Latest news about the open-die forging press P3000

We have been operating the largest free forging press in Switzerland for more than three years now. But working with the 3,000 tonnes, or in other words 30 meganewtons, of pressing force is still not part of our everyday routine.

Having started with comparatively small unit weights, we are gradually approaching the weights and dimensions this impressive forging press was designed for. This means that larger and thus heavier parts can be hotformed evenly and efficiently, allowing us to considerably extend the product range. It is not only the size but also the used material that is particularly relevant in the expenditure of force. If you compare the formability of normal constructional steel with that of high-alloy stainless steel or heat-resistant nickel-based alloy, two or three times as much pressing force respectively is required. The 3,000 tonnes help us to shape all kinds of different metals, even of greater dimensions.  

Normally aluminium alloys are easy to shape, although limits are quickly reached with greater unit weights. It was only with the new forging press that an aluminium blank with a unit weight of 1,800 kg (Ø 670 mm, height 1,900 mm) could be hot-formed corresponding to around 5 tonnes of steel regarding the specific weight. In a pure free forging process, this bolt consisting of the wrought aluminium alloy EN AW-6082 was shaped into a sleeve with an outer diameter of 1,500 mm, wall thickness of 145 mm and height of 1,070 mm.  

Nickel-based alloys (e.g. alloy 625), which are of particular significance in aviation, e.g. as turbine components, are, however, much tougher. The current trend in civil aviation is to deploy ever larger engines and thus ever larger individual parts. And that is where our new forging press comes in. Thanks to our new forging press, it was possible to forge a contoured ring with an outer diameter of 1,400 mm, an inner diameter of 805 mm and a thickness of 40 mm in several steps. In preparation for this, the blank (Ø 350 mm, height 450 mm, weight 371 kg) was reforged and punched into a ring blank and rolled to the outer diameter on our CNC-controlled radial-axial ring rolling mill. But the final operation was to form the ring into the desired shape. As in drop forging, a lower and an upper die were used: these were first designed using reshaping simulations. Once these were completed, the rolled ring could then be placed between the two mould halves with the P3000. This process enabled a much more precise blank design in comparison to the use of, for example, a thicker, flat ring. This not only meant savings in terms of expensive material but also an increase in the stability of the final ring with a design perfectly suited to the strain it will have to withstand.  

The new forging press thus not only facilitates working with larger component dimensions, but also enables the use of more sophisticated and challenging materials that are used for heavy-duty components. The success story with a stream of new challenges will thus continue thanks to our new 3,000 tonnes multifunctional press.