Becker, D.; Homberg, W.; Schikorra, M.; Kleiner, M.:
In: Aluminium Two Thousand - 6th World Congress, Florence, 13.-17. März 2007


Space frame structures gain more and more in importance in lightweight concepts for vehicles. Particularly with regard to design and construction of profiles, threedimensionally curved profiles are necessary to avoid multiple-joined profiles in terms of lightweight construction aspects. Conventional manufacturing processes for curved profiles do not provide for all desired properties. Therefore, the Institute of Forming Technology and Lightweight Construction (IUL) has developed a production method also applicable for small production quantities to avoid specific problems characteristic of bending processes. Curved profile extrusion (CPE) is an improvement of the ordinary extrusion process, deflecting the exiting strand by a guiding tool, thus causing a differentiated material flow so that a curvature is achieved. The further development of CPE enables the manufacture of three dimensionally curved profiles. In contrast to two-dimensional CPE, the use of a table in the run-out acting as profile support against gravity is not possible because of the 3D-curvature. One main aspect of the investigations is the examination of the process concerning the influence of the gravity on the surmounting profile. Additionally, the results of experimental investigations regarding the application of a robot for the profile support to prevent bending and torsion of the surmounting profile are described.