The Feasibility of Multidirectional Forging for Steel Pistons

May 13, 2015
To address the challenges with forging operations related to automotive pistons, Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) experimented with producing pin bores as undercuts.

In forging, material and energy costs are among the primary elements of total production costs. The material costs total up to 50% for parts made of steel. Besides the cost of forging the part, the subsequent machining also is a major part of production costs.

This is also true for pistons used in combustion engines—high-performance parts with high requirements for mechanical and thermal properties. Especially in the current market, where performance and efficiency are set by the auto industry’s performance standards, there's a need for new and innovative approaches to meet these requirements.

Currently, pistons for cars are usually aluminum castings. But, in general, parts that must withstand high mechanical loads like crankshafts or con-rods for internal-combustion engines are usually forged. Aluminum pistons are forged to increase their mechanical properties, but they're more expensive.

To address these challenges, researchers at IPH – Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover, undertook an experiment to determine the feasibility of a multidirectional forging operation to produce the pin bores as undercuts. In the course of the research project, the multidirectional forging will be analyzed using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software.

The full details of the IPH research program are reported in Forging Undercuts in Steel Pistons.