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Open AccessArticle

Failure-Analysis Based Redesign of Furnace Conveyor System Components: A Case Study

1
Gestamp ES&AM, AIC-Automotive Intelligence Center, Barrio Boroa, 2, 483401 Amorebieta-Etxano, Spain
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Plaza Ingeniero Torres Quevedo 1, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
3
Fundación Azterlan, Aliendalde Auzunea 6, 48200 Durango, Spain
4
GHI Hornos Industriales, Aperribai 4, 48960 Galdakao, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(8), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9080816
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 20 July 2019 / Published: 25 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Failure Mechanisms in Alloys)
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PDF [4226 KB, uploaded 25 July 2019]
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Abstract

Any manufacturing equipment designed from scratch requires a detailed follow-up of the performance for the first units placed in service during the production ramp-up, so that lessons learned are immediately implemented in next deliveries and running equipment is accordingly updated. Component failure analysis is one of the most valuable sources of improvement among these lessons. In this context, a failure-assessment based design revision of the conveying system of a newly developed press hardening furnace is presented. The proposed method starts with a forensic metallurgical analysis of the failed components, followed by an investigation of the working conditions to ensure they match the forensic observations. The results of this approach evidenced an initially unforeseen thermo-mechanical damage produced by a combination of thermal distortions, material ageing, and mechanical fatigue. Once the cause–effect relationship for the failure is backed up by evidence, an improved design is proposed. As a conclusion, a new standard design for the furnace entrance set of rollers in hot stamping lines was established for roller hearth furnaces. The solution can be extended to similar applications, ensuring the same issues will not arise thanks to the lessons learned. View Full-Text
Keywords: hot stamping; press hardening; austenitizing furnace; high temperature fatigue; thermal distortion; conveying system; refractory steels; furnace component failure hot stamping; press hardening; austenitizing furnace; high temperature fatigue; thermal distortion; conveying system; refractory steels; furnace component failure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

González-Ciordia, B.; Fernández, B.; Artola, G.; Muro, M.; Sanz, Á.; López de Lacalle, L.N. Failure-Analysis Based Redesign of Furnace Conveyor System Components: A Case Study. Metals 2019, 9, 816.

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