The Quintus High Pressure Warm Forming process (HPWF) could reduce the cost and fabrication time of titanium-6Al-4V parts. (Photo courtesy Quintus Technologies.)
The Quintus High Pressure Warm Forming process (HPWF) could reduce the cost and fabrication time of titanium-6Al-4V parts. (Photo courtesy Quintus Technologies.)

Thermal processing company Quintus Technologies has developed a new process, High Pressure Warm Forming (HPWF), that uses high pressure with a moderately elevated temperature for the forming of titanium parts.

The new process could hasten adoption of Ti-6Al-4V, a grade of titanium that has high strength, light weight, formability, and high corrosion resistance, the company said, by lowering the cost of forming.

‘In the aviation industry alone, market projections call for close to 35,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft to be built over the next two decades,’ said Sture Olsson, global business development manager at Quintus. ‘These new models will consume less fuel and have a lighter environmental footprint. The lightweight properties of Ti-6Al-4V are integral to a fuel-efficient design strategy.’

Currently, conventional milling has a scrap rate that can approach 70%, and hot forming processes, which take place at temperatures of above 1300°F (700°C), require an oxygen-free process atmosphere and entail several lengthy steps, Quintus said. HPWF can improve on these methods by introducing an induction heating system to warm the blank-and-tool package to approximately 520°F (270°C) – below the temperatures where a protective gas is required –before entering Quintus’ Flexform press. The press applies high pressure (20,000 psi/140 MPa) to a flexible rubber diaphragm in conjunction with a rigid tool half to form complex sheet metal parts to final shape. A complete HPWF cycle, from heating and loading to forming and unloading, takes less than five minutes, according to the company, while forming at relatively low temperatures enables quick cooling.

‘Overall, the efficiencies generated by the new Quintus process dramatically boost the production capacity for Ti-6Al-4V parts, increasing throughput by a factor of five over traditional hot forming processes,’ Quintus said.

‘We are very excited to offer this new, highly efficient technology to industries seeking to expand their Ti-6Al-4V applications, particularly in the aerospace, medical, and marine sectors,’ said Jan Söderström, CEO.

This story uses material from Quintus, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.