Partnership

Magna
Largest Canadian automotive parts manufacturer

WatCar ManufacturingWatCAR Manufacturing comprises seven research groups with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class research expertise in advanced materials, forming, joining, computational modeling, performance testing, and cutting-edge production methods to promote lightweighting and production efficiency without compromising safety. These seven research groups collectively form the most comprehensive academic research and development facility in North America for vehicle lightweighting.

Challenge

  • Hot stamping represents a major component of the $60 B automotive structures market, producing critical crash safety components
  • A key challenge is the lack of appropriate lubricants suitable for hot stamping temperatures (>900 ℃) which leads to excessive die wear (current practice is to not use lubricants

Solution

  • A collaborative research team was formed comprising Magna, Argonne National Lab and the University of Waterloo
  • Graphene lubricants were developed by Argonne in an iterative process in which lubricants were screened using specialized, elevated friction characterization equipment at Waterloo (Twist Compression Test)
  • Full-scale try-out of the lubricant in commercial tooling resulted in 33-46% reduction in part thinning.
Dramatic reduction in friction using new Graphene-based lubricants under hot stamping temperatures 930 ℃

Impact

  • Demonstrated benefit associated with the new graphene lubricants
  • Commercial scale-up of lubricant production underway
  • Significant improvement in part complexity enabled by reduction in friction coefficient
  • Dramatic reduction of die wear and tool repair costs