UFG-Microstructures by Linear Flow Splitting
Linear flow splitting is a new continuous cold forming process where the edge of a sheet metal is formed into two flanges by splitting and supporting rolls. Thus the production of bifurcated profiles from sheet metal without lamination of material becomes feasible. The production of such structures takes place incrementally in a modified roll forming machine. Experimental investigateons on a HSLA steel show, that even at a surface increase of the sheet edge of about 1800% no cracks were nucleated in the profiles. EBSD measurements in the splitting centre reveal that similar to other SPD processes UFG microstructures develop in the processing zone. Thus a steady state is reached in the processing zone where increasing strain has no more (or little) influence on the materials properties i.e. its deformability, as it is typical for SPD-processes. The formation of UFG microstructures is considered to be a mandatory condition for the linear flow splitting process, as it improves the formability of the material to the extremely high level required for this process. The mechanical properties of profiles produced by linear flow splitting are characterised by large gradients, depending on the local deformation and the resulting microstructure. Very high hardness is measured at the former processing zone, i.e. the splitting centre and the flange surface, where severe plastic deformation takes place and UFG microstructures are present. In direction to lower deformation i.e. with increasing distance to the splitting ground or flange surface the hardness decreases close to the level of the undeformed material. In the present paper the linear flow splitting process is introduced and the microstructural development in the process zone is discussed on the base of EBSD measurements on profiles of the steel ZStE 500. The repartition of mechanical properties in a bifurcated profile is demonstrated by detailed hardness measurements.
Yuri Estrin and Hans Jürgen Maier
C. Müller et al., "UFG-Microstructures by Linear Flow Splitting", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 584-586, pp. 68-73, 2008