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Application potential of aluminum foam sandwich: A case study of a tooling machine componentThursday (08.10.2020) 14:00 - 14:20
Aluminum foam sandwich (AFS) with cover sheets made of aluminum or steel is an innovative sandwich material for designing lighter products. It is characterized by a high specific stiffness and a high mechanical energy absorption capacity.
Despite the numerous advantages of the material, the wide application in industry has to deal with obstacles. Revealed by researchers, these obstacles are mainly driven by costs, next to methodological challenges for the designer: A lack of reference applications, a lack of knowledge of the appropriate location and of the most suitable joining technology are the most frequent ones mentioned by practitioners.
The contribution presents a component of a tooling machine that could be substituted by AFS. As a first design step, an approach for a corresponding selection method is given. The selected component is a stiffening rib of a modular milling machine, which has previously been manufactured as a welded construction out of steel sheets. It is affected by loads due to the movements of the moving table and the spindle as well as the cutting forces between tool and work piece. An investigation has shown that the use of AFS with steel cover sheets in this case allows a weight reduction of about 20 % with the same stiffness. In addition to lightweight aspects, the use of AFS in this application with moving components has further advantages regarding the dynamic behavior and energy efficiency of the system due to the damping and vibration-reducing effect of the aluminum foam.
Employing AFS in this particular case, the beam can be designed in different ways, for example as a welded construction in combination with AFS and plates or as a continuous AFS construction using the routing and folding method. Hence, a special focus is put on the various AFS joining technologies and the advantages that result from the different designs.