Experimental investigation of process forces and part quality for fine blanking of stainless steel with inductive heating
Fine blanking is a highly productive process of industrial mass production with which high quality components in particular but not exclusively for the automotive industry are produced. The manufacturing process faces its limits at elevated tensile strengths of the materials to be processed. Consequently, high-strength steels can currently only be fine blanked to a limited extent. This can be overcome by lowering the flow stress of high-strength steels by means of inductive heating. A steel of high importance especially for industries with high hygiene standards such as medical and nutrition production is the stainless steel X5CrNi18-10 (1.4301). As a metastable austenitic steel which can initiate cutting impact on the press through martensitization, fine blanking of stainless steel is a challenge. X5CrNi18-10 is not a high-strength steel per se but becomes difficult to process due to the high hardness of the martensite phase, known as transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) effect. Thus, in order to combine the possible advantages of the fine blanking process with inductive heating and the important properties of stainless steel, fine blanking of this steel was investigated with inductive heating prior to the fine blanking. The process forces and product quality properties such as die roll were investigated and found to be advantageous in comparison to non-heated fine blanking specimens of the same steel. The process forces and the die roll height decreased due to the heating.