Forming Complex Shaped Components Using High Strength Alminium Alloys

In this article the challenges of an innovative forming process are discussed and a simulation strategy that has been implemented in a commercial software code that captures the thermo-viscoplastic material response and formability of the component is described.

In 2009, a new EU regulation on emissions targets was passed which committed European vehicle
manufacturers to cut average CO2 emissions in new cars to 95 g/km by 2020. Average CO2 emissions
from new cars sold in the EU in 2015 were 119.6 g/km, 8% below the 2015 target and 3% lower than in
2014 [1]. Vehicle weight-reduction has been identified as one of the most effective ways of addressing
the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the transportation industry. A 10% reduction
in vehicle weight can result in a 6% to 8% fuel economy improvement.

Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with aluminium alloys can reduce the weight of a
vehicle's body and chassis by 40% to 50%. Use of high and ultra-high strength aluminium alloys in
particular, such as 6XXX and 7XXX series alloys, can reach the upper bound here, or even higher. On the
other hand, forming of aluminium alloys is known to be more challenging than steel, and it is
significantly more challenging for these high and ultra-high strength alloys. The 6XXX and 7XXX series
alloys exhibit low ductility at room temperature - making the forming of complex structures using Deep
Drawing techniques virtually impossible. In addition, due to lower than steel elastic modulus and high
residual stresses, springback after forming becomes a very difficult issue to manage.

Document Details

AuthorsMohamed. M Szegda. D Said. R Lin. J
TypeMagazine Article
Date 1st October 2016
OrganisationsStrathclyde University Impression Technologies Ltd ESI Group Imperial College London


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