Hydroforming of Lightweight Aluminum and Magnesium Components from Tube-Development and Commercialization of a Novel Elevated Temperature Hydroforming System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-02ER86141
Agency Tracking Number: 70075T02-II
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
K. Wetzel & Company
P.O. Box 4153, Lawrence, KS, 66046
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Guza
 (614) 789-9890
 guzad@alum.mit.edu
Business Contact
 Kyle Wetzel
Phone: (785) 838-3771
Email: kwetzel@kwetzel.com
Research Institution
 The Ohio State University
 339 Baker Systems Building
1971 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH, 43210
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
70075T02-II Significant fuel cost savings can be realized in the automotive and aerospace industries by employing lightweight materials in the design and fabrication of vehicular components. To date, the exploitation of lightweight magnesium and aluminum alloys in component fabrication has been restricted due to their limited formability at room temperatures in conventional metal stamping processes. Hydroforming is a relatively new forming process that employs the use of a pressurized fluid to expand tubular blanks into a forming die to create efficiently shaped parts. This project will design, fabricate, and test a practical, elevated-temperature, rapid-production, hydroforming system for the production of complex-shaped, lightweight aluminum and magnesium components. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of enhancing the formability of selected aluminum and magnesium alloys at elevated temperatures using a novel tube hydroforming apparatus. Phase II will design, fabricate, and test a new prototype elevated-temperature hydroforming system. Computer modeling will be used in conjunction with testing results to optimize process parameters, in order to enhance component formability. The prototype will offer flexible control features to allow for process optimization. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: A wide application range should exist for hydroforming magnesium and aluminum alloys in the automotive, aerospace, and marine industries. Examples include complex-shaped intake manifolds, auto body frame components, lightweight instrument panels, torque tubes, and fluid transport conduits, to name just a few. Benefits include not only significant energy cost savings due to the use of lightweight alloys in vehicular design, but also more engineering design flexibility to produce more efficient and safer consumer products.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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