Innovative Eco-Friendly Metal Processing Solution

A talented group of researchers from the Faculty of Technical Sciences of the University of Novi Sad has been developing a new metal processing technology which combines several modern techniques and meets the most stringent environmental requirements.

Commonly used metals in the field of production engineering still include different types of steels (carbon and alloy steels), because they are more environmentally suitable. Steel processing is performed using different technologies (processing by cutting, deforming, casting, welding and other procedures), and modern production is moving more and more towards eco-friendly technologies. Substitution of high temperature methods of processing with low temperature ones is becoming the growing trend in the field of forming materials by plastic deformation. The cold forming processes provide savings in materials and energy, as well as reducing heat radiation, consumption of raw materials, and waste production. The emission of toxic gases and particles, which follow the high temperature processing (metal oxides, dust, vapors of cooling lubricants, etc.) is also greatly reduced.

Within the Eureka project E! 5005 – INNECO-MPS – Innovative eco-friendly metal processing solution, a group of researchers from the Faculty of Technical Sciences (FTN), the University of Novi Sad, led by Professor Miroslav Plancak, have been developing an optimal technology which will improve the techno-economic and environmental effects of production in machine building. The aim of this project is the development of an eco-friendly solution for shortened production chains of forged and rolled parts, made of light alloys and steels, while enhancing the quality of the end result.

A New Technology towards less waste

The production process of products with complex configurations is realized by applying an orbital forging technology and with the use of biodegradable lubricants. By performing the orbital forging technique, the workpiece is obtained through the incremental combination of compacting and rolling. The advantage of its application compared to alternative technologies is diverse: a smaller force deformation is required, a higher deformation prior to surface cracking is possible, less tool wear, better surface quality, and production of high-quality parts with complex geometry is enabled. “It is very important to mention that the application of this new technology contributes to environmental protection and lower energy consumption. The possibility of processing hard deformable materials is achieved, too. By applying continuous forging, instead of cyclical, vibrations and noise are reduced, while environmentally-sound, biodegradable materials are used as coolants and lubricants”, says Professor Plancak.

One of the current development trends in the field of volume deformation is the re-using of scrap material (chips). According to this technology, the scraps (chips) are pre-processed by a compacting procedure to achieve proper mechanical properties for further forming operations. Preliminary research, implemented under the project E! 5005 – INNECO-MPS, includes compressing of various shaped machining chips into the billets whose mechanical properties were studied as a function of the chip geometry, and processing parameters (pressure, temperature). Based on the experimental results, the further application of such workpieces in actual conditions of production was considered.

In addition to creating an innovative substitution of the technology which fulfills all of the main goals of modern manufacturing, researchers from FTN also offered a strategy for tools and the solution to machinery problems in this area. Their plan is to apply this innovative technological solution in the industrial plant Zastava Kovacnica in Kragujevac, Serbia.


Source: www.inovacionifond.rs