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Near-Net-Shape Forming of Mechanical Components By Al Alloys Thixoforming
Published July 02, 1997 by Associazione Tecnica Dell'Automobile in Italy
The new requirements of the car market (weight reduction, low pollution, less fuel consumption, more comfort, high safety standards, etc.) and above all the new techniques of codesign with the suppliers and with the final customer, help forecasting for the beginning of next century a real revolution in the way of designing and producing cars (integration of more functions in the same component, limited series in relation to a greater personalization, just-in-time production brought to the extreme limits, etc.)
All this will necessarily cause a reexamination and a deep innovation also of the process and of the manufacturing technologies of the components; this, to say the truth is already in means since some years on the push of the necessity of replacement of material with the aim of lightening, of improving the quality and the entrustment of the product of simplification of the manufacturing cycle.
One of the main innovation in the field of the light alloy for the manufacturing of mechanical components for the employment in the automotive industry, is certainly forming in the semisolid state and in a particular way the thixoformation, that has already been consolidated industrially and in which STAMPAL is the European leader with its SeSoF® process.
The principal reason for the success of this technology lies on the fact that it allows to combine the economical advantages of the near-net-shape, typical of casting processes, with high standard mechanical characteristics similar to those deriving from plastic deformation processes, such as forging.