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Forming Characteristics of Thin-walled Tube Bending Process With Small Bending Radius

Forming Characteristics of Thin-walled Tube Bending Process With Small Bending Radius

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OCIENCE
DIRECT.
d!
Science
Press
Trans. Nonferrous Met. SOC.China
16(2006)
s6
13-s623
Transactions ofNonferrous MetalsSociety of China
www.csu.edu.cn/ysxb/
Forming characteristics of thin-walled tube bendingprocess with small bending radius
LI
Heng(q
@),
YANG
He(&
e),
HAN Me@
&),
GU
Rui-Jie($$%$)Department of Materials Forming and Control Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University,Xi’an 7 10072, ChinaReceived
10
April 2006; accepted 25 April 2006
Abstract:
Currently requirements of thin-walled tube with small bending radius cause the defects such as wrinkling, overthinningand cross-section distortion
more
prone to occur in bending process. Based on the analysis of the forming Characteristics byanalytical and experimental methods, a complete
3D
elastic-plastic FEM model of the process was developed usingABAQUSExplicit code, including bending process, balls retracting and unloading process, and thus the plastic deformationcharacteristics with small bending radius were investigated. The main results show that:
1)
The utmost deformation feature of the NCbending process is its continuous progressive deformation.
2)
The occurring conditions of the defects such as wrinkling and tensioninstability in the process are obtained. The wrinkling is traditional on the double compressive stresses state and the tension instabilityis on the double tension stresses state.
3)
The enhanced non-uniform deformation in thin-walled tube with small bending radius isdemonstrated by comparing the stress/ strains distributions under the
1.5D
and
1D
bending conditions.
4)
For
1D
small bendingprocess, a new method-“stepped mandrel retraction”
is
proposed
to
improve the bending quality in experiment according to the FEsimulation. The simulation results are verified by experiment.
Key
words:
tube bending; forming characteristics; small bending radius; ABAQUS/Explicit
1
Introduction
Thin-walled tube NC bending technology has beenattracting more and more applications in aviation,aerospace, ship and automobile, etc, due to itssatisfactory high efficiency, high precision and goodflexibility[ 11. There are increasing requirements ofcomplex and precise components in the above areas. Butthere occur many defects such as wrinkling at theintrados,
over
thinning at the extrados and cross-sectiondistortion. Especially, the often needed bent tube withsmall bending radius enlarges the deformation degreeand enhances the imbalance forming degree, whichmakes the defects and forming parameters difficult
to
becontrolled.
So
it
is of great significance to investigate theplastic deformation mechanism and
thus
thecharacteristics of defects in realizing the effective controlof the above various defects, especially for small bendingconditions.However, the process is a tri-linearity physicalprocess with multi-factor coupling interactive effects.Many researches have been carried out by usinganalytical, experimental or numerical methods,respectively. But most of them focus on only the effect ofwall thickness change in NC bending process as thepre-bending operations for the subsequent hydroforming.Little literature has been published on aspects of theplastic bending deformation mechanism, not to say thesmall thin-walled tube bending with small bending radius[2-131. Due to the build-in complication, few studies arecarried out to investigate the plastic bending deformationdeeply by analytical and/or experimental methods. Andcompared with the static implicit FE method, thedynamic explicit algorithm can simulate the complexprocess and wrinkling phenomenon with dynamiccontact conditions and large deformation without anyconvergence problem.
So
in the study, the deformation
Foundation
item:
Projects(59975076, 501 75092) supported by
the
National Natural Science Foundation of China; Project(502255
18)
by the NationalScience Found of China for Distinguished Young Scholars; Project by
the
Teaching and Research Award Program for Outstanding YoungTeachers in Higher Education Institutions of MOE, PRC; Project(20020699002) by
the
Specialized Research Fund for the DoctoralProgram of Higher Education
of
MOE, PRC; Project (04H53057) by Aviation Science Foundation
Corresponding author:
YANG He; Tel: +86-29-88495632; Fax: +86-29-88495632; E-mail: yanghe@nwpu,edu.cn
 
