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Werner H a r t m a d , Michael Romheld

Siemens AG Coporate Techfloioa,Paul-Gossen-Sir. 100 91052 Erlangen, Germany

Magnetoforming of tube or sheet metal parts can significantly extend the range of geometries conceivable with state-of-the-art forming methods, Major advantage is the considerably higher forming speed of the process achievable by using a magnetic piston without inertia. Key for this technology is the development af reliable, long-lifetime, high current pulse power generators able to deliver tens to hundreds of kiloamps of peak current to a mainly inductive load which is highly variable in time during the forming process. We report on the design of a pulse generator for peak currents of up to 200 k . 4at a pulse width of typically 80 ~ L Sdepending , on the load parameters. In order to meet lifetime requirements suitable for indushal applications, the short circuit handling capability of peak currents of up to 450 kA is a major issue in the pulse generator design. A modular, 3-branch design has been adopted to achieve the requirements conceming reliability, lifetime, and short circuit handling. The prototype design is based upon off-the-shelf devices, including high-current discharge switches based on semiconductor devices. The basic concept of the pulse generator is presented, including results from extensive circuit modeling concerning nominal performance as well as short circuit behavior.



Magnetoforming is a well-known m e t a l forming process which has been in industrial use for decades. Up to now, however, the major range of applications is limited to coaxial forming of tube-like parts, whereas sheet metal forming is being developed to larger cross-sectional areas only recently [I]. The main reason for this limitation is that sheet metal forming requires considerably higher pulse energies than coaxial forniing due to the large crosssectional areas usually involved in flat work pieces. For appropriate acceleration of sheet-metal parts to velocities of the order of > 200 d s sufficient for impact forming in a suitable matrix [2], peak pressures on the order of 200 bars are needed, at risetimes of a few tens of microseconds only. Peak currents on the order of > 50 kA up to 200 kA are therefore necessary in order to process larger area workpieces.

in this work, we investigate the feasibility of a fully solid-state pulse generator w i t h corresponding high peak currents of up to 200 kA nominal current, at a pulse width on the order of 80 ps FWHM (full width at half maximum). Due to the low inductance of the pulse generator, the peak current in the system can reach up to 450 kA during a short: circuit in the load or at the transmission line between pulse generator and the driving magnetic field coil. Such a system failure must be regarded as a regularly occurring phenomenon at least during development and test phase of the generator and drive coil, and thus MUS^ be safely handled by all systems components. Care has therefore been taken to design a system which inherently toIerates such a failure by limiting the peak electrical stress to the safe operating areas of the specific components. During normal operation, the load inductance varies rapidly due to the moving workpiece which is accelerated by the magnetic force. The generator therefore is subjected to a rapidly changing ioad impedance, fiom close to short circuit to a' rather high impedance as compared to the generator internal impedance. The circuit design is chosen such as to tolerate this variation under all operating circumstances. A modular, 3-branch design has been adopted to achieve the requirements concerning reliability, lifetime, and short circuit handling. The prototype design is based upon off-the-shelf devices, including high-current discharge switches based on semiconductor devices. The basic concept of the pulse generator is presented, including results from extensive circuit modeling concerning nominal performance as well as short circuit behavior.

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The pulse generator is intended to be used under a broad variation of load parameters; to support this requirement, the nominal data of the pulse generator were chosen as follows: Peak current 50to>200kA typ. Pulse duration 80 ps typ. (50 to 100) FWHM Load inductance 1 to >lo PH Lifetime > IO.OOO pulses typ. Short circuit current < 450 kA Peak Switches Hg-fiee e noIgnitrons! Components off-the-shelf

email: wemer.hartmam@siemens.com 310

0-7803-8586-1/04/$20.00 02004 IEEE

The restrictions on switches, lifetime and components are. caused by the requirements of low maintenance, costs, safety, and reliability under industrial constraints, while the electrical date are derived fkom a preliminary estimate of the necessary peak currents and current rates of rise.

voltage stacks. The high voltage is assumed to be limited to 20 kV for safety reasons.

