EWI Forming Center Consortium – 2022 Research in Progress

The EWI Forming Center Consortium (FCC) is a member-based industry and research group that offers its partners opportunities for cross-industry technical exchange, joint research, and shared services. Its goal is to advance sheet metal forming technology through organized and focused activities as applied to formability, lubricant evaluation, process design, and process innovation.

R&D projects for 2022 include the following:

  • Improvement of the Machine-learning (ML) Based Control Algorithm for Springback
    To improve the smart forming control algorithm, this project is evaluating die friction variation and elastic deflection of tooling in addition to the variation of the incoming material properties using the 3MA NDT sensor. The project will demonstrate upgraded control algorithm with a 3MA NDT sensor, inline camera sensors, lubricant film thickness measurement sensor, and digital twin model to control springback of the S-rail parts for six different sheet materials including Gen3 steel and AA5xxx-6xxx effectively.
  • Stamping Evaluation of Laser-welded Blank Materials
    Three LWB materials of different steel grades and gauges are being studied to obtain the formability limits and the springback variation of the AHSS LWB in conditions near stamping production. The springback change with the LWB will be obtained in stamping with the S-rail tool. The project will deliver recommendations for the welded blank design to avoid weld cracking and early necking.

Members of the FCC have access to all FCC projects, both past and present. Recently completed projects include:

  • Real-time NDE-based Monitoring of Material Properties
  • Intelligent Servo-controlled Forming Vehicle Structures
  • Evaluating Lubricants and Tool Coatings for Warm Forming of Aluminum
  • Automation Enhancement for the Intelligent Servo-controlled Forming Process
  • Effect of Sheet Surface Finish on the Performance of Stamping Lubricants
  • Intelligent Servo Forming for Springback Control
  • Prediction of the Fracture in Forming of the Laser Welded Blank

To learn more about the EWI Forming Center Consortium, contact the FCC Director, Hyunok Kim at [email protected] or visit the EWI FCC webpage.

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PacSci EMC Joins EWI Membership

EWI is pleased to welcome PacSci EMC to membership. The company provides pyrotechnic and energetic material devices and integrated systems that operate on command. From critical systems such as aircraft emergency safety systems to sequencing systems for strategic and tactical missiles, PacSci EMC components can be found in hundreds of applications in commercial aerospace, military, space, oil and gas, and law enforcement industries.

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Additive Manufacturing Consortium Announces Projects for 2022

The Additive Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) is pleased to announce its roster of 2022 projects:
  • Continued Assessment of New Metal AM Technologies – Geared toward following new and emerging technologies in the AM industry, this ongoing project will highlight and evaluate new manufacturers, machines and materials that are coming to the market.  Selected products will be reviewed further, and sample parts obtained for more detailed evaluation of system performance.  
  • Investigation into Low Angle Printing Without Supports – A recent push to develop capabilities for L-PBF printing at low angles without any support has prompted several companies to develop new systems and software toward this end. This project will review these various systems, complete test builds, and evaluate for quality and performance.
  • Optimizing L-PBF Process Parameters for Thin Wall Structures – This project aims to develop and optimize process parameters for creating thin walls (less than 0.5mm thick).  It will examine a variety of factors from processing parameters, build angle, designed vs. actual wall thickness, surface finish and porosity.
  • Continued Investigation into Multi-Laser L-PBF Systems Focusing on Overlap Techniques – This project extends the study of part properties built using various multilaser systems from EOS, SLM & Renishaw. Each system offers a different method of digitally blending the interface between the individual lasers. The goal is to understand the nuances in the blend area and how those methods affect microstructure and porosity.
  • Continued Evaluation of Factors Affecting AS Built Surface Finish on L-PBF – Several past AMC projects have looked at ways to characterize surface finish of AM parts as well as variation in surface finish across the build plate and at various build angles. This project will focus specifically on the relationship and sensitivity of key process variables that can affect surface finish such as surface angle, layer thickness, orientation, contour parameters that affect energy density.  The relation between corrosion and surface roughness will also be studied.

If you would like to learn more about these projects and the AMC, contact Mark Barfoot at [email protected] or click here.

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The EWI Hydrogen Environment Testing Lab

With the passing of the infrastructure bill, the U.S. joins the world at large in making concrete investments in a hydrogen energy future. Transitioning to hydrogen (H2) as a utility-scale fuel source comes with many fundamental materials challenges. There are overarching research needs that relate prolonged service under H2 and degradation of mechanical properties, such as fatigue strength and fracture toughness in metals and polymers alike. To meet these needs, EWI is constructing a dedicated H2 testing lab that will serve the emerging fuels and energy production industry.

Like any potential fuel resource, H2 has a life cycle that includes production, transmission, distribution and end use. Examples of material challenges can be found at each stage along the way from proper materials selection for electrolyzer production to qualification of new materials for the expected service environments through conversion of legacy distribution infrastructure and the effects of H2 on aging materials and components.

The EWI H2 environment testing lab will address these challenges and help inform operational decisions. We are building out 400 sq ft of lab space designed for safe operation based on preventing accumulation of minimum flammability limit of H2 gas. It will be outfitted with a dozen pressure vessels and three load frames for fracture mechanics testing in active hydrogen environments.

A selection of the types of tests we will be able to perform is as follows:

Construction of lab space is expected to be finished in the next few months. Any questions about the lab or the types of testing we will have the capability to perform, contact Josh James ([email protected], 614.688.5094). 

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Developing FGMs via Directed Energy Deposition

Functionally Graded Materials (FGMs) are comprised of a unique mixture of materials blended into specialized superalloys through AM DED. EWI has recently completed R&D to create a set of these materials for the Department of Energy and is working to develop standard methods for modeling and validating FGMs.

This work is discussed in Functionally Graded Materials Enabled by Directed Energy Deposition, written by EWI Additive Manufacturing Engineer Lee Kerwin. You are invited to download this paper, for free, by submitting the form on this page.

If you would like to discuss FGM development work at EWI, please contact Lee Kerwin at [email protected].

To learn about EWI’s other research in additive manufacturing, click here.  

Complete this form to download the paper:

To view the paper, please submit the form above.

Want to contact an EWI expert about a project? Call 614.688.5152 or click here.

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Cyclic Tension-compression Testing for Kinematic Hardening Material Models

Aluminum and advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) have been increasingly applied to automotive structural components which allow for improvements in crashworthiness without corresponding weight increases. However, these materials bring along challenges of controlling or compensating springback in design and production phases.

Excessive springback causes fit and finish issues and is very difficult to eliminate or reduce in production. Therefore, a reliable prediction of springback is important to reduce springback and compensation efforts before the formed part reaches production.

EWI developed a cyclic tension-compression fixture and test method to establish the kinematic hardening material model to be used with the Yoshida-Uemori model. The Yoshida-Uemori model can accurately model springback behavior and based on EWI’s own internal testing can predict springback within 0.5 degrees of experimental testing.

Questions about EWI’s cyclic tension-compression testing? Contact Laura Zoller, Applications Engineer ([email protected], 614.688.5283).

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