The AF&M-lab is part of the network of laboratories of the research group on Materials and Innovative Technology (“SMATIgroup”) whose member operate in the scientific area Manufacturing Systems and Technologies (ING-IND/16). The above mentioned network of laboratories is composed by the laboratory of: Physical Simulation of Manufacturing processes (PhySiMaP-Lab), Optimization of Manufacturing Processes by Numerical Simulations (ManOnSim), Metallography and Microscopy (OMM) and Thermo-Physical Characterization of Post-Formed Polymers. All the laboratories are located in Viale Japigia 182 – Bari – Italy (DMMM)
The AF&M-lab is equipped with facilities suitable for the investigation of conventional and innovative sheet metal forming processes, like:
Electro Hydraulic combo press machine (4000 kN) for warm Hydroforming (max pressure: 350bar; max temperature: 300°C) and Superplastic Forming (max pressure: 30bar; max temperature: 1000°C)
Electro Discharge Machine Agie Charmilles (plunge type) for die manufacturing
Nabertherm Furnace for thermal treatments using inert gas (max temperature: 1280°C)
Micrograph facilities for specimen preparation
Microscopes multi-zoom Nikon AZ100M equipped with an image acquisition and data analysis system (Camera Nikon DS-Fi1 with software NIKON ELEMENTS D)
Inverted Metallurgical Microscope Nikon MA200 equipped with an image acquisition and data analysis system (Camera Nikon DS-Fi1 with software NIKON ELEMENTS D)
Micro Harness tester HighWood (Vickers/Knoop)
Roughness tester Mitutoyo SJ 401
Multi processors workstations (2 x equipped with an image acquisition and data analysis system (Camera Nikon DS-Fi1 with software NIKON ELEMENTS D)16cores) for FE simulations
Using a numerical-experimental approach based on the mechanical and deformative behavior (using the facilities in PhySiMaP-Lab and OMM-lab) and on the Finite Element simulations (using the facilities in ManOnSim), in the AF&M-lab can be investigated innovative manufacturing processes characterized by the use (even combined) of laser sources, flexible media (pressurized gas or oil) and warm/hot working conditions, like:
Sheet Hydroforming, in cold (SHF) and warm (WHF) condition;
HydroMechanical Deep Drawing (HMDD);
SuperPlastic Forming (SPF);
Warm Deep Drawing (WDD);
Single Point Incremental Forming (SPIF).
The investigated materials are: deep drawing steels (HMDD), aluminum alloys (SHF, WHF, WDD, SPF), Magnesium alloys (WDD, SPF), Titanium alloys (SPIF, SPF).
Currently in the AF&M-lab are conducted research activities financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research Government and by private companies aimed at investigating: (i) the SPF process for producing highly customized biomedical Titanium prostheses; (ii) the warm forming process for producing parts for railways applications; (iii) the adoption of tailor heat treated blanks for stamping complex shaped aluminum components at room temperature .