AddDies-Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for new dies generation 




ALUPORT SME-Full Legal Name: ALUPORT- Matrizes de Portugal, Lda Legal Address: Raso de Paredes, s/n, 3754-909 Águeda, Portugal. Extrusion dies and components Manufacturer Leader, Component Manufacturer by extrusion, and will compare lifetime of steel and SLM technologies.

IPC-Full Legal Name: Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra Legal Address: Rua da Misericórdia, Lagar dos cortiços – S. Martinho do Bispo, 3045-093 Coimbra, Portugal. Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra U/I University Technology provider for SLM technology

ALCORTA-Full Legal Name: ALCORTA Forging Group Legal Address: Polígono Industrial San Lorenzo, 20870 ELGOIBAR, SPAIN. Forging Group IND Automotive manufacturer End-user: Comparison of dies manufacturing processing and lifetime by welding and LMD technologies

SVÚM A.S.-Full Legal Name: SVÚM A.S. Legal Address: Tovární 2053, 25088 Čelákovice, Prague-East District. SME Materials testing Technology provider for testing mechanical properties


Full Legal Name: RAPTECH, s.r.o. Legal Address: U Vodárny 473, 330 08 ZRUČ-SENEC, Plzeň-North District. SME Laser technology supplier Laser LMD at industrial level for forging or extrusion dies

INEGI U/I-Full Legal Name: Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Legal Address: Campus da FEUP; Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 400; 4200-465 Porto, Portugal. Technology provider Support in testing and SLM for extrusion dies (subcontractor from ALUPORT)

IK4 TEKNIKER U/I-Full Legal Name: Fundación Tekniker Legal Address: PARKE TEKNOLOGIKOA, C/ Iñaki Goenaga, 5, 20600 Eibar, Gipuzkoa (Spain). Technology provider Support in LMD processing and reproduction of forging failure mechanism at laboratory for material selection (subcontractor from Alcorta)




Investimento Elegível: 1.479.346,93 €

Apoio da União Europeia: 1.315.130,99 €

Incentivo Não Reembolsável: 936.350,10 €

Investimento elegível IPC: 259.121,00 €


The purpose of the project proposal AddDies is to develop a disruptive concept of manufacturing a new generation of aluminum extrusion and Stainless Steel hot forging tools with surface protection using special layers from powder melted by laser beam. This concept uses innovative manufacturing technologies for Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM), predicting materials behavior, modelling and testing the properties of the fabricated components. The project culminates in the manufacture of demonstration products for automotive, capital and consumer goods sectors. The development will focus on new manufacturing solutions and strategies for dies, whose challenges will be tackled together by the industries and RTO partners involved in this proposal. The possibility of reproducing the failure modes (abrasive/adhesive wear, thermomechanical fatigue, fracture, plastic deformation) at laboratory and modeling mechanical properties for different zones of a component, according to the demands of fatigue and wear, to which it is subjected through its life, now becomes feasible thanks to the use of new technologies for 3D Additive Manufacturing tailored as a function of the needs identified.

Advanced Manufacturing processes: Advanced near net shape additive manufacturing technologies for light designs and manufacturing aids. New processes and equipment for high precision, zero defects and efficient production.

Sustainable Manufacturing: Cleaner processes, with less resource consumption: materials, energy, lubricants, etc. and reduction of generated waste, and Hybrid processing strategies for minimum resource consumption: optimized combination of additive and machining processes

Customer-based Manufacturing: Enhancing the properties of manufactured or repaired parts according to customer wish-list or parts expected performance.


The AddDies project is an innovation and technological development R&D project whose main purpose is to develop new families of products with customized properties through advanced additive manufacturing technologies based on Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) for a new generation of dies, for Aluminum extrusion and for Stainless Steel hot forging processes. Each technology will be selected as a function of the manufacturing operation needed: LMD technologies can potentially work at high speeds (1-20kg/h) and can be applied for large components and simple geometries, and SLM can work at speed range of 20-100g/h and it is suitable for small and complex geometries, for manufacturing and repairing operations. This is an important topic on engineering research since it can be valid for a large range of potential industrial applications through the creation of a family of products with differentiated specifications. Dies manufactured and repaired using LMD or SLM have been selected as demonstrators of: i) manufacturing and recovery of Stainless Steel hot forging dies with high economic value; and ii) Aluminum extrusion dies with major impact on different applications in the European automotive, railway, buildings and capital goods industries. Aluminum extrusion and hot forging dies industry has to supplement the traditional practice with state-of-theart technologies to fulfil the increased customer’s expectations. In the current environment, economic considerations demand that dies industry be more efficient in resource utilization (raw material and energy consumption) and new product development. Extrusion and hot forging dies industry is looking for ways to add new features to its components which demand larger geometries (LMD) or technological difficult operation and complex geometries of repairs that can only be driven by new additive manufacturing technologies (SLM). Through the development of innovative products and solutions, the AddDies project will demonstrate the applicability of LMD and SLM technologies through the development, manufacture and experimental validation of prototype components, thereby enabling exploiting the advantages associated with additive manufacturing as well as enhancing material properties associated within customized component design. The project includes also the reproduction of the failure mechanisms of the dies at laboratory, in order to valorise the added value materials in terms of increasing the mould durability. The AddDies project includes defining the technological procedure guidelines for the applications defined, modelling the main geometric and metallurgical characteristics, for a detailed study of the mechanical behaviour of the resulting components or products. The characteristics of the hot-work tool steels (like GSF) hugely depend upon steel making process and further production route. Therefore, it remains motivation for researchers to develop new Additive manufacturing AM processes to improve the productivity of tooling processes, to facilitate new innovative tooling processes, to add value to other components by repairing features, adding new features to an existing component and/or coating a component and increase the lifetime of the component/tool. The main request to which Stainless Steel hot forging tools must respond in their productive life is the high wear, without forgetting the thermal conductivity and toughness, although these properties are not necessary throughout the whole tool in some cases. It is sufficient that the high wear resistance requirements are met on critical surface areas, characterized by high friction with the Stainless steel forging part. Nowadays, the traditional welding techniques, such as those based on TIG and MIG do not always turn out effective, due to the high thermal impact that is generated in the interphase regions and microstructural changes that it entails, as well as other inconveniences such as the appearance of pores and microcracks.

