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09-01-2017

3D Spray Heads

90 Percent Lighter than Steel Parts

SMS Group, Düsseldorf, Germany, introduces 3D spray heads that cut cycle time and increase tool service life in closed-die forging.

Spray heads printed to the 3D method have less weight, are process-optimized in design and more flexible in use (© SMS)

To produce the new 3D spray heads for forging presses, SMS group takes advantage of the opportunities afforded by additive manufacturing. 3D printing permits extremely light-weight and compact 3D spray heads to be produced that are tailored to the conditions of the respective dies. Flexible actuation of individual nozzles paired with fast handling and a homogeneously distributed mist shortens press cycle times and extends the service life of the dies.

Spray heads fitted in closed-die forging presses serve to remove scale from the dies between the individual press strokes, to cool the surface, to apply lubricants and dry the die surface. Performing these activities, conventional spray heads reach their limits time and again. Therefore, SMS group began to manufacture such spray heads according to the 3D printing method. The starting material is fine powder based on polyamide, and the result is 3D-printed spray heads that are 90 % lighter than identical parts made of steel. This allows the use of handling systems faster than those employed before.

3D spray heads in operation: Due to their one-piece design, 3D spray heads can operate at pressures between three and more than ten bars to generate different spray patterns (© SMS)

3D printing provides the engineers of SMS group great flexibility in designing 3D spray heads. They are now able to arrange the individual nozzles exactly according to the customers’ requirements and even give each nozzle a unique shape. Actuation of the 3D spray heads, too, offers SMS group completely new options. Each nozzle can now be actuated separately, both for spraying and for separately blowing out atomizer air, either simultaneously or offset in time. The new 3D spray heads may be installed in new presses, but are also suited for subsequent integration in existing systems. SMS group designs all 3D spray heads on a largely automated basis and is able to manufacture the parts within a short period. This permits custom-tailored 3D spray heads to be supplied in almost no time.

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