Project: New Cryogenic-based thermochemical treatments for production of high-performance Al-extrusion-dies

The present proposal aims at developing new and short cryogenic-based thermochemical treatments for the manufacturing of high-performance aluminium extrusion dies, with an optimum combination of material and mechanical properties. Industrial needs are within the extrusion plants producing aluminium profiles for the engineering, construction and automotive sectors, and for which longer durabilities and higher performance of dies, while maintaining the dimensional tolerances and surface quality of extrudate profiles, are strongly demanded.The main objective consists on the reduction of cost for treatment of dies (by reducing the total energy used and treatment time) compared to the other materials and engineering solutions that require higher monetary and investment efforts. Therefore, a reduction of the current heat-treatment time from 25-30 hours down to about 15 hours will be searched during the project, together with an increase of around 10-15% of extrusion-dies durability. Technical objectives will be the development of a new-short-cycling deep cryogenic treatment (DCTnew), which will be combined with 1 tempering step prior to the final nitriding step. The duration for the DCTnew should be under 6 hours, which is almost 1/4 to 1/6 of that used for a conventional cryogenic treatment. Also, the 3 tempering steps applied after quenching within the conventional heat-treatment will be shortened down to only 1 tempering step. Finally, higher improvements of dies durability will be expected through the utilization of conventional chemical PVD-coating compositions (such as, CrN, TiN or AlTiN) combined with a subsequent DCT. Main processing innovation would be the utilization of a combined DCT + 1 tempering step + nitriding step to produce the metallurgical transformations of tool steel-die and, at the same time, to promote nitrogen diffusion along the steel-die surface layer. Also, an increase of the resistance to adhesive and abrasive wear of the outer surface layer of extrusion-dies (white layer within surface nitrided or PVD coating) will be attained after final DCT. Here, a detail study of the cryogenic treatment after PVD deposition on the delamination behaviour and resistance to aluminium chemical attack of coatings will be addressed. Thereafter, important economical benefits are derived from the reduction of maintenance and dead times of extrusion dies, decreasing of extrusion-dies cost and increasing of extrusion speeds due to the enhancement of die performance. Rapid implementation of this cryo-based technology will be possible due to the reduced cost of existing cryogenic equipments for DCT and the required low liquid nitrogen consumption. The present proposal aims at developing new and short cryogenic-based thermochemical treatments for the manufacturing of high-performance aluminium extrusion dies, with an optimum combination of material and mechanical properties. Industrial needs are within the extrusion plants producing aluminium profiles for the engineering, construction and automotive sectors, and for which longer durabilities and higher performance of dies, while maintaining the dimensional tolerances and surface quality of extrudate profiles, are strongly demanded.The main objective consists on the reduction of cost for treatment of dies (by reducing the total energy used and treatment time) compared to the other materials and engineering solutions that require higher monetary and investment efforts. Therefore, a reduction of the current heat-treatment time from 25-30 hours down to about 15 hours will be searched during the project, together with an increase of around 10-15% of extrusion-dies durability. Technical objectives will be the development of a new-short-cycling deep cryogenic treatment (DCTnew), which will be combined with 1 tempering step prior to the final nitriding step. The duration for the DCTnew should be under 6 hours, which is almost 1/4 to 1/6 of that used for a conventional cryogenic treatment. Also, the 3 tempering steps applied after quenching within the conventional heat-treatment will be shortened down to only 1 tempering step. Finally, higher improvements of dies durability will be expected through the utilization of conventional chemical PVD-coating compositions (such as, CrN, TiN or AlTiN) combined with a subsequent DCT. Main processing innovation would be the utilization of a combined DCT + 1 tempering step + nitriding step to produce the metallurgical transformations of tool steel-die and, at the same time, to promote nitrogen diffusion along the steel-die surface layer. Also, an increase of the resistance to adhesive and abrasive wear of the outer surface layer of extrusion-dies (white layer within surface nitrided or PVD coating) will be attained after final DCT. Here, a detail study of the cryogenic treatment after PVD deposition on the delamination behaviour and resistance to aluminium chemical attack of coatings will be addressed. Thereafter, important economical benefits are derived from the reduction of maintenance and dead times of extrusion dies, decreasing of extrusion-dies cost and increasing of extrusion speeds due to the enhancement of die performance. Rapid implementation of this cryo-based technology will be possible due to the reduced cost of existing cryogenic equipments for DCT and the required low liquid nitrogen consumption.

Acronym EXTRUSIONIC (Reference Number: ESM-1851)
Project Topic Multi-functional materials
Network MATERA+
Call Matera+ Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 AIMEN Technology Centre Coordinator Spain
2 Universitá di Trento Partner Italy
3 CANSAN ALUMINYUM PROFIL INSAAT SANAYI ve TICARET A.S. Partner Turkey
4 ONAT PROFIL VE ALASIM SAN. TIC. LTD. STI. Partner Turkey
5 TECHNION Partner Israel
6 Vacuum S.p.A. Partner Italy