Analysis and modeling of hot extrusion die for its service life enhancement

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Saudi Digital Library
Aluminum extrusion finds extensive application in the construction, automobile and aerospace industries. High pressures, elevated temperatures, complex and intricate section geometries lead to repeated mechanical and thermal stresses in the die and affiliated tooling. Product rework and rejects can be traced back to various defects spread over the die life cycle: die design, die manufacture and heat treatment, process parameters, inprocess die maintenance/correction and, billet type and quality. Therefore, improved and efficient service life of die and related tooling used in the extrusion press is one the most important factors in maximizing productivity and minimizing cost for ensuring the economical efficiency of an aluminum extrusion plant. How often a die has to be scrapped and replaced with a new one directly contributes to the commercial viability of producing a certain profile. The focus of the current work is on three distinct yet inter-related studies pertaining to the improvement of aluminum extrusion die. Study-A (Die Failure Analysis) is an investigation of various modes and critical failure types based on industrial data (Chapter-2 ), examination of failed dies and finite element simulation for identification of critical process parameters and design features in die fatigue-life (Chapter-3). In Study-B (Die Surface Hardening Treatment), two-stage controlled gas nitriding process for H13 steel is evaluated, both experimentally and numerically, in terms of nitrided case morphology and properties (Chapter-4) followed by experimental and numerical investigation of the effects of repeated nitriding (Chapter-5), pre-nitriding surface preparation (Chapter-6) and die profile geometry (Chapter-7) on nitriding performance in regard to die service life. In Study-C (Effect of Billet Quality on Die Life), the effect of billet quality and related influencing extrusion parameters on the die service life is investigated based on industrial data and some regression-based die life models are proposed (Chapter-8 ). This is followed by a detailed microstructural investigation of different billet samples and finite element analysis of extrusion process to observe the influence of smelter (primary) and recycled (secondary) billets on the useful life of extrusion die (Chapter-9).