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Stamping And Formability: Automotive Sheet Metal Stamping And Formability

(January 1989)

This state-of-the-art report on forming sheet metals for automotive applications is one in a series of
reports on technical subjects of common interest to steel suppliers and automotive users. Other topics
covered in this series include fatigue, corrosion fatigue, and welding.

Two major purposes are served. First, as a thorough compilation of knowledge on forming sheet metals, it
assembles information in a convenient source document for use by the researcher and forming specialist.
As such, it also provides source information for a text book for the practitioner and for briefer summaries
in specific areas for beginner. Second, areas of needed research are identified by an analysis of gaps in
our understanding of sheet metal formability.

Comments by users of this report will be welcome.

AISI is grateful to Stuart Keeler, formerly with National Steel Corporation and now with the Budd
Company, for his intensive study; to Stephen Denner of National Steel for his valuable cooperation; to
Nancy DeSmet of National Steel for typography, and to Bill Reyman for artwork and publication design.


Automotive Applications Committee

This publication is for general information only. The information in it should not be used without first
securing competent advice with respect to its suitability for any given application. The publication of the
information is not intended as a representative or warranty on the part of the American Iron and Steel
Institute – or any other person named herein – that the information is suitable for any general or particular
use or of freedom from infringement of any patent or patents. Anyone making use of the information
assumes all liability arising from such use.

Produced by W.P. Reyman New York

Copyright American Iron and Steel Institute 1990

This report reviews the State-of-Art of Automotive Sheet Metal Formability. It was commissioned by the
American Iron and Steel Institute, whose support is gratefully acknowledged.

The purpose of this project was to obtain and study the available knowledge base of automotive sheet
steel formability - both published and unpublished. By limiting the scope of the study to automotive sheet
steel, the types of steel, the thicknesses, and the shapes included in this study were likewise limited. The
material reviewed is in this report, which becomes both a “textbook” in the field of sheet metal formability
and a catalog of available information.

As a textbook, this document attempts to provide the reader with an overview of the available knowledge.
As an overview, the report does not provide all of the necessary background information, but assumes a
minimum level of knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of sheet metal formability. the
reader, therefore, is required either: 1) to have the basic knowledge of the field of sheet metal formability
or 2) to obtain and study supplementary references for basic information in the field.

This document will be used most often, however, as a handy catalog of available information, especially
key figures and references. These can be readily found within this single document without scanning a
number of different papers and books.
This report is organized such that individual sections (bolded in the Table of Contents) can be separated
from the report and utilized individually with a minimum of additional effort. To this end, the pages and
figures of each section are numbered independently. In some cases, key figures are duplicated in more
than one section to facilitate this separation.

This report is organized such that individual sections (bolded in the Table of Contents) can be separated
from the report and utilized individually with a minimum of additional effort. To this end, the pages and
figures of each section are numbered independently. In some cases, key figures are duplicated in more
than one section to facilitate this separation.

The author would like to thank the staff of National Steel Product Application Center for their constructive
reviews of each section and for their numerous suggestions. Special appreciation goes to Dr. Stephen
Denner for this guidance and motivation which made completion of this extensive project possible.

Sheet metal forming is an interactive system. For many years, this important fact has received tacit
acknowledgment. However, only within the last decade has this fact been truly incorporated into our
understanding of sheet metal formability and used to exploit the positive features of this interaction to
improve sheet metal formability.

Two general descriptions of the forming system can be found. While similar, each defines the system from
a different perspective. The first, and most common, defines the system in terms of the readily identifiable
components which make up the forming system (K-23). These components, shown in Figure 1-1 are:


Sometimes five components are listed; part design is added to the list. While part design and die design
are closely interrelated, the two sometimes are separated for the purpose of studying the interactions of
the forming system. For example, each die designer may have a different approach to forming a given
part and each may design a different die to form the part. One die designer may attempt to create the part
geometry by pure stretch forming, while another may attempt to create most of the required length of line
by pulling metal from the binder. Thus, one important aspect of forming system analysis is to determine
whether the initial part design exceeds all possible forming limits or whether the die design is incorrect for
the specific part. Some die designs permit a difficult part to be easily made. Other die designs create a
difficult problem out of an easy part design.

The other components of the forming system are readily appreciated. They represent the obvious factors
which affect the ability of the sheet of metal to be transformed into the specified geometry.

This is one basis for defining and understanding sheet metal formability. In this review, it is assumed that
a given sheet of metal does not have an absolute level of formability which can be measured and defined.
Instead, sheet metal has certain properties or parameters which can be measured and which can be
related to formability requirements within the context of the specific system.

This concept can best be understood by several examples. Consider, for example, sheet steel thickness.
A common rule of thumb is that the formability of steel increases with increasing thickness. When this
steel is inserted into a pure stretch forming operation, a thicker steel will, in fact, product a higher dome.
However, when this steel is inserted into a “draw” operation, the increased thickness can cause
insufficient clearance between the punch and die, as well as cause a jam in a draw bead. The center of
the stamping would be ripped out very early in the stroke of the punch. Having performed these two
experiments, should it be concluded that sheet steel formability increased or decreased with increasing
sheet thickness?
In another example, a given sample of steel in a given die with a given lubricant will break when the
combination is placed in a press line A but will combination is placed in press line D. What absolute level
of formability can be assigned to the sheet steel?
Finally, a third example is the normal anisotropy ration, rm, of the steel (See Section Cup
drawing improves with an increase in the normal anisotropy ration (A-28), while pure stretching over a
hemispherical punch decreases with an increase in the normal anisotropy ratio (H-21). Therefore,
formability of sheet steel relative to normal anisotropy can not be simple defined. Instead, the formability
of sheet steel can be defined only relative to the mode of deformation and in terms of all other boundary
conditions imposed by the entire forming system.

Thus, the definition of the forming system and the breakdown of a complex stamping into component
forming modes (Section 2) becomes an important keystone in the understanding of sheet metal
formability. Likewise, identification of the major sheet metal forming process variables is important. Siekirk
recently identified thirty such variables (S-24) and the list is constantly growing as the forming system is
studied further. In the same manner, the ability of a single simulative test to prescribe a single formability
rating has been challenged (L-10).

A somewhat related description of the forming system (B-2) is shown in Figure 1-2. Here the interactive
components are:


This description of the generalized forming system is commonly used in universities and can be applied,
not only to sheet metal forming, but to bulk metal forming, such as extrusion, forging, swagging, and slab
rolling. The scope of this forming system analysis generally is rather narrow and focused. The emphasis
here is not the shape of the exiting stamping and its proximity to failure but the properties of the exiting
metal. Analyses are made to determine the modification of the incoming properties resulting from the
deformation process to predict the strength of the completed part.
Both of the previous descriptions of the forming system assume that a full understanding of the system,
its components, and all the interactions is possible. Such is the foundation of the mathematical
simulations of the forming system currently being formulated (See Section 8.2). Knowing how the system
works allows a prediction of the final output of the system (the completed stamping) without even
constructing the system.

Unfortunately, a more realistic description of the system (K-23) is provided in Figure 1.3. The interactive
forming system is so complex that accurate description or understanding of the system is not possible.
Thus, black box analysis techniques are necessary. Here the total forming system with its interactions is
unknown; this is indicated simply by a black box which represents the total sum of the actions and
interactions. All that is known and can be measured is the input and output conditions of the metal. In this
analysis procedure, the forming system has a series of “dials” on the side of the black box. The goal is to
select one dial which will create the desired output conditions. Only one dial is changed at a time. The first
dial is turned to the left. If the stamping is improved, the new setting is used. If the stamping is worse, the
first dial is turned to the right. If the stamping is improved, the new setting is used. If the stamping is
worse, the first dial is reset to its initial position and the second dial is tried.
The “dials” can be any factors within the system which may affect the output of the system - lubrication,
blank size, holddown load, die radius, ram position, sheet surface roughness, work hardening exponent
(n), or any other factor. The secret of success is selecting the correct dial or dials. The inexperienced
experimenter may have to try 125 dials before the correct one is found. The experienced tool and die
setter may have to try 15 dials. On the other hand, either of them could select the correct dial the first time
– by chance.
Such is the current trial-and-error procedures commonly used in the press shop. Best guesses are made,
based on past experience with similar stampings, as to what modifications are required to produce
successful stampings. The problem becomes more complex, however, with the introduction of new steels
(electrogalvanized and high strength steels), new lubricants (demand lubricants which change frictional
conditions in response to localized heat and pressure), and new forming techniques (drawing into high
pressure tanks) for which no experience base has been accumulated.

Fortunately, a system of measuring the system response is available. This is the circle grid analysis
system (Section 8.1.1). The effect of all system modifications can be monitored without breakage
occurring. In addition, Forming Limit Diagrams (Section 4.2) can be used to assess the severity of any
combination of forming system parameters and monitor the direction of any changes.

Acknowledgment of the forming system is critical to the understanding of sheet metal formability. This
state of the art review, therefore, is organized according the main components of the forming system:


MATERIAL Section 4
PRESS Section 6

The theme of each section is how that section interacts with the other components of the forming system.

Figure 1-1: One description of the interactive forming system includes those components readily
identifiable within the press shop (K-23).

Figure 1-2: Generalized deformation processing system represented by a roll forming operation
(B-2). The four zones are incoming metal, tool-metal interface, deformation zone, and completed

Figure 1-3: Interactive forming system represented by an input-output black box is commonly
used to describe the current trial-and-error modification of forming processes (K-23).

2.1 Introduction
Forming operations convert coils of steel received from the steel mill into stampings. Rarely used in their
as-formed condition, these stampings usually are subsequently assembled with other stampings, or parts,
by welding, bonding, or mechanical fastening. These subsequent operations are important in that they
place constraints on the forming operations. For example, welding may require a weld flange of minimum
width which must be buckle free.
In addition, attempts are being made to combine more and more individual stampings into one single
stamping to compete with the design trends being established by the plastics industry. Finally, reduction in
sheet metal thickness for weight reduction and cost considerations has required the addition of
embossments, ribs, and other design features to maintain part stiffness and other performance
requirements. All these factors have greatly increased the complexity of the average stamping.

To study the formability of sheet metal as it relates to these complex stampings, it becomes necessary to
break down the complex stamping into its component sections (E-1, E-2, A-12, K-26, A-10, M-10).

Two methods are used to divide a complex stamping into its component sections. The first method is by
the geometry of the part; this method generally is used by the stylist and part designer. Here the final
geometry and dimensions of the functional unit are described independent of how the geometry is to be
generated. This geometry usually describes the final panel or part generated by the stamping operations
prior to assembly.

The second method is to subdivide the stamping into components by forming operations or forming mode;
this technique is used by the die designer to generate the required geometry. It consists of an initial
stamping which may be preceded by one or more preforms and the followed by a number of additional
restrike, trim, flange, punch, and other operations before it becomes a finished part. The initial stamping
may or may not resemble the final part. In some extremes, more than fifty percent of the initial blank is
removed as offal.

A complex part representative of geometries commonly found in typical automotive body panels is
sketched in Figure 2-1. The geometry of the part can be described by specifying the dimensions of the top
surface, the side walls, the corners, and the flanges. Added to this overall stamping geometry are sub
areas, such as embossments, holes, slots and other functional zones. The part designer thinks in terms of
the required geometry to accomplish the required function or the geometry needed to fulfill the styling
shape – usually without concern about how the part is to be made.

Definition of this geometry is not difficult. For example, the part print for Figure 2-1 could require the lower
left corner radius to be 1 times metal thickness (1t) or 15 times metal thickness (15t). The 1t radius may
actually be required for clearance or other purposes or it may be simply an arbitrary number put on the
part print because it “looks crisp”. The 1t radius, however, restricts the allowable depth of the initial
stamping and probably will require two or three stamping operations to generate the specified part
surface. A 1t radius corner may even be impossible to produce or be cost prohibitive in some part

The second method of breaking down a complex part is by its forming operations or forming modes
(Figure 2-2). Typical forming operations are defined in the remainder of this section. A discussion on
design details is included in Section 3. It is important to note that specific geometrical shapes can be
created by more than one forming operation or mode. This can be important to circumvent some forming
limits. For example, an embossment followed by one or more redraws can be substituted for an
impossible stretch operation.

2.2 Cutting
The preparation of the sheet metal blank or workpiece from coils, strips, or sheets by a cutting operation
is an easily identified first step in the formation of almost all sheet metal stampings. In a few cases, the
blank itself is the final completed part, such as a motor lamination. In most cases, though, the blank is
subjected to subsequent forming.

