Virtual Testing of Material Heating for a Semi-Solid Forming Process

Document Type : Original Article


Senior lecturer, RNDr. Mária Behúlová, PhD., Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Faculty of Materials Science and Technology in Trnava, Paulinska 16, 917 24 Trnava, Slovak Republic, Tel.: +421 33 5511601.


The research in the field of forming processes is focused on the development of novel progressive technologies leading to the significant enhancement of production efficiency and quality of final products by concurrent decrease in manufacturing costs and energy requirements on single production operations. Considerable microstructure refinement and homogenity increase belong to the typical consequences of rapid cooling and non-equilibrium solidification of melts. The fundamental
physical and metallurgical principles of rapid solidification processing can be exploited by the manufacturing of small products using the forming in semi-solid state. Thixoforming requires the material heating to higher temperatures in comparison with conventional hot forming technologies. However, considering the small volumes of heated material, effective direct electrical heating methods, induction heating or heating in electromagnetic levitation can be exploited with many advantages. After semiproduct heating to the temperatures between solidus and liquidus, the material is formed in an open or closed die ensuring the intensive heat extraction from treated material and its rapid solidification. As a result of the forming in semi-solid state, the product with very accurate shape, fine microstructure and specific material properties can be obtained. The paper deals with the computer testing of direct electric heating of high alloyed tool steel
for a semi-solid forming process using the program code ANSYS. The influence of chosen geometrical and technological parameters on the temperature distribution in heated semiproducts is evaluated.