In the specific case of Stainless Steel hot forging, the aim is to improve wear resistance of dies by using a functional coating and provide subsequent repairs free of pores and cracks to enlarge their life. The advantages of LMD include a minimum dilution, low and controllable heat input in the substrate, high cooling speed, great flexibility of processing and reduced distortion, given the low thermal load generated into the piece. In terms of hot forging tools, the novelty of the project lies in the use of LMD techniques to manufacture and repair new generations of tools. This will allow to expand the use of these tools and will reduce the total cost from the initial conception of the tool until the end of its service life. Regarding aluminum extrusion, an improvement in wear resistance and in the reparability of the dies will result in longer lasting dies, reducing the tooling associated costs of extrusion processes, while simultaneously increasing the perceived value of these dies. Beyond improvements in longevity of these dies, the extrusion procedure itself may be improved with the integration of temperature monitoring and control in the dies through additive manufacturing. The cost analysis of the aluminum extrusion is dependent on the extrusion speed, but this speed is limited by the exit temperature, which increases due to the forming heat and the heat generated by friction and shear in the peripheral zone of the billet. These higher exit temperatures will result in an increase in defects, such as hot cracks and grain coarsening after extrusion, increasing this way the rejection rate. The adoption of AM technologies, namely SLM due to its higher precision and lower spot size, will allow the integration of complex shape heat dissipation channels, cooling only the extrusion exit and in this way limiting the force increase required. Through selective cooling in extrusion dies it is possible to increase the extrusion rate while limiting the plunging force increase, which not only improves process efficiency but also increases the longevity of the dies (due to lower plunging loads). Similarly to hot forging dies, the repair of extrusion dies with AM technologies is expected to increase the durability of them. In the specific case of extrusion dies, the close nature of these dies and the complexity of the areas subjected to surface wear require a high precision AM procedure. SLM with its lower processing spot can fulfil this requirement, as although the deposition rate and consequently repair speed is lower, smaller geometric details may be restored with less post processing steps.

The developments of the project, especially the LMD and SLM new technologies, will allow to obtain and implement after the project the following innovations:

  • New manufacturing process of hot forging and aluminium extrusion dies, where additive manufacturing technologies and deposition strategies will lead to: the cost reduction of the manufacturing process compared to the convectional welding and machining processes, the process time and optimization of added material.
  • The complexity of the dies is increased (i.e. include refrigeration channels in the die) and strategies using different interchangeable inserts that will increase the flexibility of the use of dies. This increases the possible market for extrusion dies (Construction and Transport) and for hot forging dies (aeronautics, prototypes).
  • Increased repair capability by enhancing the ability to restore fine near net shape geometric details of the forging and extrusion dies, with smaller heat affected zones, decreasing the risk of distortions, hot cracking or fracture of the dies.
  • Search and validation of new additive materials for dies, with optimized material allocation that are able to improve the die wear resistance, tool life and final product quality.
  • New products (forging dies and extrusion dies) that thanks to the new manufacturing process will be more productive and have longer lifetime.
  • Final forged and extruded parts that will minimize the need of finishing process (these final machining are typically necessary due out of tolerances created by the wear generated loss of die geometry).
  • Development and validation of the testing protocols for the simulation of wear mechanisms of dies in laboratory scale that will enable to a faster evaluation of alternative solutions for the project and the future. These innovations will allow to achieve the following technical strategic goals for the companies.
  • To increase a 30% the life of the forging and extrusion dies: in relation of the dies that have to be repaired by welding or further machining.
  • Increase the number of possible repair operationsin extrusion and hot forging dies before replacement is required.
  • To reduce the defective rejected parts produced by 50% · To reduce the recovering of the produced parts due to failure of the dies by 50%. In the precision forging, the dies are more robust and it could be reduced the recess, reducing the material to be machined.
  • The study of the near net shape laser treatment process in comparison with the actual welding process, to reduce the quantity of the material added in each step in order to achieve a more robust process, and reduce machining processes.
  • Flexibility in the recovering and modifications for penetration markets requiring small batches (aeronautic, prototypes).
  • The demonstration of the feasibility of the solution preparing forging and extrusion dies prototypes. · The study of new designs of hot extrusion dies incorporating thermal management trough complex heating channels achieved through additive manufacturing.
  • The study of new procedures to repair extrusion dies alignment dowels. · The selection of suitable materials and procedures for surface restoration of extrusion and hot forging die cavities.


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