Cutting operations is one plane are classified by the terms shearing, blanking, slitting, piercing, and
lancing. Cutting operation in more than one plane are classified by the terms trimming and parting.
SHEARING is performed by a blade acting along a straight line. The work metal is placed between a
stationary lower blade and a movable upper blade and is severed by bringing the blades together.
Nondeveloped blanks are generated by shearing.

BLANKING involves a cutting action about a closed shape which is the piece retained for further
processing. The closed shape may be composed of any number of straight and curved line segments.
Developed or contoured blanks are generated by blanking.

SLITTING is the cutting of lengths (usually coils) of sheet metal into narrower lengths by means of one or
more pairs of circular knives. This operation often precedes shearing or blanking and is used to produce
exact blank or nesting widths.

PIERCING is forming a hole in sheet metal with a pointed punch with no metal fallout.

LANCING makes an opening without completely separating the cut piece from the body of the metal
sheet, such as for louvers.

TRIMMING removes unwanted metal from the finished part that was required for some previous stamping
operation, such as binder areas, or was generated by a previous stamping operation, such as the earing
zone on the top of a deep drawn cup.

PARTING operations are used to separate two identical or mirror image stampings that were formed
together (typically for the expediency of making two parts at one time or to balance the draw operation of
a nonsymmetrical part). Parting also is an operation that involves two cutoff operations to produce
contoured blanks from strip. Scrap is produced in the parting operation.

2.3 First Form Operations

First forming operations can be organized and catalogued in a variety of ways. One logical method is
based on increasing complexity.


Straight Curved
Bend Shrink Flange
Bend-and-Straighten Stretch Flange
Plane Strain Hole Expansion


Infinite Blank Limited Blank

Embossment Draw
Biaxial Stretch

Each of these forming operations will be described in detail.

2.3.1 BEND

Bending is one of the most common methods used to change the shape of sheet metal. Two types of
bends are commonly employed (Figure 2-3). The first is know by several names, such as the free bend,
v-bend, U-bend, and press bake bend. In each case a punch forces the metal into a long channel die as
both free edges swing upward. In the second type of bend, known as a wiping bend, one edge is held
securely while the punch wipes or swings the free edge down.
Bending is one of the most common methods used to change the shape of sheet metal. Two types of
bends are commonly employed (Figure 2-3). The first is know by several names, such as the free bend,
v-bend, U-bend, and press bake bend. In each case a punch forces the metal into a long channel die as
both free edges swing upward. In the second type of bend, known as a wiping bend, one edge is held
securely while the punch wipes or swings the free edge down.

All bending operations have a number of common characteristics.

(a) One or more metal edges swing through space. This swing must be calculated to allow for sufficient
room in the tooling.

(b) The metal bends along a narrow line that acts much like a plastic hinge. This line is the axis of the

(c) An element of metal, and corresponding circle grid on the outer surface of the flat blank, would deform
in the following manner. The material would be elongated across the bend to generate the required
increase in the length line. This elongation would be the largest strain in the surface of the blank. Thus,
the major axis of the resulting ellipse would be oriented across the bend and would be longer than the
original circle diameter. The strain value is calculated from the formula:

If - Ii ∆I
% Strain = x 100
Ii Ii

where li is the initial gage length (initial circle diameter) and lf s the final gage length (axial length of the
ellipse). The major axis of the ellipse is longer than the initial circle diameter and creates a positive values
of strain, e1, which indicates a tensile strain or elongation. No deformation occurs along the axis of the
bend. The minor strain (minimum strain or strain perpendicular to the major strain), e1, therefore is zero
because the constant length of the axis does not change the original circle diameter. The bending
operation is given the notation (+ by 0) or tensile major strain by zero minor strain.

(d) The inner (concave) surface is placed in an opposite deformation state or in compression (Figure 2-
3b). Somewhere between the outer and inner surfaces a neutral axis or a line of zero strain exists. Thus,
the bending action creates an extreme strain gradient from the convex to the concave surface.

(e) Metal outside the plastic hinge is unstrained and remains in the as-received condition.


The final shape generated by a bend-and-straighten operation is identical to that of a bending operation.
The intermediate steps are quite different and therefore generate different characteristics in the final
product. In the bend-and-straighten operation, the swing of the metal is prevented by a blank holder
(Figure 2-4a). At the beginning of the forming operation, metal is wrapped around the bottom radius of the
punch by a bending operation. At the same time, metal also is wrapped around the die radius, again by
bending. Once the initial configurations of these radii are obtained, the primary forming process can
begin. Thereafter, each additional element in the final wall begins initially in the flange and is pulled
toward the radius zone. Upon entering the die radius zone (Figure 2-4b), the element is bent to conform
to the contours of the radius. When leaving the radius zone, the element must be unbent or straightened
to conform to the straight wall. Thus, the operation is accurately called bend-and-straighten.

The primary difference between bend and the bend-and-straighten operation is the condition of the final
wall. In the bend operations, the final part wall is swung into position and remains in the unworked state.
In the bend-and-straighten operation the outer (convex) surface is first placed in tension and then in
compression. The inner surface undergoes the reverse sequence. Even though the final wall is straight,
the metal has undergone a deformation sequence. Depending on the die radius of curvature, the working
sequence can be quite severe. Thus, the properties of the wall are changed.
The circular grid pattern would show the tensile major strain by zero minor strain pattern around the
radius to be identical to the bending operation. Little, if any, resultant strain would be detected in the wall.


The plane strain stretch operation is similar to a bending operation but a tensile strain component is
added across the radius (Figure 2-5). If the bend radius is large compared to the sheet thickness, the
bending strain component can be small compared to a large tensile strain component. This produces a
strain condition in which both the outer and inner surfaces show a tensile major strain (though different)
by a zero minor strain. This deformation state is commonly found when the ratio of inner bend radius to
sheet thickness (r/t) is greater than 10. In contrast, the sheet is considered a membrane with the through-
thickness stress being negligible compared to the in-sheet stresses when the ratio r/t exceeds 20. Eary
(E-1) describes this operation as stretching a large radius, partial cylinder.

This particular type of deformation is very sensitive to the type of die construction. Figure 2-6 shows
approximately the same angle being generated in two ways. Depending on the “tip” or “angle” of the die,
the deformation can be accomplished by plane strain stretch (2-6a) or must be made by a bend-and-
straighten operation (2-6b).



Another degree of complexity is added to the bending operation by changing the line of bending from a
straight line to a curved line. Deformation along the line of bending is not longer zero but may be either
tensile (positive) or compressive (negative).

One form of flanging is called shrink flanging (Figure 2-7a). As the name implies, the length of the flange
shrinks as it is formed. Each radial zone (shaded region) is folded 90 degrees along a radical line to form
the flange or wall. Since the arc length A of the final flange or wall is smaller than the arc length B of the
element from which it was formed, a compression must take place in the circumferential direction
indicated by the arrows. The greater flange the flange depth, the greater the amount of compression

The compressive strain state is indicated by the minor axis of the ellipse being less than the diameter of
the original gridded circle. This compressive strain state has a tendency to produce the buckles or
wrinkles common in shrink flanging. A deeper flange has more tendency to buckle because of the greater
compressive strain required.

The opposite form of flanging is stretch flanging (Figure 2-7b). Here the material is stretched as it is
flanged. The initial arc length is shorter than the required arc length of the flange. A tensile strain is
needed to generate this required increase in length of line. This elongation requires the major axis of the
ellipse to reside in the circumferential direction (a 90 degree rotation from that found in shrink flanging). A
greater flange depth requires a greater change in arc length or elongation. The minor strain is negative
near the edge (free to pull in as for a tensile test) and zero near the bend line.

Since the deformation state is now tensile, no buckling occurs. However, the limit of the operation
becomes the tensile deformation limit of the material. Exceeding this limit will cause the material to split or
tear from the edge. A poor blanking operation will greatly reduce this permissible tensile elongation and
the depth of flange which can be generated.


In the strictest terms, hole expansion (Figure 2-8) is a type of stretch flanging in which the bend line is a
complete circle. Accordingly, another name for the operation is hole flanging. The reason this operation is
given a separate classification is twofold. First, hole expansion is a very distinct operation in many
stamping plants and is therefore uniquely termed on blueprints. Second, as will be explained later, hole
expansion is a popular test used to evaluate sheet metal forming capacity.

The same comments made above concerning stretch flanging are applicable here. The strain state shows
the tensile major axis of the ellipse in the circumferential direction around the hole. There is a
compressive minor strain near the free edge of the hole and a zero minor strain close to the bend line.


The simplest of the forming operations is embossment. The operation is performed on a localized area
such that the remainder of the blank is large compared to the deformation zone. This means that the
blank is considered to be of infinite size and no metal flows from the blank into the deforming zone.

Embossments are generally divided into three types (Figure 2-9). These are: 10 beads and ribs, 20
offsets, and 30 decorative (e-2). The beads and ribs are characterized by a long, narrow depression
(Figure 2-9a) which may be straight, circular, or combination. The offset is the displacement of a large
area of metal (Figure 2-9b), in which the edge (B) is one-half the width (A) of the bead. The third category
is any combination of beads and offsets used for decoration; a most common example is embossments of
letters and numbers on automotive license plates.

A common characteristic of all embossments is the displacement of metal without a reduction in sheet
thickness in the flat section of the offset (E-2). Embossed designs are visible from both sides of the sheet,
though the relief is reversed. Thus, an embossment is different from a “stamp” in that a stamp depresses
sheet thickness from only one surface.

Grids placed on embossments would show a major tensile strain across the radius and no strain (plane
strain) along the radius. All other metal areas remain unstrained.


Biaxial stretch forming is the only operation in which both the major and minor strains are tensile. A
common example is the penetration of a hemispherical punch into an infinite sheet or a sheet effectively
locked by beads (Figure 2-10). Because no metal can flow into the die area from the flange (binder) area,
all deformation is restricted to the metal initially within the die opening. This forces the metal to stretch in
all directions. The ellipse, therefore, is elongated in both directions for a (+ by +) strain state.

2.3.8 DRAW

In the automotive press shop, most dies are called draw dies because the metal is drawn into the die
cavity. In reality, most of the deformation is biaxial stretch over the punch or bend-and-straighten metal
flow from the flange. Drawing, sometimes known as cup drawing, radial drawing, or deep drawing, has a
very specific set of conditions which differentiate it form these other operations.

The most common drawing operation is the formation of cylindrical cup (Figure 2-11). The blank is drawn
into the die cavity by the action of a flat bottom punch. Deformation is restricted to the flange areas of the
blank. No deformation occurs under the bottom of the punch – the area of the blank originally within the
die opening. This is the exact opposite of stretch forming.

The unique character of deep drawing is the deformation state of the flange. As the blank is pulled toward
the die line its circumference must be reduced. This reduction in the circumference generates a
compressive stress in the circumferential direction, resulting in a radial elongation as the metal is
extruded in the opposite direction.

Here is an appropriate time to differentiate between different stress states creating identical strain states.
This very important differentiation is often overlooked, yet changing stress states from tensile to
compressive can mean the difference between failure and success. Figure 2-12 illustrates the difference.
A circle can become elongated by two methods. A tensile stress (force) can be placed on axis A-A which
will result in a contraction along axis B-B. Alternatively, axis B-B can be compressed and the metal will
elongate along axis A-A. However, the tensile stress of the first example is much more damaging than the
compressive stress of the second case. A common analogy would be generating a ribbon of toothpaste
from a toothpaste tube. Pulling the ribbon of toothpaste out of the tube by a tensile pull would not be
successful because of tensile necking. However, compressive extruding of the toothpaste is very simple.
Another example of different stress systems for the same strain state is the through-thickness
compression of a sheet (Figure 2-12b) compared to a balanced biaxial tension in the plane of the sheet.

2.4 Subsequent Forming Operations

Many parts are formed in a sequence of forming operations as opposed to a single operation. The
primary reason for multiple operations is that the severity of the forming is too great to be accomplished in
a single operation. A prime example is the restrike operation (Figure 2-13). Attempting to stretch metal
into a die cavity by stretching over a very sharp radius punch (a) would result in failure. Instead the metal
surface area or length of line is generated by stretching over a generous radius punch. A restrike (b) then
redistributes the metal into the desired configuration without an additional tensile increase in the length of

Another common subsequent forming operation is redrawing. Limits are imposed on the blank diameter
which can be drawn into a cup of a given diameter. Should a deeper cup be required, an intermediate
diameter cup is drawn first. This cup is then redrawn in one or more subsequent stages to achieve the
final diameter and height. In some case the cup is ironed to obtain additional cup height.

