5000 ALLOYS – SPF
Superplastic alloys with uniaxial elongation rates up to 380% in contrast to a rate of 15% with standard methods, allowed Verbom to form large complex parts that would be impossible to form through conventional cold methods.
In addition, tooling costs could be reduced up to 10 fold. The very fine grain structure of the aluminum alloy allows it, when heated, to become superplastic and facilitate the forming of complex geometries by grain boundaries sliding. These geometries are formed by blowing a pressurized gas inside the cavity of the sealed tool. This simple tool significantly reduces the cost associated with the design and manufacture of complex conventional tools. Moreover, since no part of the tooling comes into contact with the part during forming, this type of tooling is very well suited to aesthetic “Class-A” components. This process allows aluminum to easily replace fiberglass and is compliant with EURO VI (fire, smoke, recycling) standards. 5083 SPF aluminum alloy offers a yield strength of 160 MPa and an ultimate limit of 305 MPa. Corrosion resistance and weldability are also very good that makes this alloy a good candidate for mass transit, power sport or automobile industry where mass reduction for fuel consumption is a challenge.
Almost everything made of fiberglass, thermoformed plastic, and aluminum casting can now be fabricated with our innovative process, which offers new opportunities for product designers, because our solutions help to reduce weight, and, especially, allow great engineering flexibility while respecting the environment. The chemical composition contains a high level of Magnesium and manganese which allowed for an elongation by grain boundary sliding. The grain size is lower than 7 micrometers.