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Products and solutions, 2006-09-27, 10:57 AM

A new level in forging development

The Brazilian company ThyssenKrupp Metalúrgica Campo Limpo has developed a groundbreaking new forging process for manufacturing integrated pistons for diesel engines. The near-net-shape technology, which eliminates some of the customer's processing operations in the forging process, makes the forged blank more than fourteen per cent lighter, reduces processsing time by up to 23 per cent and significantly reduces tool wear.

Increasingly powerful heavy truck diesel engines and stricter emission standards make improvements in forged products unavoidable. These forged components are important for transferring motion in a diesel engine. A wide range of forged components is involved at every stage from the explosion of the compressed fuel in the combustion chamber through to movement of the vehicle. The optimization of pistons, connecting rods and crankshafts has a significant effect on engine performance.

In near-net-shape technology, ThyssenKrupp Metalúrgica Campo Limpo gives the traditional forged piston a new forged geometry close to its final shape. Customer-specific machining and raw material consumption are thereby significantly improved. Near-net-shape forging is sometimes also referred to as close tolerance forging. This emphasizes the objective of achieving the dimensional and surface tolerances required of the end product solely by means of the forging process. A further advantage of near-net-shape forged products is that their mechanical properties are often better than those of a conventionally forged product which has undergone significant machining. The reason for this is that the structural integrity of the forged component, on which the mechanical properties depend, results from the as-forged condition and remains intact. No further machining is needed.

Compared to traditionally forged pistons, the near-net-shape concept represents a new development level in the forging process and for forged products when applied to integrated pistons in diesel engines. The near-net-shape piston opens up new opportunities for auto manufacturers. On the basis of this new forging philosophy, a new product and concept is now available to engine designers which can be used to generate cost reductions and better performance over the entire product life cycle.

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