Research Group Materials Testing



Michel Henze

Group Manager


+49 241 80 95927



The materials testing group is responsible for the determination of material properties and process boundary values, as well as their preparation for the use in process simulation and material modelling tools. The properties can be determined either directly from the measured data or by a subsequent inverse modelling. A particular focus of the group is the process related characterization of microstructure evolution.


Hot-Gas-Bulge Test

Annealed steel sheet in hot gas bulge test Copyright: © IBF Annealed steel sheet in hot gas bulge test

With the hot gas bulge test, the IBF is researching a novel test method for determining material data for virtual testing and design of hot stamping processes. A pneumatic bulge test for steel sheets has been developed for this purpose. The bulge test consists basically of two rings fixing a sheet metal. The sheet metal is then loaded with a controlled gas pressure, which causes the sheet to bulge through one of these rings. Although the controlled gas forming of sheets is challenging, flow curves in the temperature range of 600 to 950 °C can be obtained at constant strain rates up to 0.5 1/s.
In addition to the material data determination for steel, the flow curve determination for high temperature sheet forming of aluminium with the hot gas bulge test is also being investigated. The softer material behaviour of aluminium compared to steel as well as the high reflectivity of aluminium in combination with a large surface expansion lead to further challenges regarding gas control as well as optical strain measurement, which are being researched at the IBF.

For further information, please contact Karl Tilly.

  Hot gas bulge test

Investigation of Bond Formation and Failure of Metallic Alloys

Hot glowing steel specimens during bond investigation Copyright: © IBF Hot glowing steel specimens during bond investigation

Roll bonding enables the targeted combination of different materials and thus their mechanical and thermal properties in a single material composite. However, the connection created under pressure load can tear up again due to shear stress at the end of the roll gap. Thus, industrial production requires very long process chains, which are often determined by trial and error. In order to allow for a knowledge based design of such process chains, a basic experiment, using the torsion plastometer TA STD 812, was developed at the Institute of Metal Forming to characterize bond formation and failure. In this test, the connecting partners are heated inductively and joined under combined pressure and shear stress. After bond formation, the strength can be tested at deformation temperature under a combination of tensile, compressive and shear stress. The procedure thus enables testing under near-process conditions.

For further information, please contact Tobias Teeuwen.

  Investigation of bond formation and failure

Thermal Characterization of Surface Contacts

Test rig for determining the contact thermal resistance Copyright: © IBF Test rig for determining the contact thermal resistance

For simulations of annealing processes of coiled metal strips, knowledge of the effective thermal conductivity in radial direction is indispensable. This is lower than the thermal conductivity in axial direction due to the high contact thermal resistance that occurs during heat transport in radial direction. The contact thermal resistance is a parallel connection of three thermal resistances of basic heat transfer mechanisms and therefore depends on various influencing factors. In cooperation with the Institutes of Industrial Furnace and Heat Engineering as well as Mineral Engineering, the IBF is developing a test rig with which the contact thermal resistance can be indirectly determined from measured temperature values up to temperatures of 1250 °C and contact pressures of 25 MPa. Other parameters that are varied within the test campaigns are the material, the surface roughness profile and the ambient atmosphere with up to 100 % hydrogen. The measured values obtained serve to validate an analytical model and can be used in the simulation of hot forming process chains.

For further information, please contact Daniel Petrell.


Friction Determination With Extended Conical Tube-Upsetting Test

Glowing conical tube specimen before and after upsetting Copyright: © IBF Glowing conical tube specimen before and after upsetting

The conical tube-upsetting test is used to determine the friction coefficients for different friction models. Similar to the ring compression test, which is also available at the institute, the geometric change of the specimen is measured and evaluated by means of nomograms. The conical contact surface suppresses the occurrence of static friction and thus enables more homogeneous test conditions, even under high prevailing friction. In addition, a blue line laser has been added to the test setup in order to record the contour change during forming. These measured values can be used on the one hand for the inverse determination of the prevailing friction and on the other hand for the examination of the change in friction during the compression process. The test setup allows the testing of workpiece temperatures up to approx. 1200 °C. In addition, the tools can be preheated to temperatures of up to 300 °C.

For further information, please contact Michel Henze.

  Process Video of Conical Tube-Upsettung Test

Single-tooth coils with variable cross-section using forming technology

Laboratory tool of multi-stage upsetting Copyright: © IBF Laboratory tool of multi-stage upsetting

Although distributed windings have electromagnetic advantages in electric traction drives with a central motor, the electric wheel hub motor represents an application in traction drives where concentrated windings are to be preferred. Due to the compact design of concentrated windings in the axial direction in combination with the highly limited installation space, the maximum torque density of the electric wheel hub motor can be increased by using variable cross-section single tooth coils. At IBF, various forming approaches for the production of variable cross-section single-tooth coils were investigated on a laboratory scale. The most effective approach of multi-stage upsetting, in which the coil is formed in several strokes to target geometry with variable cross-sectional shape, starting from a CNC-bent single-tooth coil of rectangular wire, was optimised for series production in an industrial environment, in close cooperation with the project partners.

For further information, please contact Daniel Petrell.


Hot Sheet Metal Forming of aluminium - Laboratory scale process design

Laboratory-scale gas-assisted hot deep drawing tool Copyright: © IBF Laboratory-scale gas-assisted hot deep drawing tool

The reliability and robustness of the currently developed numerical simulation methods can be ensured by a wide spectrum of validations. For this purpose, critical target variables from experimentally produced components and the numerical simulation are compared with each other. For the validation of simulation methods for modern aluminum hot sheet metal forming processes, the IBF has various complex experimental setups, through which pure gas-based axisymmetric, mirror-symmetric and non-symmetric parts as well as a hybrid deep-drawn and gas-calibrated benchmark parts can be formed. Target variables, such as sheet thinning, draw-in and form-filling, can be used for comparison with numerical simulation. In addition to modelling the forming processes at a laboratory scale for simulation method validation, critical final part properties such as local hardness distribution, microstructure development and material strength are quantified throughout the hot forming process chain.

For further information, please contact Tobias Teeuwen.