Enhancement of process limits from linear flow splitting
Recent developed processes of linear flow splitting and linear bend splitting enable the production of integral bifurcations at sheet metal. The branched profiles are yet limited to be straight. The transition to flexible geometries enhances the product spectrum as well the capabilities. With the development of the forming process of flexible bend splitting, the last step in the consistent chain to resolve residual restrictions on the design of branched sheet metal parts:
Linear flow splitting: bifurcations at the band edges > linear bend splitting: bifurcations on any place in the plane of sheet metal > flexible flow splitting: non-linear bifurcations at the band edges > flexible bend splitting: non-linear bifurcations on any place in the plane of sheet metal.
The enhancement of the spectrum of producible parts with integral bifurcations is goal of the research project. This goal is to be realized by the forming processes of flexible flow splitting and flexible bend splitting as well as by the combination of these processes with further flexible or conventional forming processes. A process chain of forming methods enables the production of sheet metal parts with flexible, load-adapted and usage-adapted progression of the bifurcation. Residual restrictions concerning position, orientation and progression of the bifurcations will be resolved.
For the realization of non-linear, integral bifurcations in the plane of sheet metals, a novel process chain is to develop. This process chain is to consist of the serial sequence of the forming processes flexible roll forming, flexible bend splitting and flexible roll forming (Figure ). This results in the linkage of three flexible, multi-stage forming processes for the production of dimensionally stable parts with integral bifurcations.
The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).