French Forger Starts "Largest, Most Powerful Drop Forge

Siempelkamp guarantees 10 million full-load strokes


Aubert & Duval, a forger in Pamiers, France, has started up a new press designed and built by Siempelkamp Press Systems, which calls the machine one of the largest and most powerful drop-forging systems in the world. A&D will produce titanium and nickel alloy forgings at for gas turbines and landing gear parts.

The company is a supplier to various aircraft and aerospace programs, including the Airbus A380.

As detailed by Siempelkamp, titanium and nickel-based alloys and are forged at comparatively low temperatures, 600°-1,150°C, which calls for very high force over a small area. Siempelkamp states, for comparison, that the force applied by the new Aubert & Duval press equal to 55,000 VW Beetles.

Siempelkamp reports that Aubert & Duval specified “a large and flexible space for fitting the die, high working accuracy, and low press deformation even under extreme concentrations of pressing force and high eccentric pressing and crosswise forces. In this connection the following figures were specified: Crosswise press movement of a maximum of 3.2 mm under a horizontal force of 1,500 tons and space for a die with a height of 4,500 mm.”

The order for a design concept was placed in 2001. Assembly on site started in June 2004, and testing for the four main tie-rods began in October 2004. The first tests of the final machine started early in 2006.

The cast iron and forged press components were produced by Japan Steel Works Co. in Muroran, Japan. More than 1,000 metric tons of ductile cast iron parts (e.g., guide columns, moving sleeves) were produced by Siempelkamp at its own foundry in Krefeld, Germany. Siempelkamp states that the four main cylinders are design for high durability, and are guaranted to perform 10 million full-load strokes.

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