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Steering Valve Tooling Failure Study

A major automobile maker was experiencing unacceptable failure rates in dies used to imprint power steering valves and came to CAE Associates for assistance. The customer wanted to better understand the design factors influencing the failures currently observed in the field and to learn how to efficiently identify flaws in future designs. In response, CAE Associates developed 2-D models of the roll imprinting process to efficiently evaluate the numerous die designs. The models incorporated large strain plasticity, contact, and some creative modeling concepts.

Power steering flow valves are produced by stamping precise patterns on cylindrical steel blanks. The valves are a key component of the steering system in that they primarily control the feel and responsiveness to the driver. The blanks are fed via friction into the jaws of the machine where multiple dies simultaneously grip and imprint the blanks on the exterior surface. The intricate imprint patterns require dies of various shapes and sizes. A study was commenced to examine the factors that might contribute to the excessive failure rates of some dies.