From 1976 to 2016 – More than 40 years of metal forming at Technische Universität Darmstadt
The institute’s history
Technical research and teachings look back on a 120 year old tradition in Darmstadt. In 1976, metal forming evolved from the Institute for Machine Tools. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Schmoeckel became head of the new founded Institute for Metal Forming (IfU). Since 1989 the institute bears today’s name Institute for Production Engineering and Forming Machines (PtU) and is led by Professor Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Peter Groche since 1999.
The test area on campus Lichtwiese is equipped with numerous test facilities and machine tools. By employing a mechanical workshop with 21 skilled workers and trainees, forming tools and test rigs can be manufactured locally. In 2007 a second experimenting hall, built for the Collaborative Research Centre CRC 666, opened for more experimenting capacities. Modern computer hardware enables the efficient use of state-of-the-art simulation and design software and the latest measurement technologies in research. The equipment is completed by student multimedia workstations as well as a training kit to perform hands-on exercises in the new tutorial “Control of Forming Machines”.
Since the early days of the institute, the number of employees constantly rose to currently 31 scientific assistants. Preserving this positive development over the years confirms the good reputation which the institute has gained at funding organisations and industrial partners. Additionally, the PtU employs 10 administrative and technological members of staff as well as about 50 student research assistants.
The Institute for Production Engineering and Forming Machines, led by Professor Dr. Ing. Dipl. Wirtsch. Ing. Peter Groche, is organised in four research departments:
- Process Chains and Forming Units
- Roll Forming and Flow Splitting
- Smart Structures
»Process Chains and Forming Units« mainly addresses the examination of entire production processes and the increase of their productivity and stability. Technological subjects are in particular roll forming, tube hydroforming and the development of servo-driven presses.
»Roll Forming and Flow Splitting« deals with the redevelopment and enhancement of forming processes to achieve both technological and economical advantages. Current projects deal with roll forming, incremental bulk forming and hydroforming.
»Tribology« dedicates itself to the characterization and improvement of tribological interactions within system boundaries of tool materials, semi-finished parts and process materials. The institute provides applicable test stands for bulk and sheet metal forming, hydroforming and cutting.
Present researcher focuses on a more efficient and sustainable use of available resources. Key issues of the department smart structures are the manufacturing and the scientific basis of forming functional materials. Furthermore, joining by forming is objective of this department. The research activities cover the broad field between fundamental research on the joint formation and the characteristics of forming functional materials to the manufacturing of complex components with integrated sensors and actuators.