Manufacturing of thin sheet metal materials

Mass savings in lightweight materials? It’s possible!

Thin sheet metal materials are generally defined as cold rolled sheet metal of soft, unalloyed steel with sheet thicknesses up to 0.49 mm. These materials are mainly applied in the packaging industry, which places particular requirements on their surface quality (suitable for printing, suitable for food packaging). Furthermore, as little mass as possible shall be utilized while maintaining or increasing functionality (axial load, compressive stress). In order to meet these demands, optimized geometrical designs can be used as well as super high strength materials and novel process technologies. For this purpose Fraunhofer IWU analyzes and optimizes feasibility and process capability by applying the finite element method (FEM).

  • Mass reduction of lightweight materials

  • Use of alternative processes (active energy, active medium)
  • Use of super high strength materials with lower sheet thicknesses (0.1 mm)
  • Use of novel process technologies (embossing, shaping)

Development of process chains

  • Market analysis
  • Investigation of process chains
  • Process optimization
  • Cost-benefit calculation
  • Development of manufacturing concepts
  • Planning and technological dimensioning of processes, tools and machines

Development and evaluation of forming strategies

  • Market analysis
  • Feasibility studies
  • Technology development
  • Development of characteristic process values and optimal forming strategies
  • Benchmarking        
  • Numerical simulation
  • Manufacturing of prototypes

Machine technology

  • Hydraulic tryout press EHP4-1600 with multi-point die cushion and high-speed-system (press force: 16,000 kN, table size: 4,000 mm x 2,500 mm)
  • Multi-servopress MSP4-2000-2.5x1.2-400 (4 main drives, maximum compressive force 2,000 kN, ram speed 280 mm/s, table dimensions 2,500 x 1,200 mm)
  • Hydraulic double-column frame press HD 315 (press force: 3,150 kN, table size: 800 mm x 1,000 mm)
  • Hydraulic double-column press PYZ 250 with multi-point die cushion (press force: 2,500 kN, table size: 1,700 mm x 1,250 mm)
  • Hydraulic C-stand press CLDZ 250 with die cushion (press force: 2,500 kN, table size: 1,060 mm x 780 mm)


  • Sheet metal forming: LS-Dyna, Pam-Stamp, Autoform
  • General simulation: Abaqus, ANSYS
  • Statistical analysis / optimizers: MATLAB, TOSCA, LS-OPT, Cornerstone

Testing technology

  • Material testing technology (determination of mechanical characteristic values)
  • Metallography laboratory
  • High speed cameras
  • Optical deformation analysis (GOM, Vialux)