These subsequent forming operations are well described in textbooks (E-2, S-3). It is important to note
that the limiting stage, and the most critical forming operation (E-1, K-24). Thus, the importance attributed
to the first forming operation is well founded.

2.5 Interaction of Forming Modes

Most stampings are composed of one or more primary forming modes. The two shapes shown in Figure
2-1 are reproduced in Figure 2-2 but the geometrical designations have been replaced by the respective
forming modes used to generate the geometrical shapes. Once the forming modes have been identified,
the analysis of the stamping can begin. One such method is the length of line analysis technique. Here
the required length of line is analyzed for each of the directions and zones in the stamping. An example is
shown in Figure 2-14.

In this complex stamping, note that the wall geometry of line 1 is generated by a radial or cup drawing
mode. This is determined by examining the plan view of the stamping (Figure 2-15). Note that the four
corners can be combined to form a complete cup, which is created by radial or cup drawing. By contrast,
the wall geometry of line 2 is generated by a bend-and-straighten operation. Thus, it becomes important
to identify known forming modes within a stamping. Each of the forming modes requires different material
properties for optimum formability. Both design parameters and material properties will vary greatly –
often in the opposite direction – depending on the forming mode (Discussed in Section 3).

After the first stamping is formed, a wide option of secondary forming operations is available to change
the shape created by each of the initial forming modes. For example, trimming and reverse flanging of the
initial flange may present problems. The bend-and-straighten section remained at initial blank thickness.
However, the metal in the corner cup draw has increased in thickness and may be up to 40 percent
thicker. Compensation for this change in thickness must be made in the clearances of the trim die and the
reverse flange die.

Even more complex, these forming modes are interactive and are constantly changing in response to a
large number of variables. For example, an increase in blank width to provide an additional flange after
trimming for welded requirements will restrict metal flow from a binder (holddown) area and thereby
increase the depth of the stamping required by stretching over the punch. This may drive the deformation
over the punch into a failure condition. Increasing the die radius can reverse this trend by allowing easier
flow of the extended blank into the die cavity. However, if this die radius now is too large for the final part,
a restrike operation will be required to sharpen the radius to the required (not desired) dimension. These
are the interactions which must be considered by the simultaneous engineering team.

Unfortunately, an increase or decrease in interface lubricity with respect to the surface characteristics of
the incoming steel can inadvertently cause the same reaction in the die and cause part to part variability.
Thus, the first task at hand is to understand the forming modes and how they interact to provide the
desired part (and therefore stamping) shape.

2.6 Auxiliary Operations

These operations are performed on the incoming metal, during intermediate stages, or on the final part to
make it conform to blueprint specifications. These operations include trimming, flanging, piercing, etc. and
are well described in various textbooks (E-2, S-3). An important consideration with these operations is
that they are often performed on metal which is in the work hardened state and therefore has reduced

2.7 Illustrative Example

A common part is the rectangular, flat bottom box (Figure 2-16). At first glance, view a), this might be
called a pure deep drawing operation according to traditional, current press shop terminology. The cross-
sectional view b) is identical to that found in deep drawing. However, analysis of the plan view c) indicates
a combination of deep drawing and bend-and-straighten operations. If the four corners are removed and
reassembled by themselves, a deep drawn, flat-bottom, cylindrical cup is created. Thus each of the four
corners is one-quarter of a pure deep drawing operation. Examination of the remaining four straight-sided
sections shows these areas to be formed by bend-and-straighten operations. Elements move inward from
the flange without any deformation or strain until the radius is reached. The (+ by -) strain characteristic of
deep drawing is absent. In passing over the die radius into the pan wall a (+ by 0) deformation takes

In reality, the compression action of the corners forces excess corner material into the straight flange
areas (Figure 2-16d). This reduces the compression strain in the corner and permits a deeper box to be
generated than that predicted by pure deep drawing formulas. Note the different characteristic patterns of
buckles or wrinkles in the corner and side segments. In draw zones the wrinkle lines converge at the die
radius. In bend-and-straighten areas they often will diverge at the die radius.

Note the wrong labeling of “draw beads” used to restrain metal flow. Draw beads are not placed in draw
regions of the stamping; in draw regions metal flow from the flange is to be encouraged, not restricted.
Metal flow restraint often is needed in the bend-and-straighten areas to control excessively rapid metal
flow and to impart a small increment of stretch to eliminate loose metal. Therefore, draw beads actually
should be renamed to be stretch beads (E-1).
The part sketched in Figure 2-17 previously would have been classed as a drawn part using the old press
shop terminology. Yet analysis of this part based on the circular grid analysis system would indicate that
no areas of deep drawing are present. Zone A is generated by a stretch operation. Zone B is generated
by a simple bend-and-straighten operation. No compressive minor strains, required for deep drawing, are
present in this part.

A good composite stamping which illustrates the various strain states is a round-bottom, cylindrical cup
(Figure 2-18). The top portion of the cup is formed by stretch forming over a hemispherical punch. The
strain states are (+ by -) or tensile-compressive. Between the two regions the minor strain becomes zero.
This zone of (+ by 0) or plane strain is considered to be the dividing line between stretching and deep
drawing. This zone also is the restrike or die impact line observed on most stampings.

Unfortunately, we are currently in a transition period where both the old press shop jargon and the new
terminology systems are used simultaneously. This creates a tremendous problem in communication.
Persons discussing a problem and using the same terms can mean directly opposite forming operations.
The greatest offender is the term “draw die”. It is, therefore, important that this report begin with the new
definitions of the forming operations, as this entire report will be based on this revised terminology.

2.8 Summary
Sheet metal forming is a complex interaction of numerous forming modes. Prediction of sheet metal
forming limits or analysis of forming failures depends on accurate assessment of these forming modes. A
number of problems are encountered with this concept.

DEFINING THE FORMING MODES. Some method of defining the modes of deformation is
required. Geometrical definitions are not capable of sufficient discrimination. For example, a wall
of a stamping could be generated by several different forming modes-some of which are more
severe of damaging than others. Therefore, the actual deformation of the metal, combined with
the stress state necessary to create the deformation, currently is the best framework for
describing forming operations.
NAMING THE FORMING MODES. Once the forming modes are described in terms of the
deformation patterns and deformation histories, proper naming of the forming modes naturally
follows. The problem now becomes one of conflict with traditional press shop jargon,
historically generated from a different reference base. The most common conflict is to call the
first die in a press line a “draw die” when very little or not drawing actually is created in the die
based on the engineering definitions discussed in this section.
are generated by a single forming mode. Instead, numerous forming modes are needed to create
the common, complex stampings. These modes interact and compete with each other during the
forming cycle of the stamping. Thus, some method of identifying the various segments of the
stamping with the correct forming mode is required.
action for sheet metal forming failures depends on the specific mode within which the failure
occurs. To say the stamping failed is no longer sufficient for effective correction of the problem.
The forming mode associated with the failure must be identified. This will be discussed in more
depth in subsequent sections.
ANALYZING CHANGES IN FORMING MODES. The forming modes, as well as the
location of failures, change during the production life cycle of a stamping. These changes are
gradual cover time with discrete steps often occurring when the tooling is replaced in the press.
These changes need to be detected and tracked for effective forming analyses.
An important first step to improved sheet metal forming analysis, therefore, is correct definition and
identification of the various forming components in all stampings.

Figure 2-1: Schematic of a stamping with a combination of geometries.

Figure 2-2: Schematic of a stamping showing different possible forming modes.

Figure 2-3: Schematic (a) showing the action of a Vdie, Udie, and a wiping die. The strain state in
bending is shown in (b) (E-2).

Figure 2-4: Bend-and-straighten deformation occurs as the metal moves from the flange to the

Figure 2-5: A large component of stretch added to a small bending strain produces two different
tensile strains on the convex and concave sides.

Figure 2-6: The tip of the stamping in a die can cause a change in the type of deformation.

Figure 2-7: Shrink flanging in the top sketch (compression) is compared to stretch flanging in the
botom sketch (tension).

Figure 2-8: In hole expansion, the material at the edge of the hole elongates in the circumferential
direction and contracts in the radial direction, thereby approximating the strain state in a tensile

Figure 2-9: Two configurations are possible for an embossment.

Figure 2-10: Stretch forming in which no deformation is allowed in the blank area and all
deformation occurs in the die opening over the punch.

Figure 2-11: Deep drawing in which no deformation occurs over the bottom of the punch and all
deformation is restricted to a tension-compression deformation in the flange of the blank.

Figure 2-12: Identical strain states can be obtained from either tensile or compressive stress.
Figure 2-13: Second forming operations are more successful when the length of the line is
generated in the first operation over generous radii.

Figure 2-14: Line analysis of a complex stamping.

Figure 2-15: Plan view showing cup draw segments in the corners.

Figure 2-16: Most "deep draw" forming operations are primarily composed of bend-and-straighten
segments. Only the four corners reflect a true drawing deformation.

Figure 2-17: While this stamping looks like a deep drawn part, circle grid evaluation reveals
stretch forming (A) and ben-and-straighten (B) operations.

Figure 2-18: A round-nosed cup is composed of balanced biaxial stretch at the pole, biaxial
stretch over the remainder of the punch nose, a line of plane stretch (- by 0) seperating stretch
and draw, and cup drawing.

3.1 Introduction
Historically, the progression of an automotive sheet metal stamping from conception to production has
been a segmented series of events. Styling, part design, material selection, die design, die build, die
tryout, and part production have been performed in a sequential manner. Interactions between adjacent
stages have been minimal at best. Manufacturing feasibility discussions between part designers and
production staffs have been almost nonexistent. For example, die designers have had little input into the
design of the part and rarely did they interact with the press room tryout staff. The activities of each
segment in the sequence have been conducted within its own sphere of work by its own group members.
Interaction among the different groups has been limited.

This problem is improved by the recent growth of simultaneous engineering (A-34). Here all groups
involved in the design to production chain meet early in the design stage to provide input into the design
of the part. For example, the production staff may suggest a minor part change which will radically reduce
the amount of offal. Ideally, the simultaneous engineering concept even brings specialists from the
material, lubricant, and other outside suppliers into the initial design phase, where major design changes
can be made most easily in a cost/time effective manner.

Implementation of the simultaneous engineering team is an excellent step forward. However, the input of
each team member generally is limited to his personal knowledge most likely gained through years of trial
and error experiments. This is especially true in the area of sheet metal formability. Lacking here are
master design guidebooks, which detail the specific limits for different types of sheet steel for each of the
forming modes described in the proceeding Section2.

Few sheet metal formability design limits are available. This is especially true for the automotive industry
which forms an infinite variety of complex designs from a large variety of coated and uncoated steels.
Some of the other industries have less of a problem. For example, the container industry produces many
billions of cans which are geometrically identical (drawn and ironed or draw-redraw), symmetrical in
shape, restricted to limited steel grades and coatings, and related to a historical design which has been
fine-tuned for decades.

Design rules or limits for automotive stampings which do exist are fragmented among many sources. A
few textbooks are available, such as the important text by Eary and Reed (E-2) and others (A-4, A-10, A-
12, A-13, A-14, A-15, D-14, J-10, K-28, L-3, S-11, S-14, S-29, S-30, W-7, C-1). The AISI has attempted to
tabulate some of these design rules in recent publications. The first was Sheet Steel Formability (A-12). A
section on Formability is included in the Automotive Steel Design Manual (A-10). Some books use the
case history method to present design/forming limitations (A-14). The references which are available are
extremely limited and do not provide any coherent system for data acquisition.

Ideally, mathematical modeling of sheet metal formability (Section 8.2) is intended to replace the need for
manuals or personal knowledge of sheet steel design rules. However, this capability will not be available
to every type of designer in all automotive companies (small component suppliers as well as the major
companies) for many years. The design manuals are needed in the interim. Finally, a the mathematical
modeling systems are developed, the design manuals are an effective method to test the predictive
capabilities of the new mathematical modeling systems.

Several foundations are required to support the concept of a sheet steel design manual, however. These
include a common language (Section 10), a general definition of the forming system (Section 1), a
uniform description of the component forming modes (Section 2), and an understanding of the
contributions made by components of the forming system other than design (Sections 4-6).

This section will highlight some of the areas where design rules are available and areas which lack
significant guidelines.

