The DGM Expert Committee deals with scientific and industrial issues of mechanical surface treatments with a focus on the improvement of component properties and further development of the processes. It works on a scientifically sound understanding of the relationships between process parameters of mechanical surface treatment, component conditions and the resulting component properties. The meetings take place every six months, alternating between dedicated industry members and university institutes. Members include users from the automotive, aircraft and plant engineering industries, equipment and abrasive manufacturers, service providers and university partners active in the field of mechanical surface treatment. In this way, the Expert Committee serves to promote intensive, interdisciplinary networking.
Deep rolling, shot peening, hardening. Mechanical surface treatment
Mechanical surface treatments such as shot peening and deep rolling are important industrial processes used to strengthen near-surface areas and adjust residual compressive stresses in component areas close to the edges. In many components used in mechanical and plant engineering, automotive technology, or aerospace engineering, this increases the fatigue strength and slows down the process of wear.
When it comes to questions concerning the influence of manufacturing processes on the component surface layer, Germany is scientifically outstanding, even in a global comparison. The same applies to work on optimizing component properties with regard to fatigue, friction, or corrosion. As a result, Germany has distinguished itself in an area that is also attracting steadily increasing international interest. Whereas in the past the scientific focus was on shot peening and its evaluation, today it is more a matter of taking an overall view of all mechanical surface treatment processes, i.e. an integrated approach to "surface engineering". This is an important research approach for the coming years.
Consistent lightweight design via the surface layer
If it proves possible in the future to further improve the strength of materials used by means of mechanical surface treatments, significant results can be expected, especially in lightweight construction. This would result in considerable energy savings in the industrial operation of machines or plants. Above all, however, this development would benefit the high-tech megatrend of mobility when used in cars or aircraft. Here, resources could be used much more effectively - another decisive competitive advantage for Germany as a business location.
Important challenges lie not least in raising awareness of the advantages of mechanical surface treatment, especially in those processes where the idea of "surface engineering" is not yet central, but where component properties can be significantly improved by the processes. In this environment, a differentiated investigation of the robustness of the processes against influences in industrial process chains and under economic aspects will be necessary. Metrologists are also needed to develop sensors for monitoring the process results. Both aspects require more activities in science and applied research.
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