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In concrete terms, the simulation tool reproduces damage and failure mechanisms in metallic materials. This information is key for impact intrusion and other mass-forming companies that produce components for cars and machines, among other things. After all, as the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM emphasizes, materials are often taken to the limits of their plasticity during cold forming. What is crucial are pores that either already exist in the starting material or that result during forming, and that could then turn into critical cracks.

The new damage model can now describe when and where pores form for a wide range of materials. Best of all: the model can also be integrated into existing simulation programs for mass forming, meaning manufacturers can continue working with their familiar software. Data gained in the simulation can later be reused to predict a component’s service life.

RWTH Aachen is also researching cold mass forming. According to the researchers, the method’s high material utilization makes it extremely energy- and resource-efficient, making it essential for production technology. Funded by the DFG, their research project carries the somewhat cumbersome title “Uniaxial hydroforming of cold-forged cups on single-action presses.” In short, the project aims to push the limits of the internal high-pressure forming process.