3.2 Blank Development

The stamping operation begins with the creation of a blank. The blank is created by either shearing or
blanking. In shearing a straight cut is made across the coil width to form a square or rectangular blank. In
blanking a contoured blank is created. The
perimeter of this contoured blank is composed of combinations of straight and curved segments. While
the shearing operation is the easiest to perform, it may be very wasteful of metal (Figure 3-1a).

Nesting of the blanks can reduce the metal which must be removed by trimming (Figure 3-1b). This trim
material is called offal or engineered scrap. It is metal intentionally wasted from the initial blank on every
stamping. Sometimes large segments of offal can be reapplied on smaller parts but careful study of the
economics must be made. The costs of steel collection, storage, reapplication, accounting, scheduling,
etc. may outweigh the savings generated by the amount of the scrap metal actually used. A primary goal
of contouring, however, is to provide a nested pattern of blanks which will minimize offal.
Another reason for the contouring of blanks by a blanking operation is to match the blank perimeter to the
perimeter of the die opening. This encourages more uniform metal flow into the die cavity, prevents
excess metal buckling in the flange, and reduces the drag of extra flange metal behind critical zones. A
third reason for contouring the blanks is to create the final flange/part contour in the blank in order to
eliminate a trim after the forming operation. Obviously, the contour of the blank with respect to forming
may be in conflict with the blank shape for ideal nesting.

The shearing/blanking operation can be performed in several ways. It may be done in material receiving,
where coils of steel are blanked and the stacks of blanks shipped to the press line. The blanks may be
made at the head of the press line as the coil is unwound into a washer, blanker, oiler combination.
Finally, the blanks may be created in the die at the start of the forming stroke.

All the cutting operations detailed above involve the same basic theory of cutting sheet metal (E-2, J-10).
The cutting occurs by a combination of metal penetration and actual fracture of the metal. A critical factor
in both the visual appearance and the residual ductility of the cut edge is the clearance of the cutting
knives. For low strength, low carbon steel an aim of ten percent clearance is used for automotive body
panel stock.

The most important stamping consideration for cutting is the residual ductility remaining in the cut edge
(M-39). Figure 3-2 shows the residual stretchability as a function of burr height. Here the burr height is the
measure of damage inflicted during the cutting operation.

More specific information is contained in Figure 3-3. Here the hole expansion values are provided for
different strength steels as a function of the quality of the blanked hole. The hole expansion test simulates
closely the permissible elongation of a blanked edge.

Similar data have been presented in terms of permissible elongation for given grades and thicknesses of
steel. This is a fruitful area for additional work. While standard rules of thumb are useful – for example
shear clearances of 10 to 14 percent of metal thickness – they can not always be met. Some secondary
blanking/trimming operations which occur between forming stages are constrained by the geometry of the
stamping relative to the tooling. In these cases, additional damage to the blanked edge is unavoidable.
Here it becomes important to know the permissible strain level and strain distribution capabilities of the
resulting blanked edge so that subsequent forming stages do not result in failure (Figure 3-4). Such
information may have to be inserted into mathematical modeling systems in tabular form, as calculation of
permissible residual formability after blanking may not be possible from fundamental plasticity theory.

Extensive work by Hugo H-4, H-41) on hole punching provides some insight into the subject of blanking,
since hole punching can be viewed as circular blanking. His data are summarized in Figure 3.5.

The punch loading curve (Figure 3-6) shows how punching (blanking) energy, measured from area under
the load-penetration curve, can be reduced by using larger punch-to-die clearances. Generally, process
conditions for the minimum energy are optimum. Additional energy in consumed in redundant work,
excessive deformation, heat loss, etc. Much of the additional energy consumed is translated into damage
of the sheet metal.

If the stretching required to make part print exceeds the residual stretchability after cutting, several
avenues are available for restoring the edge stretchability. One is improving the quality of the original
cutting operation. A second is an additional cut of higher quality. A third would be a shaving or milling of
the cut edge before subsequent tensile straining. A fourth is heating of the cut edge to reduce the effects
of the cutting operation; this has been described as “thermal deburring”. If these steps are not feasible
solutions, the stamping/part will have to be redesigned to reduce the required stretching on the blanked
3.3 Generating the Stamping Wall
The walls of the stamping may be generated by one or more of the forming modes described in Section
2.3. The walls are composed of the sides and the corners (Figure 3.7). The side walls are further
subdivided by forming modes – flanging and bend-and-straighten. In like manner, the corners are
subdivided into flanging and drawing.

3.3.1 SIDE WALLS Flanging

The walls of some stampings are created by flanging. While flanging may be done on a press brake, the
same deformation mode occurs with a wiping die or a die without a blank holddown ring or binder. The
flanging of the sidewall can be further subdivided into straight line flanging and curved line flanging.

STRAIGHT LINE FLANGING - This flanging operation simply is a bending operation where the sheet
steel is folded (bent) over a radius. Deformation occurs only in the plastic hinge over the die radius with
no strain along the axis of the bend.

Bending is different from other forming modes in that a severe strain gradient is developed from one
surface to the other by the act of bending. The maximum tensile strain is found on the convex surface of
the stamping, while the maximum compressive strain is found on the concave surface of the stamping.
Somewhere within the sheet metal is a neutral axis which does not change length. A common design
assumption is that the surface area of the bend at the neutral axis, and therefore the thickness of the
bend, does not change.

The convex tensile and concave compressive stresses tend to magnify the elastic recovery or springback
reaction when the forming loads are removed. Harder materials, thinner sheets, and larger bend radii
increase the tendency for springback. Methods for controlling springback include overbending and stretch
bending. Overbending does not reduce springback but simply adds an increment to the original bend
such that the original bend angle minus the springback will equal the design angle. Stretch bending
actually reduces the amount of springback. By adding a through thickness tensile component, the
tensile/compressive stress gradient is reduced. Springback is discussed in detail in Section 8.3.

The radius of a bend in sheet metal forming generally is specified in terms of thickness of metal being
bent. A sheet with a thickness of 0.030 inches (0.75mm) bent over a radius of 0.12 inches (3mm) would
have a 4t bend. Bends therefore can vary from zero thickness to infinity (no bend) at one location and the
bending can change from one location to another, even reversing the amount and direction of the bend.

For automotive stampings the metal thickness of cold rolled steel is generally in the range of 0.020 inch
(0.5mm) and 0.070 inch (1.8mm). The outer body panels will cover a smaller range from 0.025 inch
(0.6mm) to 0.04 inch (1.05mm). The bend radii for most of these stamping should be between 3t and 9t.
Larger radii up to 25t are used if the design requires a rounded appearance. Too sharp a bend will cause
excessive tearing, especially if there are tensile forces associated with the bend. These sharper bends
usually require a restrike operation. Too large bend radius introduces the possibility of excessive
springback and the necessary larger spacing needed between the bend dies can cause loss of control of
the metal being bent.

Bends are most frequently made to a 90 degree angle by the vertical movement of a punch into a die
opening. A hinge die can be used to overbend beyond 90 degrees. Further bending and flattening to form
a hem can then be accomplished by a subsequent punch action against a backing plate.
A system for predicting bending limits, which will serve a function parallel to that of the forming limit
diagrams for membrane-type deformation, must be based on the maximum allowable strains generated in
the outer (convex) surface of the bend.

Studies have shown (Figure 308) that the strains on the outer surface depend upon the bend angle and
the ratio of bend radius to sheet thickness (r/t).

Interestingly, outer fiber strains do not change drastically for different r/t ratios until the bend angle
exceeds 50 degrees. This is shown in Figure 3-9, which is a replot of the data contained in Figure 3-8.
Since the outer surface strains are a direct function of the radius curvature of the bend (Figure 3-10), the
different r/t bends must generate different radii of curvature in a free bend (press brake) operation – even
for constant punch radii.

Even more significant in Figure 3-8 is the constant peak strain observed for increasing the bend angle
beyond 90 degrees for r/t equal to 1.67. This is consistent with an earlier graph (Figure 3-11) by Keeler
(K-24) which shows that a peak bend strain is reached after which further bend depth (increasing bend
angle) does not increase the peak strain but causes the lower peak strain to be reached at an earlier
bend angle. This agrees with the two strain distributions shown in Figure 3-12 and the series of strain
distributions in Figure 3-13.

The above studies indicate that the outer fiber stain is a measure of bend severity and depends upon the
geometry of the bend. The studies also show that the most critical stage in a bend operation is not at the
final 180 degree angle but somewhere earlier in the bending operation. For satisfactory bends and larger,
Figure 3-8 suggest the critical angle is approximately 120 degrees. The other half of the problem is to
define the maximum allowable strain the outer surface can withstand. One study (K-24) suggested the
maximum outer fiber strain a metal can withstand is related to the total elongation of the metal. This
sounds feasible but no definitive data can be found.

Figure 3-14 shows poor correlation between bendability and percent total elongation and better
correlation between bendability and percent reduction of areas. However, traditional bendability data are
not sharply defined by outer fiber strain discussed previously but by a pass-fail system at 1t and flat bend.
The same pass-fail system is used to show the effect of stringer inclusions in Figure 3-15 for different
yield strengths. Relationships developed form this pass-fail system should be used with extreme caution,
as should various bend allowance tables based on the 1t, 2t, etc. system.

A bendability definition which is better than the pass-fail system is the length of the longest edge crack (K-
55). This test combines outer fiber strain and the strain limits of the material. Using this criterion, an
important graph (Figure 3-16) shows the effect of sulfide shape control during bending. The graph shows
reduced bendability of an 80 ksi (550 MPa) steel compared to a 50 ksi (345 MPa) steel when neither steel
has inclusion shape control. With inclusion shape control, both steels have equal bendability at a level
significantly better than the 50 ksi (345 MPa) steel without inclusion shape control.

Bending pressures (free bend) for various metal thicknesses and die openings are recorded in the
literature for steel (S-13). In general, however, the loads used for bending operations (including roll
forming) will be proportional to the yield strength times the square of the metal thickness (B-18). A gage
reduction accompanying a strength increase can result in lower press loads. Conversely, thickness
increases when changing to aluminum form 1008 steel at approximately the same yield strength can
greatly increase press loads required for bending because of the thickness squared relationship.

In a wiping die, bend forces are minimal. However, pad holding pressures should be approximately 10
times the required punch pressure to avoid sheet slippage and recoil (E-2). Flanging die materials need
more attention for high strength steels than aluminum as higher loads will be encountered. Wear and
galling resistance are of increased importance for both high volumes and difficult forming conditions.
While die materials such as T-15 offer perhaps the best performance, they are more difficult to heat treat
and weld than the oil or water hardening steels (B-18).

Experiments for a wide variety of metals (Y-3) have shown relationships between minimum r/t ratios and
total elongation (etot) and reduction in area (%RA). These results are shown in Figure 3-17 and can be
translated into design formulas, such as:

Rmin = e - t/2
Rmin = -1t
% RA

where Rmin is the minimum bend radius for successful bends. The analysis becomes complicated when
laminated (steel-core-steel) sheets are evaluated (S-19, Y-14, Y-6, M-17).

Flanges are short vertical bends at the edges of a panel or surrounding a hole. When bending a flanged
inside corner, the corner radius should be at least 4t (A-10). If an outside corner is to be formed with a
flange, the minimum radius of the corner should be 5t and the angle of the corner no sharper than 60

In hemmed corners where the metal of the flange is folded back against the sheet, the minimum allowed
corner radii are increased to 24t for an inside and 7t for an outside corner, again no sharper than 60
degrees (A-10).

Hem flanges are used to strengthen the edges of sheet metal parts, give a smooth rounded edge to a
part, or to provide hidden joints. They can be either concave or convex, but in either case problems of too
little metal for an inside flange, or too much metal for an outside flange, must be handled during the
bending process. This is accomplished by limiting the width of the flange, cutting notches in the corner
flange metal to reduce the amount of metal to be bent and stretched or shrunk, or designing offsets to
take up excess metal. Offsets are displacements of a few metal thicknesses, similar to those used to form
license plate numbers. For corner flanges, the offsets can be considered designed-in wrinkles. Edges that
must be strengthened further than is possible by hemming are curled.

CURVED LINE FLANGING – Curved line flanging has an additional component of strain added to the
deformation. As the blank is folded, the blank must elongate or shorten along the length of the wall to
conform to the geometry of the wall. This deformation increases as the vertical distance from the bend
axis is increased; the further away the element is located, the more the length of line must change.

