward a new approach on components and frames development based on a deep knowledge and exploitation of new process equipments .

In that respect such technologies as electron-beam forming for superalloys applications, hydroforming, laser forming, thixo-forging for steel and aluminium alloys usage, SPF-DB for titanium shaping and joining or RTM, infusion or resin film infusion for new CFRP integrated multifunctional solutions will be central in designing a new sound conceptual process for materials forming

The experience gained by CSM in the field of Material Forming, and the rich endowement of technologies and expertises in this field makes the Company a primary actor in these evolutionary processes.

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