alutec Metallwaren GmbH + Co. KG

Forming with almost no limit

Cooperative partners alutec and HEATform will present their unique forming methods, alutec’s impact extrusion followed by HEATform’s unique hot expansion gas forming, in combination for the first time at the International Tube and Pipe Trade Fair; “Tube”, in Dusseldorf, Germany from April 12th to 16th 2010 in Hall 6 booth D35. The combination of these methods allows new freedom in product designs using strong, light metals. The result is innovative and economical production of hollow aluminum bodies, meeting not only the need to manufacture in an environmentally friendly manner; but also the stringent quality and volume requirements of the automotive industry.

Sternenfels/Wiesbaden, February 2010 – Innovative production methods and an intelligent use of raw material is Imperative in industry to stay competitive and to meet future market demands. Selling products in competitive markets often requires new product development and design. Accepted limits of forming technologies are being pushed aside to ensure distinct and high value products can be brought to market.
The cooperation of these companies is very promising and a big step towards fulfilling these demands. The focus of the cooperation is cost competitive, volume production of hollow bodies for the automotive industry. Combining these two unique forming methods will enable the production of a new generation of lightweight product designs. The aluminum blanks will be produced by alutec using impact extrusion technology and then hot formed with HEATform’s industry leading method of hot metal gas forming (HMGF), which adds a complete new dimension to the blank. HEATforming allows the near net shape production of parts with a new expanded freedom in design. Even complex three dimensional forms with axial and radial undercut can be realized. With HEATforming, the existing material choice and expansion limits of Hydroforming and the severe cycle time limits of superplastic forming (SPF) are pushed aside. The combination of these two methods even allows many castings to be improved where light weight, strength, and material property preservation are demanded.
The partnership also provides full post processing capabilities like mechanical machining, surface finishing, and heat treatment allowing finished products to be shipped to end customers. The current portfolio of product groups includes electronic module bodies, containers, housings, handles, crash boxes, air springs, air intake tubes and decorative trim.

Both partners are seeing potential for continued process enhancements based on the results of recent joint development efforts. ”Our leading engineers have been working at the alutec facility since the beginning of the year to optimize the process” explains Karl Kipry, CEO of HEATform. ”Our existing, certified infrastructure for automotive serial production includes simulation, engineering analysis, tool development, heat treatment, mechanical post-processing and advanced metrology allowing us to provide rapid prototypes which are then optimized for series production” amends Stefan Kretz, Managing Director of alutec.

Both cooperative partners will be jointly presenting their new product offering for the first time at the International Tube and Pipe Trade Fair "Tube" in Düsseldorf, Germany from April 12th to 16th, 2010 in Hall 6 booth D35.

Since many manufacturers, Tier One suppliers and OEMs are actively searching for new forming technologies and products, this debut exhibition will be attracting the attention of the manufacturing industry.