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The transregional collaborative research centre (Transregio) 73 is a joint research initiative of several institutes of each of the involved universities: the Technical University of Dortmund (TUD) , the Leibniz University of Hannover (LUH) and the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). The speaker of the TCRC is Prof. Merklein from the Institute of Manufacturing Technology (LFT) at FAU.


The TCRC "Manufacturing of complex functional components with variants by using a new sheet metal forming process - Sheet-Bulk Metal Forming" was founded in order to develop that new forming technology, sheet-bulk metal forming (SBMF). This new forming technology will unite the advantages of sheet and bulk metal forming processes. Cold forging has among others the advantages of strain hardening during the forming process, high surface quality and near-netshape production. Sheet metal forming enables flat, large workpieces. Both forming technologies provide high productivity in terms of quantity of workpieces. The combination is to exceed the limits of both existing technologies. SBMF is the plastic changing of the shape of a plain semi-finished product not changing the specimens integrity. During the forming process both two- and three-axial strain- and stress conditions as well as changes in shape occur simultaneously or shortly after each other. The TCRC 73 is creating the scientific fundamentals in order to satisfy the increasing demand for individual, easily adjustable, technical systems with ever increasing functional density by means of new forming processes. Forming processes are known to satisfy two main demands of our days; they are highly economic and ressource efficient. In addition forming processes are often applied to produce high value technical systems. However, the conventional bulk and sheet metal forming processes are pushed beyond their limits by todays requirements of functional elements, e.g. synchronisers. By applying bulk forming processes to sheet metal material teh TCRC 73 is providing a significant contribution to the development of forming technologies and thus to the solution of several of todays economical and ecological challenges. Research within the TCRC 73 is aiming at the understanding and application of the possibilities to increased functional density and improved functionality of mechanical workpieces made from sheet metal by means of forming. The higher functionality is a result of and increasing geometrical complexity as well as improved mechanical  properties. 


The central goal and vision of the transregional collaborative research center is the ongoing development of sheet-bulk metal forming with increased workpiece complexity. In this field the an enlargenend scope of design regarding possible workpiece geometries and complexities as well as the numerical modeling of the processes are of special interest. The focii of the ongoing research work are:

  1. Functional integration and extension of sheet metal parts, increase in workpiece complexity
  2. Shortening of process chains and increas of robustness and reliability
  3. Improvement of economic efficiency
  4. Productdevelopment / lot size and production's ability to adapt to variations