s614
LI
Heng,
et
aVTrans. Nonferrous Met. SOC. hina
16(2006)
characteristics such as stresshtrain distributions andsome special phenomena are studied by using thecommercial FE code ABAQUSExplicit combined withanalytical and experimental methods.
2
Mechanical analysis
of
NC
bendingprocess
For
NC
bending process, the rotary draw bendingmethod is used (shown in Fig.1). Pulled by bend die andclamp die, the tube goes past the tangent point androtates along the groove of bend die to desired bendingdegree and bending radius; then the mandrel retracts andthe tube is unloaded.Pressure die
Bend
w
ie
Fig.1
Forming principle for NC tubetube to push the materials into the deformation areas;Both the mandrel and wiper die exert the normal force
N,,
Nw
to restrain wrinkling and cross distortion, whilethey induces the backward friction force
fmb,
fmf,
fw.
Insome bending cases with small bending radius, theoptional boost block may apply the forward boostingforce
Fb
to the ending face of the tube directly. Theabove forces change the local or the whole stresdstraindistribution of the bent tube in NC bending process.
a,
l3-
ointA
*$-
ED
The essential toolings and the cooperation betweenthem are needed to accomplish the thin-walled tubebending process to ensure the free-wrinkling and allowedthinning and cross-section distortion degrees. Thepressure die is to apply enough pressure force andbending moment to the tube and push it against the wiperdie tightly ensuring the free-wrinkling bending tube.Meanwhile, the moving pressure die helps push thematerials into bending regions reducing the thinningdegree. The wiper die and/or proper mandrel (with one ormore flexible balls) are used to prevent the tube fromwrinkling and over cross-section distorting. The wiperdie nest in the bend die groove with its very thin tipextending to the bend tangent point (the point where thetube will begin to bend). In doing
so,
it fills up the gapnormally left by the bend die. Therefore, the tube iscompletely confined and does not have space in which towrinkle. The roles of various dies are different each otheraffecting the stress and strain distribution and materialsflow state.The forces subjected to tube are analyzed.Fig.2shows that the pressure force
N,
is applied to the fronttube by the bend die and clamp die, which introducesenough friction force
fc
to drag the tube past tangentpoint and be bent; The pressure die exerts the pressureforce
Np
to the tube against wiper die to avoid wrinkling,meanwhile it applies the forward friction force& to the
*D
Pq
ointB
ED
GP
(b)
Fig.2
Resultant forces subjected to tube
in
NC
bending
So
it can be seen that the process is influenced notonly by the tube materials properties
m
(including workhardening exponent
n,
strength coefficient
K
andanisotropic exponent
R,
etc), geometrical parameterssuch as relative bending radius RID and relative diameterDIt, toolings parameters (including mandrel extension
e
and/or balls number
n,
etc) and process parameters(including bending speed
v,
push assistant speed
vp
andboosting speed
hp),
but also the dynamic contactconditions (including friction conditions
c
and clearancefbetween tube and various dies). It is concluded that the
NC
bending process has
so
many controlling freedoms,especially the boundary conditions. Under the interactionbetween the above factors, the tube is formed steadily.And the steady forming
T
influenced by many factors isdemonstrated byThe field distribution with small bending takes onobvious3Dcharacteristics. Fig.2 shows that node
A
in
 
