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Technical Briefs

Electrically-Assisted Forming of Magnesium AZ31: Effect of Current Magnitude and Deformation Rate on Forgeability

[+] Author and Article Information
Joshua J. Jones, Laine Mears

Department of Automotive Engineering,  Clemson University, Greenville, SC 29607

John T. Roth

Mechanical Engineering,  Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Erie, PA 16563

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 134(3), 034504 (May 07, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006547 History: Received September 28, 2009; Revised March 13, 2012; Published May 07, 2012; Online May 07, 2012

Currently, the automotive and aircraft industries are considering increasing the use of magnesium within their products due to its favorable strength-to-weight characteristics. However, the implementation of this material is limited as a result of its formability. Partially addressing this issue, previous research has shown that electrically-assisted forming (EAF) improves the tensile formability of magnesium sheet metal. While these results are highly beneficial toward fabricating the skin of the vehicle, a technique for allowing the use of magnesium alloys in the production of the structural/mechanical components is also desirable. Given the influence that EAF has already exhibited on tensile deformation, the research herein focuses on incorporating this technique within compressive operations. The potential benefit of using EAF on compressive processes has been demonstrated in related research where other materials, such as titanium and aluminum, have shown improved compressive behavior. Therefore, this research endeavors to amalgamate these findings to Mg AZ31B-O, which is traditionally hard to forge. As such, to demonstrate the effects of EAF on this alloy, two series of tests were performed. First, the sensitivity of the alloy to the EAF process was determined by varying the current density and platen speed during an upsetting process (flat dies). Then, the ability to utilize impression (shaped) dies was examined. Through this study, it was shown for the first time that the EAF process increases the forgeability of this magnesium alloy through improvements such as decreased machine force requirements and increased achievable deformation. Additionally, the ability to form the desired final specimen geometry was achieved. Furthermore, this work also showed that this alloy is sensitive to any deformation rate changes when utilizing the EAF process. Last, a threshold current density was noted for this material where significant forgeability improvements could be realized once exceeded.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Electrical circuit schematic

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Figure 2

Upsetting process with electrical flow

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Figure 3

Upsetting at a 25.4 mm/min platen speed with EAF leads to increased forgeability and decreased machine force requirements

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Figure 4

Upsetting specimens compressed at 25.4 mm/min display enhanced forgeability with increasing current densities

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Figure 5

Upsetting at a reduced platen speed (12.70 mm/min)

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Figure 6

Upsetting at a current density of 20 A/mm2 shows the effect of strain rate while using EAF

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Figure 7

Upsetting at a current density of 40 A/mm2 displayed minor force/elongation differences with increased platen speeds

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Figure 8

Experimental/schematic of impression forging with electrical flow

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Figure 9

Impression forging at 25.4 mm/min with EAF leads to increased forgeability and decreased machine force requirements

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Figure 10

Impression specimens compressed at 25.4 mm/min reveal enhanced forgeability with increasing current densities

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Figure 11

Average maximum temperature as a function of current density

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Figure 12

Transient thermal profile at 25.4 mm/min illustrates a short maximum temperature time as a result of cooling effects

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Figure 13

Average maximum temperature as a function of platen speed

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