Laser-assisted metal spinning for an efficient and flexible processing of challenging materials
The demand for components made from high performance materials like titanium or nickel-based alloys as well as strain-hardening stainless steel is steadily increasing. However, conventional forming operations conducted on these materials are generally very laborious and time-consuming. This is where the limitations of metal spinning also become apparent. Using a laser to apply heat localized to the forming zone during metal spinning facilitates to enhance the formability of a material. In order to analyse the potential of the new manufacturing process, experimental investigations on laser-assisted shear forming and multi-pass metal spinning have been performed with austenitic stainless steel X5CrNi18-10, nickel-based alloy Inconel 718 and titanium grade 2. It could be demonstrated that the formability of these materials can be enhanced by laser-assistance. Besides the resulting enhancement of forming limits for metal spinning of challenging materials, the forming forces were reduced and the product quality was improved significantly.