For flanging on a convex bend axis, the length of line must become shorter. This forming mode is called
shrink flanging. Because the stresses are compressive in shrink flanging, breakage is not the failure
mode. However, shrink flanges tend to generate buckles and loose metal. Careful control of punch/die
clearance is required to produce a “clean” flange (N-8).

In contrast, a concave bend axis requires the length of line to increase. This forming mode is called
stretch flanging. A stretch flange will generate edge cracking and tearing if the stretching limits are
exceeded. The simplest analysis of stretch flanging is to calculate the increase in the length of line
assuming that the stretch flange is a segment of a circle. These elongations for steel are then compared
to the permissible hole elongation limits (M-12, F-4 and J-12). These limits are conservative, however.
Unlike true hole expansions, where the entire perimeter of the hole is subjected to the same elongation,
the adjacent metal in a stretch flange often is undeformed or may even be in the shrink flange mode.
Adjacent areas to the stretch flange may be able to feed metal into the stretch zones and reduce the
required elongations.
The hole expansion test utilized in the laboratory is described in detail in Section This test closely
duplicates production stretch flanging. Typical hole expansion data are given in Figure 3-3. These tests
show that stretch flanging limits increase with increasing sheet thickness, work hardening exponent (n),
total elongation, normal plastic anisotropy (rm), and minimum plastic strain ratio (r) and decrease for
increasing yield strength, tensile strength, and hardness.

The quality of the blank edge plays a major role in the stretch flanging limits (Figure 3-3). Any damage to
the edge of the blank, either from the creation of the edge or subsequent edge damage, will drastically
reduce the edge elongation and therefore reduce the design limits of the forming operation. Bend-And-Straighten

The previous discussion assumed that the walls of the stamping were created by metal swinging in free
space while deformation was restricted to a plastic hinge. In reality, most stamping walls are created by
metal being pulled from the binder or holddown area where the sheet metal is restricted to sliding
between the upper and lower die segments (Figure 3-18).

The bend-and-straighten operation is a rather simple forming mode. Metal flows in a straight line path
through the binder zone. The metal then bends to conform to the die radius, flows over the die radius, and
then straightens to conform to the die wall. Even with ideal metal flow from the binder, the wall of the
stamping will have undergone cold work during the bending and unbending sequence. This cold work
reduces the capacity of the steel for subsequent forming operations. The amount of cold work, and
therefore the severity of this operation, depends on the ratio of the bend radius to the sheet metal
thickness. For die radii less than 4t a severe tensile strain is generated on the convex surface during
bending and on the concave side during straightening. Because the tension on the concave side follows
compression (which work hardens the metal and depletes useable formability), the concave side of the
bend-and-straighten side is the more severe forming operation. On the other extreme, the die radius
should not be more than 10t. Greater radii than that creates a band of unsupported metal between the die
radius and the punch radius. The ideal die radius would be 6t and 8t.

Any tension created in the binder area can add a stretch component to the pure bend-and-straighten
operation. This restraint can be created by additional binder or holddown pressure or by the insertion of
“draw” beads into the binder surface. Beads are placed in the bend-and-straighten areas to restrict metal
flow so that the blank will not run into the die cavity too rapidly. This restriction will create an added stretch
component. Therefore, strictly speaking, the “draw beads” would be more accurately identified as stretch


The corners of the wall structures present special problems in forming. Sheet metal stampings tend to be
designed with rather sharp radii in the corners. Flanging

Most corners formed by flanging are equivalent to the shrink flange described above. The length of line
must be decreased, thereby creating opportunities for buckling. The higher the corner wall, the more the
line length must decrease. Depending on the forming mode of the sidewall segment adjoining the corner,
some of the “excess” metal will be forced into the sidewall areas, thereby reducing the compressive
stress. Minimum punch to die clearance is used to iron out the buckles as the corner metal enters the die
cavity. Excessive buckles can cause the metal to fold over on itself; this can jam in the punch-die opening
and cause the bottom of the stamping to rip open. Drawing
The drawing mode for generating wall corners is similar to the bend-and-straighten mode for generating
sidewalls (Figure 3-19). In both cases the sheet metal is restrained by the upper and lower segments of
the die. The metal slides through the restraint towards the die; this motion is designated as radial motion.
Unlike the bend-and-straighten operation, however, the sheet metal is forced to undergo a circumferential
compression. It is this circumferential compressive strain that is unique to drawing and places special
property requirements on the sheet steel (see Section – Anisotropy).

The stamping in Figure 3-19 shows four corners separated by four sidewalls. If the four corners are
removed and joined together, a cylindrical cup is formed. In practice, some production stampings are all
wall corners without sidewalls. An oil filter and power steering pump housing are examples. The
cylindrical cup can now be related to the laboratory cup drawing test in an attempt to develop some
design limits.

Most of the design data in the literature is available for the radial or cup drawing mode of deformation.
Historically, this operation has been uniquely identified, easily reproduced in the laboratory, and amenable
to systematic investigation. For these reasons, successful correlation between laboratory experiments
and actual press shop behavior has been obtained. Of all the forming operations, cup drawing in the most
predictable and has the most known design parameters. The axi-symmetrical nature of cup drawing lends
itself to mathematical analysis. As a general statement, however, press shops consistently violate cup
drawing formability limits which have been published for decades (E-1, S-3, J-8, H-9).

Two measures of cup drawing severity are used, both of which are mathematically interrelated. The most
common is the Limiting Drawing Ration (LDR = D / d) which is the ratio of the maximum blank diameter
(D) which can successfully be drawn into a cup of punch diameter (d). The other measure is the percent
blank diameter reduction given by:

% Reduction = D-d x 100


LDR = 100 x 100

100 - % Reduction

A common reference point is a 50 percent reduction equals an LDR of 2, which is a common value for
rimmed steel.

A similar formula is available (E-2) for an approximate calculation of cup height.

h= D² – d²
For an LDR of 2, h= 3d

The most important unknown in cup drawing, therefore, is the maximum severity of deformation (largest
blank diameter) that can be formed into a cup of given punch diameter; this is measured by Limiting Draw
Ratio or LDR (K-24, W-19, W-20, C-15).

LDR can be readily measured in the laboratory. This test is described in detail in Section Here
the LDR results are shown to depend on: plastic anisotropy ratio (rm) of the steel, the sheet thickness,
punch and die geometry, test speed, steel temperature, lubricant, holddown loads, surface topography,
and many other parameters. For this reason, the effect of various steel and forming process parameters
can be assessed in the laboratory and the results ranked. However, the interaction of the various
parameters prevents the determination of an absolute value of the LDR or permissible cup height which
can be translated to a simple production cup draw, much less a complex stamping where drawing is
restricted to only one corner of the stamping.
An example of this inability to transfer absolute numbers to production stampings is illustrated by Figure
3-20. Here the desired punch radius is shown as a function of sheet thickness. If the punch radius
becomes too sharp, the localization of strain over the punch radius due to stretching of the material
becomes too great and the strain level the material exceeds that permitted by the Forming Limit Diagram.
Sheet thickness affects the punch strain in two ways. First, the level of the Forming Limit Diagram
(permissible ceiling strain) decreases with decreasing with decreasing sheet thickness. Second, the
reduced sheet thickness reduces the bending strain; this in turn reduces the bending load component of
the total load which can be transmitted to the deforming flange. To maintain a total forming load in the
flange, the stretch load and therefore the level of the stretching strain must increase.

However, the data in Figure 3-20 were generated under one set of test conditions. Increase the coefficient
of friction of the punch radius interface and additional stretching will cause the curve to shift upward.
Reduce the coefficient of friction and the curve will shift downward. In the extreme, welding of the steel to
the punch radius will permit infinitely sharp radii. Thus, while trends can be determined, absolute design
parameters can not be determined without knowing the interaction of other parameters.

If a deeper cup is required than allowed by the LDR, one or more redraws must be employed. The
interrelationship of blank diameter to cup height and flange width is shown in Figure 3-21. Note the
decreasing D / d reductions allowed for each additional redraw. Eary (E-2) suggests the following
schedule of redraws if t / D>0.5:

1st draw = 50% reduction (as large as possible)

1st redraw = 30%
2nd redraw = 23%
3rd redraw = 19%
4th and subsequent redraws 10%

This rapidly decreasing redraw allowance does not make large numbers of redraw stages profitable.
Therefore, each early stage should be made as severe as possible without breakage. For geometric
reasons and maximum reductions (Figure 3-21), no flange should remain on the cup until the last possible
forming stages (H-34, M-1).

The anisotropy which leads to high rm usually creates a high ∆r for common 1008 steel (H-42, W-22, G-
40). This in turn creates increased earing, which reduces the usable depth of the cup after trimming. The
relationship of ear height and ∆r is shown in Figure 3-22. The percent earing also increases as a more
severe draw ratio is used. This is shown in Figure 3-23 for aluminum, but similar curves are available for
steel. The percent earing can be reduced by an ironing operation (Figure 3-24), which modifies the
normal thickness gradients around the circumference of the can wall.

Eary (E-2) has published a well-documented list of variables and their influence on punch loads:

a. Punch – no effect on punch load

b. Die radius – 35 percent decrease for increase from 2t to 10t
c. Lubrication – 26 percent decrease for change from no oil to heavy oil
d. Blankholder force – no effect for a design of 1/3 of punch force
e. Percent reduction – 100 percent increase for an increase from 37.5 to 50 percent
f. Depth of cup – increase from zero to maximum for initial 1/3 stroke
g. Speed – no effect until punch speeds exceed 120 feet/min. (36.6 m/min.)

Force requirements also were predicted by Korhoen and Sulonen (K-51).

The influence of the work hardening exponent is shown in Figure 3-25. The maximum drawing stresses
increase as draw ratio and the work hardening exponent increase. The limiting draw ratio is reached
when the maximum drawing stress is equal to the tensile strength of the cup wall. These limits are shown
by the downward arrows and are approximately constant at a drawing ratio of 2.2. This agrees with
various other theoretical studies (K-14, M-19).

Press loads for higher strength steels increase as yield strength increases. This increased load is
balanced somewhat by the usual accompanying reduction in sheet thickness. Die design for the higher
strength steels, however, should follow the practice for thick, low carbon steel drawing (B-18) and specify
cast steel punches and D-2 steel binder inserts.

An important problem in deep drawing operations is the adjustment of the blank holder force to prevent
blank wrinkling (N-3). At higher punch speeds, the flange forms a number of wrinkles equal to the number
of ears which would finally form on a drawn cup. Blankholder pressure required to suppress wrinkling
increases as the r value decreases. Blankholder pressures increase with increasing ∆r, suggesting the
minimum r value is a critical parameter.

Havranek (H-7) found that a higher strain hardening exponent (n) leads to increased wrinkling, which has
to be compensated for by an increased blankholder load and decreased die profile radius. He noted that
wrinkles occurred readily in conical cups produced from HSLA steels due to its higher flow stress and
lower r values (H-8).

A cup drawing limit diagram is now commonly found in the literature (Figure 3-26). The permissible range
of blankholder force is presented as a function of both wall wrinkling and punch nose fracture limits.
Deeper cups require a narrower range of permissible blankholder forces. These cup limiting diagrams are
influenced by tool geometry (Figure 3-27) and steel properties (Figure 3-28). Another form of these
splitting/wrinkling limits has been detailed by Stine (S-39)

Again, Eary (E-2) has defined potential wrinkling problems as a function of t/D (sheet thickness to blank
diameter ratio).

When t/D percentage is Wrinkling is very severe and compressive loads must be reduced. A
0.50 or less blankholder must be used so double-action drawing is required.
When t/D percentage Wrinkling is moderate and low blankholder forces
ranges from 0.50 to are permitted. Fewer redraws are needed since
compressive loads need not be reduced.
When t/D percentage Wrinkling is very slight and single-action dies are
ranges from 1.50 to permitted if the compressive loads are reduced by
having larger punches.
When t/D percentage No wrinkling expected so that a blankhold is unnecessary even with
ranges over 2.50 high compressive loads.

Deep drawing of rectangular boxes is a special case of deep drawing. As previously discussed in the
breakdown of complex parts (Section 2), only the four corners are considered to be deep drawing. For
this reason, the corners are the most critical areas. The number of forming operations depends on the h/r
ratio (part depth to vertical corner radius) in Figure 3-30. Forming limits also are provided for height to
width (Figure 3-31) and height to radius (Figure 3-32) ratios for trimmed or contoured blanks (H-22, T-9).

