New research into extending HSIC tool life

At Sirris we are always conducting research into new production techniques. An illustration of this is provided by a research project into fine blanking that we successfully completed recently in conjunction with renowned German research organisation Fraunhofer. The next innovative cutting technique we are going to investigate together over the next four years is High-Speed Impact Cutting, or HSIC. In light of the rapid wear and tear of HSIC tools, the aim of this research will be to find ways to extend their lifetime.

A burr generally forms during conventional cutting – a result of the fact that most materials exhibit a small but resilient residual fracture. HSIC eliminates this problem. This is because the cutting speed is so high – ranging from more than 2 m/s to a maximum of 10 m/s – that there is no time for the material being worked on to do this. The figure below shows the difference from conventional cutting.

Solutions for an extended tool life

One drawback of HSIC is that the high power and speed levels involved mean that stamps and other devices do wear quicker than in conventional cutting. We are now examining how we can extend the lifetime of these tools by carefully choosing the right material (e.g. high-alloy steel), optimising heat treatment and, where appropriate, using thin, hard coatings. We are also testing out the effect of deep cryogenic treatment (DCT), as this technique produced pleasing results in our previous research project with Fraunhofer into the lifetime of fine-blanking tools.

Another project with our German research partner

As mentioned above, for this new research project we are again working closely with German research organisation Fraunhofer, more specifically with its Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU) in Chemnitz and its Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST) in Brunswick. The former already has a pilot HSIC unit. The project is being coordinated by the Belgian Association for Surface Finishing Techniques (VOM). 

Do you want to stay up to date with this research?

Then make sure you take part in the regular meetings we organise with HSIC users. To register, please contact Sirris expert Guy Claus (+32 498 91 93 51 or