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Research Papers

Method and Tool Design for Passive Sheet Metal Hydroforming on Conventional Single Action Presses

[+] Author and Article Information
Alina F. Budai

e-mail: alyna_bf@yahoo.com

Gheorghe Achimaş

Professor
e-mail: Gheorghe.Achimas@tcm.utcluj.ro
Department of Manufacturing Engineering,
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca,
Muncii Boulevard 103-105,
400641 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Reimund Neugebauer

Professor
e-mail: Reimund.Neugebauer@iwu.fraunhofer.de

Marco Pröhl

e-mail: marco.proehl@iwu.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU,
Reichenhainer Str. 88, 09126 Chemnitz,
Germany

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering. Manuscript received August 8, 2012; final manuscript received January 16, 2013; published online March 22, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Brad L. Kinsey.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(2), 021014 (Mar 22, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1242; doi: 10.1115/1.4023455 History: Received August 08, 2012; Revised January 16, 2013

Current sheet metal hydroforming processes require special equipment such as a hydroforming press with an external high pressure generator. This holds the barriers for entering the market high, especially for small and medium companies that cannot invest such an amount of money. In this article, a method and tool design is presented that allows setting up a sheet metal hydroforming process on single action presses without using special hydroforming equipment. The inner pressure for forming the part is generated by tool integrated pistons and results from the difference between ram and cushion force in relation to the part's projected surface. To explore the limits of the process, a tryout tool was manufactured for producing test samples of medical parts in DX54D and AlMg3 0.6 mm. After the experiments, the parts were measured and analyzed to investigate the accuracy of the process, in comparison with the simulation done beforehand. This work will enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to produce small series hydroformed parts in a cost efficient way on their conventional presses.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Tool in the final phase of the hydroforming process

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Fig. 2

Specific areas of the part's geometry

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Fig. 3

Thickness distribution for DX54D after FE simulation

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Fig. 4

Thickness distribution for AlMg3 after FE simulation

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Fig. 5

Experimental tool setup

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Fig. 6

Process flow chart

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Fig. 7

Hydroformed test sample of AlMg3 in 0.6 mm

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Fig. 8

Thickness distribution for DX54D after optical measurement

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Fig. 9

Thickness distribution for AlMg3 after optical measurement

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Fig. 10

Bottom radii values after conventional microscopy measurement for DX54D

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Fig. 11

Bottom radii values after conventional microscopy measurement for AlMg3

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