Traditional cup drawing processes assume that failure will occur at the junction of the punch radius and
cup wall. For such a non-steady state operation (K-14, M-18, E-5) the draw ratio is independent of the
work hardening exponent (Figure 3-33). If the cup drawing conditions can be changed to duplicate steady
state operations (failure at the cup wall and die radius junction) the draw ratio becomes highly dependent
upon the work hardening exponent n and very large draw ratios can be achieved (K-14, E-5).

Tooling methods to accomplish this change include expanding segmented punches and high hydrostatic
pressure (E-5, K-25).
3.4 Generating the Stamping Bottom

The stamping bottom is formed by one of two deformation modes – biaxial stretching and embossing.
Biaxial stretching is obtained when the sheet is clamped around the die opening. This clamping might be
positive holddown due to a binder ring or it might be the result of a tight radius preventing metal flow.
Deformation in pure stretching is the result of metal thinning; there is no bending component in this
deformation mode.

Biaxial stretching limits are defined by Forming Limit Diagrams illustrated in Section 4.2. Unfortunately,
the distribution of stretch over a punch is very non-uniform and varies form point to point, both in major
strain and minor strain. This variation is due to punch geometry, lubrication, and many other factors. The
most accurate analysis is accomplished during soft tooling tryout. Some predictive capabilities are
available with mathematical modeling programs. A complete hemispherical shape, however, is not
achieved for steel except for unusual lubrication conditions.

Embossments frequently are used in the bottom of stampings to provide stiffeners, raised mounting of
contacting surfaces, clearances for adjacent fixtures, and other uses. Eary (E-2) provides the following
design guidelines:

Height of “V” and Flat “V” bead = 3t for AKDQ steel

= 2t for CQ steel
Height of offset = 0.8 (R1 + R2) for AKDQ steel
= 0.5 (R1 + R2) for CQ steel

where R1 and R2 are the punch and die radii, respectively.

Sometimes the geometry of the bottom is too severe to be generated in a single forming operation. In this
case one or more preforms are needed to create the required length of line without a severe strain
localization. Once created, the metal can be redistributed into the desired geometry. One of the most
common preforms is a dome stretched into the bottom of the stamping. The metal then can be distributed
into domes smaller radii or other more complex shapes. This is shown in terms of strain distributions in
Figure 3-34. One study documents pressing of ridges into flat panels A-1), while another concentrates on
static and dynamic punch stretching of thin diaphragms (G-17).

An illustrative example of the use of preforms is provided in a case history of an automotive brake backing
plate for drum brakes, Figure 3-34, where breakage was occurring in the seventh die (K-24). The first two
forming operations were a domed preform in the first die and a restrike for shape in the second die. The
length of line is proportional to the area under the strain distribution curve (average strain times gage
length) shown in Figure 3-34. Some area under the curve was created during the preform. However, note
the substantial area under the curve required during the second operation or restrike. Because this
additional stretch component was created with a sharp radius on the punch, severe strain localization was
created. The problem was solved by increasing the depth of the preform to increase the area under the
curve after the first die. In addition, the shape of the punch was modified to create additional deformation
over the pole (center) of the punch. Modifications were continued until the area under the curve for the
first operation was equal to the area required for the second operation.

Sometimes special die techniques are required to avoid a severe strain gradient as shown in Figure 3-34.
These include local chilling of the punch to increase the strength of the steel at that location (G-32, S-6)
and roughening the radius of the punch.

3.5 Interaction of Stretch and Draw

A section taken through the corners of many common automotive stampings would look like Figure 3-35.
The geometry is created primarily by the combination of stretch and draw. The two forming modes are
interactive. For example, to increase the amount of draw, a larger dimensioned blank is required. To pull
this larger blank into the die opening requires a larger force. In transmitting the larger force over the
punch radius, additional stretch will be generated – sometimes causing failure.

An analysis of the design and process variables affecting stretch and draw is shown in Figure 3-36.
Examination of the table reveals that these variables most often have an opposite effect on stretch and
draw. This is the reason why changes in the design and process variables may not create additional
depth of stamping.

An illustration is the addition of a domed bottom to a cylindrical drawn cup (Figure 3-37). The draw
forming ratio (critical blank diameter or C.B.D. divided by the male punch diameter) is independent of
yield strength for a flat bottom cup. When a round bottom is added to the punch, the maximum blank
reduction decreases for increased yield strength. This occurs because increased yield strength reduces
the work hardening exponent of the steel; this, in turn, reduces the height of the Forming Limit Diagram as
well as the strain distributing capacity of the steel. Both of these effects reduce the maximum load
capacity of the dome and thereby the maximum blank diameter which can be pulled into the die opening.

3.6 Summary

Existing part and die design limits generally have been created from single forming mode laboratory tests.
The number of such configurations and the possible combinations of dimensional parameters actually
evaluated in the laboratory has been severely restricted. For example, pure stretch forming laboratory
tests generally have been limited to one-inch (25.4mm) and four-inch (101.6mm) hemispherical domes.
Tests with compound radii of curvature of different configurations are rarely conducted and reported.

The applicability of these test data to production stampings likewise is questionable. For example, only a
few test parameters are defined, much less controlled or monitored. Absolute design values, therefore,
are difficult to obtain.

Studies of the interaction of forming modes necessary to generate complex parts also have been limited.
The possible combinations of forming modes, configurations, and dimensions would require a test
program of immense proportions, as well as create problems in data analysis and cataloging.

For the above reasons, the available part and die design factors or rules of thumb are very limited in their
applicability to current press shop designs.

Figure 3-1: Nesting irregular blanks to reduce offal.

Figure 3-2: Reduction in blank edge stretchability due to blanking damage(D-18).

Figure 3-3: Measured hold elongation (blanked edge elongation) as a funciton of hole quality and
steel grade (H-29).
Figure 3-4: Blanking damage, as evidenced by burr height, can greatly reduce the percent
elongation the blanked edge will tolerate in tension before failure (K-24).

Figure 3-5: Edge condition as a function of blanking clearance for various metals (H-40).

Figure 3-6: The load-penetration curves for large and small punch clearances during blanking (H-

Figure 3-7: Schematic of stamping with differenct geometries.

Figure 3-8: The bending strains on the surfaces increase as the bend angle is increased (S-22)

Figure 3-9: The maxumem tangential strain decreases for a bend angle as the ratio of die radius to
sheet thickness (r/t) increases (S-22).

Figure 3-10: Outer fiver strain is shown to be independent of the r/t radio when the curve is
normalized for the inverse convex radius of curvature (S-22).

Figure 3-11: After a certain bend depth (or angle) the peak strain no longer increases but the peak
width begins to increase (K-24).

Figure 3-12: The maximum strain a bend will achieve is reduced as the ratio of the bend radius to
sheet thickness is increased (K-24).

Figure 3-13: As the bend radius increases, the strain distribution becomes very sharp (F-2).

Figure 3-14: Bendability as a function of total elongation and transverse reduction in area for
various strength steels (T-8).

Figure 3-15: Stringer inclusions reduce bendability (T-8).

Figure 3-16: Using length of edge cracking as a measure, sulfide shape control (SSC) provides the
greatest improvement at the higher strength levels of steel (K-55).

Figure 3-17: The critical radio of bend radius to sheet thickness, r/t, as a function of total
elongation and percent reduction in area is shown for a wide variety of materials (Y-3).

Figure 3-18: Bend-and-straighten operation involves a bending of the sheet to conform to the
contour of the die radius and a restraightening of the sheet in the stamping wall.

Figure 3-19: Plan view of a stamping showing the cup draw segments in the corners.

Figure 3-20: The desired punch radius as a function of sheet thickness increases as the sheet
thickness decreases (S-39).

Figure 3-21: The number of redraws to obtain a desired height to diameter ratio (h/d) is given as a
function of the flange width to diameter ratio (f/d) (H-34).
Figure 3-22: The height of ears in a deep drawn cup is dependent upon planar anisotropy (W-22).

Figure 3-23: The percent earing increases as the draw ratio increases for aluminum (B-14).
Figure 3-24: Measurements of earing decrease as percent clearance decreases (B-14).

Figure 3-25: The limiting draw ratio (LDR) shown by the vertical arrows is independent of the work
hardening exponent, n (F-8).

Figure 3-26: Blankholder force is limited by both wrinkling and punch nose fracture. The
permissible range of blankholder force decreases as the required depth increases (H-34).

Figure 3-27: Forming parameters can change the workable range of the blank holder limits (H-7).

Figure 3-28: The blankholder limits depend greatly on the grade of steel being drawn (H-7).
Figure 3-29: The optimum draw radius depends on the material thickness (S-39).

Figure 3-30: The number of forming operations is a function of the ratio of part depth to vertical
corner radius (S-39).

Figure 3-31: Maximum height to width ratio (h/w) for square or rectangular shells drawn in on
operation as a function of corner radius to width ratio (r/w) (H-34).

Figure 3-32: Permissible height to corner radius ratio (h'r) is given as a function of the amount of
corner cutting (R) for drawing a rectangular box (H-34).

Figure 3-33: Moving the failure zone from the punch radius to the die radius, the LDR becomes
dependent on the n value and much larter LDR's are possible (K-14, M-18).

Figure 3-34: Strain distributions for the first and second forming operations of an automotive
break backing plate (K-24).

Figure 3-35: The corner section of many stampings is delicate balance between stretching over
the punch and drawign to form the wall.

Figure 3-36: Effect of different forming variables on stretch and draw forming modes (E-1).

Within the framework of the sheet metal forming system, the material provides only one component of this
system. The material component, however, is the component which is most readily understood and for
which the most research has been completed. This is especially true when sheet steel is the material
being utilized.

This section of the review is subdivided into five parts. They are:

4.1 - TENSILE TEST - The tensile test best defines the parameters which relate to sheet metal formability.
The parameters are basic characteristics of the sheet steel and are determined independent of surface
interactions with the deforming tools. These parameters are becoming especially important to define the
characteristics of the sheet steel relative to mathematical modeling and other forming simulative
4.2 - FORMING LIMIT DIAGRAM - The Forming Limit Diagrams provide a measure of the severity of any
sheet metal forming operation. They are the bench mark against which the severity of the forming system
is measured. Again, the Forming Limit Diagrams are utilized in most mathematical modeling programs.

4.3 - SIMULATIVE TESTS - Arguments have been made that “real world” forming involves strain
gradients, specimen curvature, biaxial stress states, and the all important frictional interaction of the
sheet/tool interface. This section defines a number of the common simulative tests and explores their
advantages and disadvantages.

4.4 - COATED STEELS - The coated steels, especially galvanized steels, are being increasingly specified
for automotive stampings. This section details one approach being taken to understanding the forming
behavior of these materials.

4.5 - HIGHER STRENGTH STEELS - Higher strength steels follow the same rules of sheet metal
formability as lower strength steels; the forming parameters simply have different values.

4.1 The Tension Test


The tension test is by far the most popular test used around the world to characterize metal. This is
especially true of sheet metal because the thickness of the sheet limits the types of test which can be
performed. The tension test is independent of end use; it does not relate directly to forming domes, cups,
bends, and the like. Yet the availability of tensile test equipment, the relative ease of performing the test,
and the tremendous bulk of test data generated make the tension test the principal candidate for the
much sought after “single formability test”.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the tension test also has created a number of problems. The test is not as
simple to interpret as it is to perform. Data can be incorrect, misinterpreted, misused, and otherwise
abused. A classic story is the excellent one-to-one tension test relationship shown between the anisotropy
ratio, rm, and the work hardening exponent, n, for common low strength steels – a relationship not
apparent from physical metallurgy principles. The problem was traced to one of sampling, for the two
steels tested were an aluminum-killed steel (high n, high rm) and an aged rimmed steel (low n, low rm).
The problem takes on an even wider dimension for misinterpretation when attempts are made to correlate
the tension test with real world forming problems.

This section will begin with the basic test procedures, continue with common tensile properties, and
conclude with complicating factors such as biaxiality, temperature, test speed, and prior cold work. Since
this report is targeted principally for the automotive industry, a mechanical metallurgy approach will be
taken, which means that the properties themselves will be taken as the starting point of the review. Almost
no discussion will be given to the various chemistry and processing variables which can be modified to
create different levels of the properties.


The test procedures are well documented by ASTM (A-16), S'E (S-26), and other groups (D-15, S-25, S-
27) and need not be discussed here. To generate large quantities of less expensive data, a number of
companies are using automated tensile machines and computer calculation of data (G-21). This has the
important advantage of minimizing operator error or operator variability.

