In forging, material and energy costs are among the primary elements of total production costs. The material costs total up to 50% for parts made of steel. Besides the cost of forging the part, the subsequent machining also is a major part of the production costs. This is also true for pistons used in combustion engines -- high-performance parts with high requirements for mechanical and thermal properties. Especially in the current market, where performance and efficiency are set by the auto industry’s performance standards, there is a need for new and innovative approaches to meet these requirements.
Currently, pistons for cars are usually aluminum castings. But, in general parts that must withstand high mechanical loads like crankshafts or con-rods for internal-combustion engines usually are forged. Aluminum pistons are forged to increase their mechanical properties -- but they are more expensive.
To address these challenges, researchers at IPH – Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover, undertook to determine the feasibility of a multidirectional forging operation to produce the pin bores as undercuts. In the course of the research project the multidirectional forging will be analyzed using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software.
The full details of the IPH research program are reported in Forging Undercuts in Steel Pistons.