Simulation of metal flow

Hydraulico has invested thoroughly in research into the way metal flows inside the press during the drawing process.

Control the flow

Steel temperatures during rail forging
Steel temperatures during rail forging
The behavior of the metal flow in rail forging can be a challenge

Challenges in rail forging

Hydraulico’s engineers have for years been investigating the specific problems concerning the forging of rails for high-speed railways. The process poses several challenges:

1. Heating and cooling of steel may weaken the structure

The heating and cooling of a rail pose the risk of weakening the steel – a structural process known as de-carburizing. An exceptionally precise control of the temperature is vital to success.

2. Controlling the final shape of forged rails can be difficult

The design of the dies is an important parameter to perfect the final shape of the forged rail. Here, Hydraulico Rail Forging System benefits from advanced computer simulations that have been especially developed to refine the die design for optimum shape and minimize cost from die wear.

3. Reducing operation cycle time is crucial

Another important issue in rail forging is the overall speed of the entire production cycle. The temperature of the pre-heated rail, leaving the oven at app. 1.200°C, drops quickly as the forging proceeds. The challenge for Hydraulico’s engineers was to build a production line that could complete all three press operations with just one pre-heating.

Challenges in deep drawing

With deep drawing, material will change signicantly during drawing, often causing problems with wrinkles and cracks.

The Electronic Shimming™ system developed by Hydraulico has two main components: a plate and a control unit. The shimming plate holds individual pockets or zones, each pressurized by hydraulic oil and each controlled individually.

The system allows users to set up pressure zones on the plate, modify pressure during a part run and save the settings for future recall.

Hydraulico offers free computer simulations of specific drawing processes to determine the optimum shimming configuration for your product. Please contact us for more information.