The mechanics of the conform continuous extrusion process
The work describes the programme of activities relating to a mechanical study of the Conform extrusion process. The main objective was to provide a basic understanding of the mechanics of the Conform process with particular emphasis placed on modelling using experimental and theoretical considerations. The experimental equipment used includes a state of the art computer-aided data-logging system and high temperature loadcells (up to 260oC) manufactured from tungsten carbide. Full details of the experimental equipment is presented in sections 3 and 4. A theoretical model is given in Section 5. The model presented is based on the upper bound theorem using a variation of the existing extrusion theories combined with temperature changes in the feed metal across the deformation zone. In addition, constitutive equations used in the model have been generated from existing experimental data. Theoretical and experimental data are presented in tabular form in Section 6. The discussion of results includes a comprehensive graphical presentation of the experimental and theoretical data. The main findings are: (i) the establishment of stress/strain relationships and an energy balance in order to study the factors affecting redundant work, and hence a model suitable for design purposes; (ii) optimisation of the process, by determination of the extrusion pressure for the range of reduction and changes in the extrusion chamber geometry at lower wheel speeds; and (iii) an understanding of the control of the peak temperature reach during extrusion.