Semi-Solid Metal Processing – A Process Looking for a Market
The birth of Semi-Solid Metal Forming (SSM) or as it has now come to be widely known, Thixoforming, is a typical case of development of a technological innovation. Serendipity, stroke of luck, call it what you may, the beginning of SSM is based on an almost accidental discovery by a student carrying out a series of meticulous experiments. On the one hand, some technological failures have contributed to the lack of success across the board for SSM technologies. On the other hand, the ‘long childhood’ of the resulting technology or the process of moving from ‘Innovative Idea to Market' has been largely the result of difficult and in hindsight sometimes wrong managerial decisions, occasional personality clashes, patent rights and at times unavoidable all out business 'warfare'. Of course, hindsight is beautiful but unfortunately it always comes after the event. However, if one looks carefully at some of the notable successes of SSM forming one can discern that the problems were more on the human scale; people failures rather than technology failures. This paper aims to bring out some of these points by outlining the historical development of Thixoforming.
G. Hirt, A. Rassili, A. Bührig-Polaczek
P. Kapranos "Semi-Solid Metal Processing – A Process Looking for a Market", Solid State Phenomena, Vols. 141-143, pp. 1-8, 2008