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Seamless ring components used in rotating machinery and fluid transfer applications are ring rolled into large semi-finished rings and machined to final shape, removing up to 90% of the starting material. Producing near net shape rings by ring rolling presents a challenge: even with dedicated toolsets, controlling the flow of material from preform to final shape is difficult and currently requires large development effort.
A University of Cambridge research team, with input from supply chain stakeholders, has delivered a step change in the productivity of making profiled rings. Their new process demonstrates both greater control over material flow during forming, and the ability to produce a range of near net shape profiles without dedicated tooling sets. Their process results in material and energy savings of 25-50%, a significant reduction in processing requirements, eliminates tool set up time, and increases process stability.
The principal users of this technology are likely to be forging companies in the supply chain for industrial equipment such as transport equipment, electricity generation, mechanical assemblies.