Forming of light metals

High strength aluminum

Lightweight construction is strongly linked to the material of aluminum, especially in the automotive industry. Mainly 5000 and 6000 series alloys are used as semi-finished sheet products. They offer low to medium strengths and moderate forming capacity, which allows for their extensive utilization in car bodies. When using 7000 series aluminum alloys, further components, which are currently still manufactured using high strength steels, can be substituted by lighter aluminum components, resulting in weight savings. The 7000 series aluminum alloys offer high strength in the cured state and very high forming capacity in the soft state. In order to enable mass production using these aluminum materials, our research activities focus on developing process routes for forming and on determining the forming limits.

  • Fast and graded heating of blanks
  • Lightweight motorcycle cases
  • Aluminum component formed by hot metal gas
  • Door handle cavity
  • Graded high strength aluminum materials

  • Substitution of high strength steels by high strength aluminum alloys
  • Weight reduction while maintaining the same properties (e.g. crash performance)
  • Development of reliable technologies for mass production

Development of process chains

  • Performing market analyses
  • Concepts and evaluation of process routes
  • Process optimization
  • Cost-benefit calculation
  • Development of manufacturing concepts
  • Planning and technological dimensioning of processes, tools and machines

Development and evaluation of forming strategies

  • Development of market analyses
  • Performing heat treatments
  • Development of heating and cooling strategies
  • Determination of process windows and process limits
  • Benchmarking
  • Numerical simulation
  • Manufacturing of prototypes
  • Component measurement

Material characterization

  • Determination of mechanical technological characteristic values
  • Determination of thermal characteristic values
  • Structural investigations

Machine technology

  • Multiple acting presses with hydraulic, mechanical and servo motor drives (press forces up to 16,000 kN)
  • Chamber furnaces and induction tempering systems
  • Handling systems (e.g. KUKA robot KR150)
  • Abrasive waterjet cutting unit
  • Laser cutting unit
  • Hydraulic blanking shear (length of cutting blade 3,100 mm)
  • Unit for high-speed shearing
  • Hydraulic press PYZ 250
  • Servo-hydraulic tryout press EHP 1600


  • FEM: Abaqus, LS-Dyna, PAM-Stamp, AutoForm

Test technology

  • Erichsen sheet metal and strip testing machine 145
  • Tensile testing machine Zwick 1475 with high temperature capability
  • High speed tensile testing machine Zwick HTM 16020
  • Tempered strip draw tester with 90 °C bending angle
  • Biaxial tensile testing machine Zwick
  • GOM 3D contour, displacement and strain measurement equipment
  • ViALUX AutoGrid® deformation analysis equipment