A. Puke GeneratorDesign A modular design of a capacitor bank with 3 parallel branches has been adopted to achieve the requirements and is shown schematically in Figure 1. Each branch accommodates its own switch S 1 3 3 and crowbar diode D1... D3 in order to limit the peak stress of these components to within their SOA (safe operating area). Each branch itself contains a multitude of parallel capacitors; modularity can be achieved by adding or removing individual capacitor banks, which opens up the possibility to vary the impedance of the pulse generator.
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Figure2. Top view of the pulse generator with three parallel branches and common output.



B. Electrical Characteristics The electrical characteristics of the pulse generator according to Figure 1 has been investigated with PSPICE simulations for the case of a maximum charging voltage of 20 kV and a total capacitance of 300 to 450 pF (i. e., 3x 100,,.150 pF in parallel). Load inductance was varied between 1 and 10 p H . During nominal generator performance, a peak current of =60 kA is generated in the load coil, with a pulse duration of 130 ps (FWHM), as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 1. Equivalent circuit of the puIse generator circuit design based on a 3-pronged capacitor bank with three paraIle1 branches, each equipped with its own switch S1' to S3 and crowbar diode Dl to D3, respectively. LCx: 31.5 pH, series inductance of the individual capacitor banks.
The low side of the three capacitor banks Cl..C3 is directly connected to the load inductance L j d by a busbar in a hard-wired fashion. Therefore, the output is nominally grounded by the series load inductance (drive coi1) and i s only exposed to h i & voltage during the current pulse. The high sides of the three capacitor banks are charged in parallel through a single high voltage power suppiy VI, and are de-coupled from each other during the pulse by series charging resistors Rchl..3. The pulse generator output is connected to the coil via a low impedance transmission line which is also exposed to hgh voltage stress only briefly during the pulse. A top view of the pulse generator is shown in Figure 2. Semiconductor switches made of stacks of high power, high voltage thyristors are assumed to be used in this circuit design, with peak currents in the short circuit case of less than 150 kA per switch [3]. Such elements are commercially available by several companies, including AElB, DYNEX, EUPEC, NKG, and Westcode, in the form of individual components or even as complete high-

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Figure3. Load current as a function of time for a Ioad inductance of 10 p H . Charging voltage 15 kV; total capacitance 300 pF.
For a load inductance of 1 pH and a load resistance of 40 milli-ohms, a peak current of 220 kA is reached at the maximum charging voltage of 20 kV. In this case, up to 60 kJ of electrical energy are discharged through the load coil.

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A critical issue in the performance is a well balanced behavior of all parallel sections. Natural tolerances of components, as well as jitter in switch timing, however, lead to an imbalance of the current flow in the individual sections. Such an imbalance can lead to increased current and voltage stress in components of the individual

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branches, which in tum can lead to component failure. Circuit simulations were therefore performed in order to investigate the behavior and tolerable working range of the pulse generator under realistic assumptions of component tolerances.

voltage 20 kV; load inductance 10 pH;total capacitance

450 pF;pulse width 145 ps (FWHM).





B. Cupucifurzolerunces Although switch timing error can be compensated for electronically, and thus is less severe in practical application, a more worrisome imbalance is produced by the tolerances of capacitors and inductances. In general, without preselection (which can be very costly for costumised components), tolerances are in the range of IO to 20 %, which can lead to an unacceptably high imbalance i n the individual branches. A current imbalance of the order of 25%, c. Figure 6,occurs for a capacitance tolerance of 20%. Particular attention must be paid to the decrease of the capacitance as a h c t i o n of lifetime due to capacitor aging, as this effect can cause capacitor tolerances of the above mentioned magnitude.