Even more important, computerized data acquisition and processing systems have allowed analyses to
be conducted that previously were impossible, or at least very difficult and tedious, to perform. One such
calculation is the change of the instantaneous work hardening exponent, n’, which strain. Another is the
instantaneous plastic anisotropy ratio, r’, obtained from a biaxial extensometer. These important
measurements will be detailed later in the section.


The primary output from the tension test is a measure of load required to elongate the specimen as a
function of the specimen elongation. This information can be presented in a number of ways. The most
common is a plot engineering stress against engineering strain (Figure 4.1-1). Engineering stress, σE, is
defined as load per unit area. More specifically, σE = P/A0, where P = instantaneous load and A0 = initial
area. Engineering strain, e, is defined as the ratio of increase in length of line to original length. From
these curves a number parameters can be measured as shown in the schematics in Figure 4.1-1. One
parameter is the yield strength, which is a 0.2 percent offset yield stress (or 0.5 percent offset or other
agreed upon number) for steels without yield point elongation (YPE) or is the average stress for steels
which have YPE. Other parameters, easily identified in Figure 4.1-1 are ultimate tensile strength ( σTS),
uniform elongation, total elongation, and fracture.

True-stress true-strain curves are less commonly used (Figure 4.1-2a). True stress is defined as the ratio
of load to instantaneous area, or σ
T = P/A. Since A decrease faster than P decreases in the necking regime after maximum load on the
engineering stress-strain curve, the true stress-true strain curve continues to increase over the entire
straining region until the test is terminated by fracture. True strain is defined as the ratio of increase in
length to instantaneous length. Thus, true strain, ε is ε = ln l/lo. Therefor, tensile true strain is less than
tensile engineering strain and compressive true strain is greater than compressive engineering strain.
This is based on whether l becomes greater (tensile) or less (compressive) than lo.

When log true stress is plotted as a function of log true strain (Figure 4.1-2b), additional information can
be made as to whether the plastic deformation can be described by the common parabolic hardening law:
σT = K ε n.The values of n and K can be measured. These parameters describe quite accurately the strain
hardening behavior of many steels. However, non-parabolic behavior is found for dual-phase steels (B-20,
G-22, K-31) and many automotive aluminum alloys (G-10).

Two problems occur for non-parabolic hardening metals. First, the condition for the onset of necking is not
predicted by the average n value. In this case, the onset of necking must be obtained by graphical
solution of the equations:

dσT/d ε = σT for diffuse necking.

dσT/d ε = σT /2 for localized necking.

This is schematically shown in Figure 4.1-3 (G-10) where dσT/d ε is the instantaneous change of true
stress for a change in true strain. The terminal n value usually is lower than the average n value and
necking occurs at a lower than the average n value and necking occurs at a lower strain than expected.

Second, since the n value is related to the ability of the metal to uniformly distribute strain, changes in n
value as a function of strain directly affect its stretch formability. A high initial n value is considered by
Rashid (R-5) to be an important factor in the excellent formability of dual-phase steels. Similar data were
reported by Bucher (B-20).

A whole field of mathematical plasticity has evolved called “constitutive equations,” which attempt to
describe mathematically the metal flow behavior. More than twenty such work hardening laws can be
found in the literature (T-15). Four of the most common laws (Hollomon, Ludwik, Voce and
Krupskowski/Swift) have been reviewed recently by Ratke and Welch (R-10) and by Truszkowski (T-17).
This field of plasticity also was reviewed at the General Motors Research Symposium on “Mechanics of
Sheet Metal Forming” (K-48), especially the papers by Hutchinson and Neale (H-44, H-45, H-46),
Needleman (N-10), and Tozawa (T-13). Additional studies have also been reported by Mohammed (M-33)
and Wagoner (W-2). However, detailed review of this specialized area is considered beyond the scope of
this report.


Much emphasis in North America is placed on yield strength determination because many metals
(especially higher strength steels and automotive alloys) are specified by yield strength. However, the
yield strength can be difficult to define. For steels without YPE (Figure 4.1-1a) the yield strength is some
arbitrary number, such as 0.2 percent offset form the modulus line. Steels with YPE have an upper and
lower yield strength.

The upper yield strength is so dependent on test conditions that any usefulness of the value is
questionable; unfortunately, too many upper yield strength values are measured and reported. While the
lower yield strength appears to be an easily measured parameter in Figure 4.1-1b, the value is sometimes
hard to define in practice because it changes radically depending on the number of active Lüder’s bands

A parameter often misunderstood by users of sheet metal is yield point elongation. Special attempts
should be made to present the interaction of YPE and formability in an understandable manner. A number
of specific areas are:

a) The difference between YPE in an as-produced product and the return of YPE as a time-temperature
event (B-10).

b) Discussion of the presence and absence of YPE as a function of different grades of steel (rim, AK, IF,
and dual-phase) and aluminum alloys (5182-0 and 5182-SSF).

c) Interrelationship of YPE, Lüder’s bands (see Figure 4.1-4), “worms,” coil breaks, etc.

d) Description of the different methods of removing YPE (temper rolling, flex rolling, tension leveling and
others), how they work, speed of return of YPE, etc. (R-18).

e) The reduction in the yield strength by removal of YPE (Figure 4.1-5). While this may assist formability
by reducing buckle formation, etc., other formability parameters are not restored by temper rolling (C-5).

f) The increase in YPE as grain size is reduced is displayed in Figure 4.1-6 (B-10). This is especially
important in higher strength steels since they have finer grain sizes.

All of the above information is know within the steel industry but has not been definitively accumulated in
a single source easily accessible to the users of sheet steel.

Rockwell hardness measurements are related directly to the tensile strength of steel. Relationships
between Rockwell hardness values and yield strength are less reliable (K-9). However, a special three
scale hardness measurement procedure has been published (G-4) which claims to provide a good
measure of the yield strength. Experience with this procedure is far too limited in scope and number of
tests to comment on its reliability.
New emphasis is being placed on the wrinkle limit of the steel. While fracture is one forming limit, the
other forming limit is wrinkling. Wrinkling has been related to the yield point of the steel (F-12). Tensile Strength

In North America there is limited interest in the tensile strength per se, especially with respect to
formability. In Japan, however, higher strength steels are specified by tensile strength is synonymous with
the onset of diffuse necking and termination of uniform elongation in the remainder of the specimen for
metals with parabolic hardening and no strain rate hardening. The tensile strength is a more precise
definition and is easier to obtain from test data. Therefore, the popularity of the tensile strength has
increased as the prime specification of strength.

The ratio of tensile to yield strength (TS/YS) sometimes is used as a measure of stretchability. For metals
following parabolic hardening, a theoretical relationship between the YS/YS ratio and the work hardening
exponent, n, can be derived – provided no yield point elongation is present (Figure 4.1-7). Experimental
results show a similar relationship (K-31). A series of curves has been presented for steels with different
values of YPE (k-31). Thus, for a given steel with a fixed n value, the TS/YS ratio increases as temper
rolling removes YPE. Work Hardening Exponent

The work hardening exponent or n value is important as a parameter that can be related to the ability of
sheet metal to distribute strain more uniformly in the presence of a stress gradient (K-24, H-22); a high n
value is desirable.

The n value has been shown by Backofen (K-29) to depend strongly on the yield strength of steel (Figure
4.1-8). A primary method to increase the strength of steel is to reduce the mean ferrite path, which in turn
would reduce the n value (Figure 4.1-9).

The availability of computerized data acquisition systems has facilitated a closer examination of
formability parameters as a function of strain. The work hardening exponent, n, seems to vary with strain
for a wide range of sheet steel products.

Thus Lieberg, and Beyer have suggested a new parameter to rank sheet steel stretchability (L-11). Their
Om is the logarithmic strain associated with the maximum force in the tensile test; determination of the
value does not require an extensometer, a uniform elongation, or adherence to any power law.

Examination of the n value for many steels will show that it varies as a function of strain for more than
dual-phase steels. Lack of agreement between laboratories in n value determination has been shown to
be caused by two-point n value determinations made at different portions of the stress-strain curve (K-31,
T-22). Perhaps the n value derived from the initial portion of the curve will correlate with springback and
other low strain phenomena. The n value at the onset of localized necking establishes the height of the
Forming Limit Diagram. The distribution of strain in the stamping probably is related to some weighted
average of the n value over the entire strain history. Uniform Elongation

For metals following the equation σT = K ε n with no strain rate hardening, elongation is related to the n
value by the relation n = ln (1 + eu) where eu is the percent uniform elongation divided by 100. More
practically, uniform elongation measurements are taken directly from the specimen or the load-elongation
chart. However, a very flat load maximum common to sheet steels presents a problem in identifying the
exact end point to measure.
Uniform elongation, and stretchability, decrease with increasing yield strength. Typical uniform elongation
data are shown in Figure 4.1-10. Localized Necking and Fracture

The formation of the localized neck in a tension test received relatively little interest. The localized neck is
extremely important in sheet forming operations, however, and will be discussed later. Deformation
continues in the diffuse neck under steadily falling loads. Strain continues to localize with the eventual
formation of a thickness neck occurring in the tensile specimen. The dσT/d ε = σT /2 relation stated in
Section 4.1.3 translates into a true strain equal to twice the value of the work hardening exponent (n) for
the onset of a localized neck in power law hardening materials with no strain rate hardening. Deformation
in the localized neck continues until fracture terminates all further deformation. Strain Rate Hardening Exponent

There are two primary sources of hardening during deformation. The first is the work hardening previously
described by the work hardening exponent (n). A second and parallel source of hardening is strain rate
hardening described by the strain rate hardening exponent (m).

A simplified constitutive equation is given by:

σT = K’ ε n ε m

were K’ is a proportionality constant and ε is the strain rate (G-2). Typical values can be n=O and m=0.5
for superplastic material, while n=0.2 and m=0 for most low strength steels at room temperature.

Two methods are commonly used to obtain the m value (Figure 4.1-11). One method is to obtain stress-
strain curves at different speeds. The difference in yield stress at a given strain can be measured for
different strain rate changes (C-8). An argument opposing the use of this method (k-67) is that different
microstructures in the different specimens have undergone different strain-strain-rate histories. A method
to overcome this (Figure 4.1-11b) is to rapidly change the testing speed during the course of testing a
single specimen. This is easily accomplished on a screw driven tensile test machine with a decade speed
control or a computer controlled, hydraulic driven tensile test machine.

It has been known for some time (S-9, C-8, J-6, B-1, H-24, D-16, G-33) that some common tensile
properties change as a function of speed. These are shown for an HSLA steel in Figure 4.1-12 and an
aluminum alloy in Figure 4.1-13. The strain rate effects have been extensively evaluated (S-9, C-8).
These studies reported that the behavior shown in Figure 4.1-12 was typical of all steel tested. It should
be noted, however, that the curve labeled uniform elongation in reality is the elongation at the ultimate
tensile strength. The elongation at ultimate tensile strength is the uniform elongation only for metals with a
zero strain rate hardening exponent, m. Additional work to determine the effect of cold work and aging of
steel (Figure 4.1-14) followed the same pattern. The extensive data are summarized in Figure 4.1-15,
which shows the m value (obtained by testing different specimens at different speeds in Figure 4.1-11a) is
a function of the static flow stress.

Automotive aluminum alloys have m values approaching zero or slightly negative (C-8, G-15). Thus, the
data shown in Figure 4.1-13 are typical for these metals.

The previous discussion highlighted the influence of strain rate hardening on tensile properties for
increasing testing speed. An even more important strain rate hardening effect takes place during a
constant cumulative elongation rate test, during which the cross head speed of the tensile test machine
remains constant. In the workpiece, the region undergoing thinning strain hardens and becomes resistant
to additional deformation. This forces the deformation to the less deformed neighboring elements. In a like
manner, as the local strain rate increases in areas undergoing thinning (or necking), the strain rate
hardening in these regions forces deformation to occur in areas undergoing a slow down in the rate of
deformation (outside of the neck). For metal s with a positive m value, the neck is “turned off” or at least
delayed. For metals with a negative m value, the growth of the neck is accelerated by strain rate

The stress-strain curves in Figure 4.1-16 emphasize the influence of the m value. Even a small m can
produce quasistable flow (characterized by a nearly constant maximum load) over an appreciable strain
range (G-10). This quasistable flow or post uniform elongation is shown in Figure 4.1-17 as a function of
m value. An m value as low as 0.012 can postpone the onset of localized necking long enough to
accumulate 40 percent of the specimen’s total elongation. In a dispersion-hardened zinc (Zn-Ti alloy) with
a very low n of 0.05 and an m value of 0.06, nearly 90 percent of the total elongation is post-uniform
deformation. In contrast, materials with a negative m value (Figure 4.1-16) rapidly localize deformation
beyond maximum load.

