ThinKing April - Hybrid combination of forging and selective laser melting reduces weight and enables the construction of complex structures

20.04.2016

 

Using the right process in the right place – that is the guiding lightweighting principle behind Rosswag GmbH in Germany. The company combines the old technology of forging with modern selective laser melting (SLM). In areas where components have a large volume and high-strength is a key requirement, the manufacturer turns to contoured open-die forging. The complex sections of the product are then added through additive manufacturing processes.

Optimized process chain allows for more constructive freedom

The basic idea behind the procedure is to create solid components with a large portion of their material volume as close as possible to the final form through open-die forging. This metal core is highly durable and is crafted in line with the direction of the fiber grain. Afterwards following the CNC processing of the bonding surface, the additive is applied in the SLM® chamber in order to create more complex structures. A recent project has shown the potential of this technology. Thanks to additive manufacturing, this newly developed and optimized process chain allows for more constructive freedom in creating complex geometries and internal structures.

In a case study, the shaped blades of a turbine wheel were added to a solid core through additive processing – including all the concave channels designed for the boundary layer optimization. This creates a physically strong material bond that is fused with the core. Rosswag exploits the advantages of both methods in order to create solid components with complex internal structures in a resource and cost efficient manner. Such structures are much more difficult to manufacture using conventional production processes, if they can even be created at all.

New products can be created rather efficiently despite their high complexity

By combining the two manufacturing methods of forging and selective laser melting, new products can be created rather efficiently despite their high complexity. The goal of Rosswag is to refine and optimize the process and increase the efficiency of the production of certain components. This can be achieved through the combination of the benefits of the two manufacturing processes in the different geometric sections of the product.

Press release