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Figure 4. Current pulse shape as a fimction of time for a load inductance of 1 pH.Charging voltage 20 kV; total capacitance 300 pF;load resistance 40 milli-ohms.
A. Swirch timingjiiter A major reason for switch failure can be caused by poor switch timing of the parallel branches, which leads to high peak currents in individual branches. An example for a poor switch timing, assuming a timing error of 20 ps of one branch as compared to the others, is shown in Figure 5 as an example. . Although in the case shown in Figure 5 the individual peak switch currents do not vary much (48.8 kA in S1 versus 48.6 kA in S2,3), the lack of balance leads to a variation in the 12t value which is even more severe in the case of a low inductance load of 1 to 2 pH. The most restrictive case is that of a short circuit; assuming a short circuit inductance of only 200 nW, the maximum permissible jitter in switch timing is of the order of 5 ps for the circuit parameters of Figure 5 , which however is much larger than that anticipated for high voltage thyristor stacks.

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Figure 6. Pulse current into load (solid bIack line), switch 1 current (solid gray line), and currents through switches 2 and 3 (dashed line) for the case of a capacitance reduction of 20% of C1 as compared to cap's 2,3. Charging voltage 20 kV; load inductance 2 pH; total capacitance 420 pF; pulse width 70 ps (FWHM). Almost to 20% of imbalance in the branch capacitance is acceptable without sacrificing the SQA of the semiconductor components.
C. Inductance tolerances

The system is considerably tolerant to a variance of the external inductance, mainly due to the fact that the load is









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Figure 5. Total load current (solid bIack line), switch 1 current (solid gray line), and currents through switches 2 and 3 (dashed line) for the case of a switching delay of 20 ps of switch 1 as compared to switches 2,3. Charging

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Figure7. Pulse current into load (solid black line), switch 1 current (solid gray line), and currents through switches 2 and 3 (dashed line) for the case of an inductance reduction of 20% of k l as compared to the

inductances of branches 2,3. Charging voltage 20 kV; load inductance 2 p H t o t a l capacitance 450 pulse width 72 ps (FWHM). mainly inductive, w i t h a total load inductance which is comparable to or even larger than the internal inductance of a single branch of the pulse generator except in the case o f a short circuit.. This makes it particularly insensitive to the rapid inductance variation which is expected during operation as a result of the workpiece acceleration. For short-circuit currents, however, load sharing of the individual branches is strongly reduced, and the acceptance range of tolerances of the internal inductance of a single branch relative to the others is reduced to the IO% . Therefore, the short-circuit case limits order of the working range of the pulse generator considerably more than the use of highly inductive loads, which show a more pronounced impedance change than low-inductance driving coils.



A pulse current generator for magnetoforming of sheet metal parts has been designed and investigated by numerical simulation using IS-SPICE. The design is based on the use of commercial, off-the-shelf components, and a three-pronged architecture of the capacitor bank. The most critical design parameters are - the ability to withstand short-circuited loads and the corresponding high peak currents, - tolerances of switch timing jitter, and - tolerances of the internal inductance of the parallel branches of the capacitor bank. The tolerances of the capacitors have been identified to be tolerable to the amount of the manufacturer's specifications of typically 420%. The planned paralleling of a multitude of individual capacitors in each branch should serve to further increase the tolerance of an individual branch against capacitance variance.



[l] G. S. Daehn et al., "Improved Formability with Electromagnetic Forming: Fundamentals and a Practical Example",htCp://www.er6.eng.ohio-state.ed~h7Edae~ overview/index.htm, (2003) [2] Badelt M., Beerwald C.,Brosius A., Kleiner M. , "Process analysis of electromagnetic sheet metal forming by online-measurement and finite element simulation ", 6~ ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming, Salerno, Italy, April 28-30 (2003) [3] A. WeIleman et al, , "Semiconductor switches for single pulse and repetitive pulse applications", 4th Intemational AECV Conference, The Netherlands, Sept. 24 - 26 (2001)