Development of an innovative hot isostatic press for the combined compaction and heat treatment of semi-finished products and components
Powder metallurgically produced components, which must be hot isostatically pressed as well as heat treated, usually pass through these two processes in two separate plants. Up to now, conventionally hot isostatically pressed and heat-treated components had to be cooled to room temperature in the HIP system after hot isostatic pressing, at temperatures of more than 1200 °C in some cases. They are then transported in the air to the heat treatment plant and positioned on a rack suitable for heat treatment. Cooling can take several hours and the heat stored in the plant and in the components is lost. In the additional heat treatment plant required, both the components and the plant must be reheated in order to reach the temperature required for the heat treatment.
The aim of this research project is the development of a novel hot isostatic press (HIP) with integrated, innovative rapid cooling for heat treatment. In addition to pore-free compaction, a defined cooling of the component can be carried out in this new type of plant in order to specifically adjust the material structure and thus the material properties (hardness, strength). The result is the combination of the two energy- and time-intensive process steps of compacting to full density and heat treatment (defined heating of the component to target temperature and subsequent rapid cooling) in an industrial plant. The core of the research project is the design, manufacture and functional testing of a suitable rapid cooling system, which makes it possible to flexibly adapt the cooling rate required for heat treatment to the component geometry, the loading situation of the recipient and the material properties required by the user. Additional investments in a heat treatment plant are not necessary.
The research project with the funding code ZF4042204US6 is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.