Joachim Steffenburg-Nordenström, forskarstuderande inom produktionsteknik vid Högskolan Väst och anställd vid GKN Aerospace Sweden AB, presenterar sin licentiatuppsats med titeln "Process chain simulation of forming, welding and heat treatment of Alloy 718".
Professor Jesper Henri Hattel, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Professor Robert Pederson, Institutionen för ingenjörsvetenskap, Högskolan Väst
Manufacturing of aero engine components requires attention to residual stress and final shape of the product in order to meet high quality product standards. This sets very high demands on involved manufacturing steps to meet design requirements. Simulation of manufacturing processes can therefore be an important tool to assure quality.
The focus in this work is on simulation of a manufacturing process chain comprising of sheet metal forming, welding and a stress relief heat treatment. Simulation of sheet metal forming can be used to design a forming tool design that accounts for the material behaviour e.g. spring back and avoid problems such as wrinkling, thinning and cracking. Moreover, the simulation can also show how the material is stretched and work hardened. The residual stresses after forming may be of local character or global depending on the shape that is formed. However, the heat affected zone due to welding is located near the weld. The weld also causes large residual stresses with the major component along the weld. It is found that the magnitude of the residual stresses after welding is affected by remaining stresses from the previous sheet metal forming. The final solution treatment will relax these residual stresses caused by e.g. forming and welding. However, this causes additional deformations.
The main focus of this study is on how a manufacturing process step affects the subsequent step when manufacturing a component of the nickel-based super alloy 718. The chosen route and geometry is a simplified leading edge of an exhaust case guide vane. The simulations were validated versus experiments. The computed deformations were compared with measurements after each manufacturing step. The overall agreement between experiments and measurement was good. However, not sufficiently accurate considering the required tolerance of the component. It was found from simulations that the residual stresses after a complete chain were not negligible.
Special experiments were performed for studying the stress relief in order to understand how the stresses evolve through the heat treatment cycle during relaxation. It was found that the stresses were reduced already during the beginning of the heating up sequence due to decreasing Young´s modulus and yield stress with increasing temperature. Relaxation due to creep starts when a certain temperature was reached which gave a permanent stress relief.