Viktor Holstein and Matthias Hermes from Fachhochschule Südwestfalen, Iserlohn, Germany, and A. Erman Tekkaya from Technische Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany present their findings on incremental die bending of wires and tubes.
Incremental die bending involves inserting a round bar, tube, or profile through a moveable forming device into a die or a die system form with segmental support (Fig. 1), fixed in a clamping device. The bent part is created by moving the forming device along the groove of the die and the synchronous feeding of the profile into the groove.
The feed unit enables active axial tracking or superposition of tensile or compressive forces in the longitudinal axis of the profile. The superimposition is achieved by slowing or accelerating the profile feed. Thus, the forming device enables the superposition of tensile stress or compressive stress in the bending process.
Twisting the forming device around the longitudinal axis can superpose additional torsional stress. The bending geometry is from the tool design.
This either consists of a groove-line design (Fig. 1a) or of segments (Fig. 1c). A heating device can be integrated to form larger cross sections or high-strength materials, (Fig. 1b). With targeted cooling, the profile can be tempered. Incremental die bending has advantages over previous manufacturing processes.
Form-based bending can produce almost any geometry with high accuracy and complexity. Loops can be bent collision free without an interstage. With additional stress superposition, bending can be influenced, similar to stretch bending. The low tool costs result from workpiece production occurring in one station. The die groove can be machined by mounting a milling tool instead of forming tool.
This process has high potential for producing prototypes and smaller production-lots, and allows high feed speed setting. During the experiments, speeds of 1000 mm/min were used. The high speed during the bending enables implementing larger production-lots. The process can be applied to all formable materials.
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