Series parts manufacturing by Infrared Superplastic Forming with numerical techniques for thermal regulation.
Aurock developed direct heating by Infrared bulbs and succeed in forming series 1.5x1m² Ti6Al-4V blanks with a total control of the forming parameters. All these parameters are strongly dependent on the process temperature and a key point with this new technology is to obtain and ensure a homogeneous temperature of the blank all along the forming cycle. This point is achieved thanks to lamp power modulations during the cycle and by numerical techniques to secure the thermal regulation of the blank with a full control of the radiative flux needed at different stage of the forming. Results obtained on the formed parts were stable and repeatable regarding to complete forming and dimensional criterion as well as post-forming thickness distribution. Furthermore, microstructure is not affected by the quick and direct heating. Numerical thermo-mechanical predictions are in very good agreement to the experimental results and enable robust machine setup for series Infrared SPF parts production.