Tools are used in a wide range of industrial applications and the demands placed on them are increasing. Producing long-lasting tools with the desired properties requires the final properties (mechanical properties, phase composition) and the residual stresses to be suitably distributed. At present, tools are mainly produced by means of metal-cutting manufacturing processes. In addition to metal-cutting manufacturing processes, additive processes such as laser metal deposition (LMD) process are also possible. This manufacturing process has a high degree of flexibility in terms of process control and the choice of materials, which means that the final properties can be distributed in the tool according to requirements. However, this flexibility also complicates the choice of optimal parameters and build-up strategies. The process design work is currently conducted as a complex “trial and error” process. It is difficult to reliably predict the final properties. Methods are needed that enable processes to be designed systematically instead of through the use of “trial and error” and that reduce companies’ expenses.
The aim of the research project is to develop a simulation- and experiment-based method for the reliable prediction and quality assurance of the final properties of the tools that are to be manufactured and their function. The correlations between the characteristics of the build-up process, the distribution of the final properties and the application’s functional properties are to be investigated and established. The aim is to calculate the distribution of the final properties of the tools using a finite element method (FEM) to simulate the build-up process. In addition, the process monitoring is to be linked to the simulation methodology. Process monitoring makes it possible to validate the time-efficient simulation procedure that is to be developed and to perform quality assurance by comparing measured and calculated values.
The project is divided into four phases. Phase one involves defining the requirements in terms of geometry, material, target variables, data collection and test methods. Phase two consists of the development of a process simulation model and the determination of suitable analysis tools and measurement methods. Calculation methods will be developed and optimised and process monitoring is to be made operational. This is to be followed by the validation of the developed calculation methods. A functional analysis of the designed functional components will then be carried out in tests that replicate series production as closely as possible subject to the process strategy.