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Let's promote forging education at college!

Let's promote forging education at college!

It's difficult to find an engineering school that provides even a brief exposure to the benefits of designing with forgings for achieving reliability goals. Thus, helping in the development of educational programs aimed at arming the many technical schools with up-to-date information about forging is a key objective of our long-range education program.

An FIA committee met with Dr Philip Guichelaar, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Western Michigan University (WMU), to discuss how we could better get this technology taught in North American universities and colleges with the long-range goal of having all of their graduating mechanical and metallurgical engineers familiar with the engineering features of forgings compared to other products.

Phil has an outstanding background in developing a high-production machine specifically for preforming and then hot forging powder-metal preforms into precision gear forms. We are confident that he can become a champion of teaching forging technology. As a matter of fact, he already has a good start. He has proposed a course outline for supporting forging technology instruction at the undergraduate level for mechanical and possibly metallurgical engineers at WMU.

After revision and approval of this document, we propose organizing an improved course in Manufacturing Technology which, in turn, would have a heavy exposure to forging processes, equipment, materials, and applications.

We're looking down the road two to four years, with the assumption that we can encourage development of similar suitable courses at other schools such as the Univ of Michigan, Ohio State, Univ of Pittsburgh, possibly a west-coast school, and, of course, Colorado School of Mines (which already has an undergraduate program underway).

On the road

Many materials in both text and slide form have been put together to aid in educating users of forgings through a traveling road show called Focus on Forging Clinic. Much of this is organized in such a way that it can be turned over to the schools (stored on floppy disks). We'll work with these schools and their respective professors and instructors toward the goal of continuously improving and updating their training materials related to forging technology.

Education objective

Several approaches should be taken to ensure that forging technology is taught to all engineering and technical students. In our meeting early this year, we concluded that a course syllabus, or partial syllabus, and teaching materials should be developed for each of the following programs:

* Vocational and junior colleges. * Undergraduate mechanical engineering. * Undergraduate metallurgical engineering. * Graduate-level engineering. The current proposal is restricted to defining and developing a partial syllabus for the second program, undergraduate mechanical engineering.

Our first goal is to ensure that all students know that metal forgings are the materials of choice for structural applications requiring high reliability. Then we will develop a sufficient knowledge of the principal forging processes so that students will understand how to design forged parts for economical manufacturing.

Subject matter

The course would cover steelmaking from blast furnaces through bar mills, emphasizing development of nonmetallic inclusions and oriented structures. Videos will describe variations of the forging process, plus two or three applications of forgings in structures or machinery that are familiar to all students.

Fundamentals such as temperature effects on yield stress will be presented, along with information on upsetting, extrusion, flash effects and die filling, elimination of pores, and development of fiber and flow lines. Also, case histories will cover tooling design for turbine blades or similar items, showing how cavities must be cut to develop shape gradually, so metal will be worked sufficiently.

The FIA can use you help. If interested in supplying slides, books, videos, other training materials, or actual forging equipment, please let us know. Our address is FIA, Landmark Office Towers, Suite 300 - LTV, 25 Prospect Ave W, Cleveland, OH 44115-9732. Phone (614) 442-1005 or (216) 781-6260.
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Author:Henning, H. James
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:column
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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