LI
Heng, et aVTrans. Nonferrous Met.
SOC.
China
16(2006)s615
the extrados is under tension stress in both tangent andhoop directions and compressive stress in radial direction,meanwhile node
B
in the intrados is underthree-dimensional compressive stress states. Accordingto the volume constancy rule of plastic deformation, theextrados nodes are under tangent tension strains, hoopand radial compressive strains. While the intrados nodesare under the states with tangent compressive strains,hoop and radial tension strains. Because the tube bendingforming mainly depends on the tube material’scompression and elongation deformation, the tangentstress
00
and strain
EQ
on the compression (intrados) andelongation (extrados) regions are regarded as themaximum principle stress and strain. Due to the largerelative tube diameter Dlt, the normal stress can beneglected.
So
the plane-stress state is assumed.But the steady compressive deformation of the tubein the intrados is prone to transfer to the out-planebifurcation state-wrinkling instability due to tangentcompressive stress. Meanwhile,
it
is evitable to becomethinner in wall thickness at the extrados and becomethicker at the intrados due to the tangent compressivestress or tangent tension stress. Also, the cross-sectionsof the tube are distorted by the resultant forces inducedby the bilateral compressive stress at the intrados andbilateral tension stress at the extrados. However, it isnoted that among the above three defects, the wallthickness change and cross-section distortion are naturalphenomenon and consequences of plastic deformation inbending. The wall thickness change and cross-sectiondistortion can not be prevented and only be controlled toallowed extent, but the wrinkling can be avoided.But from geometrical point of view, the deformationhas been accomplished with the scheduled bendingradius once the tube materials are drawn past the bendingtangent point, and the subsequent deformation isregarded as the repeated similar deformation to desiredbending angle. The materials finished deformationtransfers the bending force exerted by clamp die to thebending areas.
So
compared with other bending methods,the period of approaching the steady deformation state issmaller. It is concluded that the utmost characteristics ofNC bending process is continuous progressivedeformation, which may determine the bendingdeformation and the occurring of defects to some extent.
3
Experimental
The experiment can study the bending processdirectly and verify the
FE
modeling. In the authors’s lab,the PLC controlled hydraulic tube bender W27YPC-63 isused with the same bending principle as the NC bender.The material is aluminum alloy LF2M and stainless steel(lCrl8Ni9Ti). Tube OD is 38
mm,
wall thickness t is 1mm, the length
L
is
600
mm
and the bending radius
R
is
57
mm
and
38
mm,
respectively. The relative bendingradius
is
1.5D and l.OD, which are regarded as the smallbending conditions. The bending speed is 0.15 rads, andthe pressure die’s pushing assistant speed is the same asthe centerline tangent velocity of the bend die. For 1.5Dand ID bending radius, the pressure die linear speed is
8.55
mm/s
and
5.7
ds,
espectively. The bender iswithout boost device. The tooling parameters are shownin Table
1
and Table
2[
141.
Table
1
Tooling geometry dimensions
Tooling
Darameter Leneth/mm DimensiodmmPressure die
250 38
Bend die
38/57
Wiper die
120 38
Clamp die
115 38
Table
2
Mandrel geometry dimensionsMandrel parameter
Length/mm
DimensiodmmMandrel
153 35.6
Mandrel extensionBalls diameter
Balls
thicknessBalls number
Pitch
6.035.612.02.015.0
Different friction conditions are set to lubricate thevarious contact interfaces. The lubricant is stainless steelextrusion oil. The interfaces with tubeImandrel andtubeIwiper die should be lubricated well; the ones withtubeIpressure die should be set as
dry
lubrication; the onewith tubelbend die should be set
as
generally large, whilethe one with tubeklamp die should not be lubricated.It is found that even more factors may cause thebending fail, such as toolings rigidity and bender’sstability, which is up to the quality of the bender andtoolings. It is observed that the tooling rigidity influencesthe wrinkling instability greatly. The low rigidity of thetoolings such as wiper die may cause the wrinkling tooccur. Also, the wear of the toolings such as wiper diemay cause the wrinkling instability. It is
known
that thesmaller RID and larger Dlt, the tighter the bendingconditions and the more carefully to set
up
the toolings.The experiment proved this point. It is observed that forthin-walled bending process with
1
D relative bendingradius, the wrinkling frequently occurs. It is found thatthe relative slipping between tube and clamp die is thecritical problem to induce the wrinkling occurring forsmall bending radius bending process.The grid method is used to analyses the strain. Themesh with
15
mmX
14.92
mm
scaling is marked in thetube outer surface, and the trammel is employed tomeasure the mesh length.

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