The strain rate hardening contribution to the Forming Limit Diagram is important (S-4, M-38). This
especially applies when comparing FLD’s for different classes of metals for which significant differences
of m value can occur for equal n values. Muschenborn and Sonne (m-38) even suggest that the
formability of heavily temper rolled steel is not reduced as much as the lowered n value suggests. They
indicate that temper reductions less than 10 percent do little to affect the diffuse necking component of
the deformation and the evaluating stretchability only by the n value may be in error. Total Elongation

The total elongation is widely used as a ductility and formability parameter. The reasoning is simple: the
more a metal can elongate in a tension test before fracture, the more it should elongate in a forming
operation. As will be seen later, this is an oversimplified approach but one which has merit in several
specific cases.

The total elongation strongly depends on specimen geometry. While a number of equations have been
developed to correct total elongation values for different geometry, the following equation (K-57) appears
to make the best overall correction:

L12/A1 = L22/A2

where L1 and A1 are gage length and cross-sectional area of geometry 1 and L2 and A2 are gage length
and cross-sectional area of geometry 2. Note, however, that other test parameters, such as specimen
alignment, strongly affect the total elongation.

As the strength of the steel increases, the total elongation decreases (Figure 4.1-10). The amount of
reduction in total elongation depends on the strengthening mechanism. Total elongation as a function of
yield strength and tensile strength is shown in Figure 4.1-18 and Figure 4.1-19 respectively for various
hardening mechanisms. Anisotropy

Most practical metals used by the automotive industry are anisotropic in their properties. This means that
properties are different with different directions within the sheet. Two common measures of this behavior
are the normal anisotropy ratio rm (resistance to thinning) and the planar anisotropy ratio ∆r. These factors
have been well defined and described in terms of test specifications, measurements, and applications (W-
19, K-24, A-16, W-20, K-20, W-18, S-23).
The r and rm values traditionally have been measured from tensile specimens prepared at 0°, 45 ° , and
90° angles to the rolling direction for steel (K-24, W-19, W-20). Figure 4.1-20 shows that these three
directions are excellent representations of the maximum and minimum values for common, low strength
1008 steels. The change of 4 value with angles from the rolling direction is not well defined for other
steels; IF steel shows a maximum r value around 55° to the rolling direction (K-31). Other important
angles sometimes can exist for aluminum and other FCC metals. The primary method for measurement
of anisotropy is the traditional tensile test method. An additional test method is the Modul-r unit. This
method may have some advantages for special applications.

For magnetic metals, the Modul-r unit is a much more rapid method (M-9). This device measures very
accurately Young’s modulus, E, at 0, 45, and 90 degree angles to the rolling direction. From these
measurements mean Em and differential ∆E modulus values are calculated. The Em values can be
converted to rm by empirical curves, such as shown in Figure 4.1-21. A similar conversion can be made
from ∆E to∆r.

Several problems can be encountered with the Modul-r method, however. First, different companies have
their own conversion curves in order to normalize new E data to their old manual methods of r
determination. Thus, a given set of specimens could be assigned different rm and ∆r values depending on
the correction curves used. Second, the scatter band in Figure 4.1-21 is rather wide, rendering the
conversion inappropriate for many applications. Third, a fundamental question is raised as to why
accurate measurement Em and ∆E should be converted to inaccurate values of rm and ∆r? Perhaps our
minds should be recalibrated to think directly in terms of Em and ∆E. In addition, the modulus values for
each direction are useful numbers, per se. Finally, the Modul-r unit can not be used with specimen
thicknesses greater than 0.08 inches (2mm). This is not a severe restriction, however, because anisotropy
values of hot-rolled steels normally have a value approaching one.

The Modul-r does solve two problems associated with the traditional tensile specimen method of r value
determination. Because the Modul-r unit functions on the oscillating beam theory, no plastic deformation
of the specimen occurs. This avoids problems normally associated with cold worked samples, where the
uniform elongation is so low that accurate strain measurements are difficult. In addition, the Modul-r test
avoids problems often encountered when tensile samples with large amounts of yield point elongation are
tested. The traverse of the sample by Luder’s bands often leads to discontinuities in the width of the
sample; these discontinuities can cause significant errors in traditional r value measurements.

For hot-rolled steels, only a random orientation of the texture is developed and the rm value is
approximately one. This rm = 1 value will persist, independent of yield strength, grain size, etc. (Figure 4.1-
22). Therefore, low strength and high strength steels have equal rm and equal deep drawability. In cold-
rolled steels, however, the anisotropy is strongly affected by grain size (Figure 4.1-23). Therefore, unlike
hot-rolled steels, the r values of cold-rolled steels should be dependent on strength – decreasing as the
strength of the steel increases. Figure 4.1-24 shows r values for a number of steels as a function of
tensile strength.

The anisotropy ratios were originally thought to be constant with increasing strain. In fact, one method to
obtain accurate r values was to plot width strain as a function of thickness strain for different strain
increments; the r value was the slope of the line drawn through the data points. Data (H-39) for steel in
Figure 4.1-25 shows a remarkable change in rm for certain steels. This same work generalizes the results
as a function of texture strength and documents opposite effects for r values above and below one
(Figure 4.1-26).

Other researchers (W-15, W-16, L-14) also have noted a change of r value with strain. The argument is
proposed by Liu (L-14) that an instantaneous strain ratio should be measured. Grzesik and Vlad (G-41),
however, argue that in spite of large changes in the preferred orientation which occurs on straining,
relatively little variation in the normal plastic anisotropy takes place. For many steels, the slope of the
curve of width strain as a function of thickness strain is constant beyond strain levels of 2 to 3 percent.
However, extrapolating the curve back to the axes does not intersect at the origin. Thus, any curve drawn
between the origin and any point on the curve (standard two point method for r value calculation) would
create a slope of a different value. Modern biaxial extensometers, electronic data acquisition, and
computer analyses allow for such measurements to be easily obtained during a tensile test.

Changes in steel compositions and processing can increase the rm values close to the theoretical
optimum of 3.0 obtainable in b.c.c. metals (Figure 4.1-27). An r value of 2.8 has been reported (B-14). Shear Strength

An important parameter in calculation of blanking press loads, etc. is the shear strength of the metal,
which traditionally has been some fraction of the tensile strength of the metal. Although various tables can
be found in the literature (H-41, E-2), an easily remembered approximation (E-1) is:

Shear Strength = (YS + TS)/2.

Miyauchi (M-30) has developed a simple in-plane shear test to evaluate planar shear deformation caused
by differential metal flow in a stamping. Bauer (B-8) describes a torsion test of sheet steel which allows for
the calculation of shear stress as a function of shear strain. The primary advantages of the torsion test are
attainment of much higher strains than are possible with a tensile test and a principal stress state which
corresponds to that found in deep drawing. Miyauchi (M-31) proposes a torsion buckling test.


As described in Section metals used by the automotive industry do not have properties which are
the same in all directions. That is, the metals used are anisotropic. In addition, they respond differently to
speed of deformation. Practical forming operations are performed with multiple stresses, different
amounts of prestrain, and varying temperatures. In this section, these complicating factors are reviewed. Biaxiality

Most forming is done under biaxial stress states and not uniaxial tension. However, the stress-strain
formability parameters obtained by uniaxial tensile test have traditionally been applied to deformation
induced under plane strain or balanced biaxial stress states. The developing literature (G-16, L-4, S-34, J-
11, G-10, R-2). however, is beginning to show that this assumption is not correct. Figure 4.1-28 indicates
the balanced biaxial stress-strain curve to be significantly above the uniaxial curve. Ghosh (G-16) reports
that the n45 value for aluminum-killed steel to be 0.226 in uniaxial tension and 0.302 in biaxial tension.
Preliminary results on automotive aluminum alloys (l-4) show the reverse to be true in that the biaxial
curve is lower than the uniaxial curve. Sang and Nishihawa (S-5, R-15, C-4, D-13) have designed various
experimental techniques to measure properties under different conditions of biaxiality. Much more work
needs to be done in this important area (J-3).

In an attempt to better describe the relationship between the biaxial stress level versus uniaxial stress
level, Yoshida et al (Y-10) have developed an X factor. The X factor takes into consideration the stress
ratio dependence of work hardening, by including functions of r value and r-value-like anisotropy and the
dependence of n value upon the mode and amount of deformation (Y-10). This X factor is shown to be
related to the r value in Figure 4.1-29. Finally, in order to evaluate combined stress states - as opposed to
simple uniaxial tension - Tozawa (T-14, T-13) has adhesively bonded stacked sheets together to
compress the metal in the plane of the sheet (Figure 4.1-30).

Recent work was completed by Jun and Hosford (J-16), who tested as-received and prestained sheet
samples in uniaxial tension, plane strain, and balanced biaxial tension. The prestrain also was conducted
in uniaxial tension, plane strain, and balanced biaxial tension to complete a 3 x 3 matrix of prestrain and
test conditions. Temperature

Yet another complicating variable affecting the tensile properties of automotive metals is the temperature
of deformation. Temperatures during deformation rarely have been measured. Most often, like the m
value, the changes have been thought to be too small to be significant. However, experiments have
shown that small changes in tensile strength with temperature (Figure 4.1-31) can produce large
differences in formability (G-32). These temperature reductions in the sheet metal are made to locally
strengthen the sheet metal in areas of high strain. Even without external modification of the temperature,
the importance of thermal notches during deformation is being increasingly recognized. An important
paper by Ayres (A-33) showed that tensile elongations for 1008 AK steel tested in air are affected
adversely by thermal gradients and beneficially by strain-rate sensitivity at strain rates >10-3 s-1. These two
effects appear to be competing influences that partially cancel out under non-isothermal conditions.
However, the ductility can be improved by preventing thermal gradients by using isothermal water baths;
the total elongation increased from 42 percent to 54 percent. Improved formability in sheet metal
stampings can be expected by controlling these thermal gradients. Similar conclusions were reached by
Kleemola and co-workers (K-39). Test Speed

The speed of testing in the tensile test affects the resultant properties in many ways. Similarly, the speed
of forming affects formability in a variety of ways. Test speed is not to be confused with deformation
speed. Test speed is global – like the rotation of the earth. However, deformation speed can be different
for each element of the test specimen.

Strain rate has a dual role. One is the global effect which is established by the test speed of the
specimen; this will be discussed here. The other is the strain rate effect in the incipient neck and the
resulting beneficial effect of strain rate hardening (discussed in Section

Increased test speed will increase the yield and tensile strength as shown previously in Figure 4.1-12.
Therefore, a standard test speed is important for reproducibility within a laboratory and between
laboratories. The ASTM specifies test procedures for this purpose (A-16). However, the question is
continually raised whether this speed is indicative of the properties encountered during either the forming
cycle or in-service environments such as during crash management (K-52). A good case is made for
testing at speeds equivalent to forming speeds, especially for predicting press and tool loading. A new
problem now introduced is the ability of performing high speed tensile tests without introducing excessive
vibrations into the dynamic tensile test machine (S-8). Other test speed effects are more difficult to
measure. Faster test speeds decrease the time for dissipation of heat generated by the deformation. This,
in turn, increases the thermal gradients developed along the length of the specimen (A-33). Thermal
gradients not only affect the strength of the steel at each point along the specimen, but may achieve
sufficiently high temperatures to initiate metallurgical modifications within the specimen. Prior Cold Work

Many metals are deformed after being previously cold worked. A number of studies (B-14, H-20, H-23, T-
5) have been conducted to evaluate the effect of prior cold work on various properties. Figure 4.1-32
shows the instantaneous n value as a function of strain for a various prior processing studies. Strain rate
data for cold work samples are presented in Figure 4.1-14. The drop in uniform strain in Figure 4.1-33
indicates a rapid loss of flow stability when uniaxial tests are conducted after a biaxial prestrain. The
residual uniform tensile elongation drops to zero for an effective biaxial prestrain of 0.08. Many questions
are unanswered about the effect of prior cold work on metal properties (F-6).

Of all the common laboratory tests, the tensile test probably is the most defined and best understood test
available. The tensile test has certain advantages compared to other laboratory tests, including singular
loading mode, no specimen curvature, no interface contact with a forming tool, and a simplified analysis.

Numerous properties can be obtained from the tensile test which, in turn, can be correlated to different
forming modes in production stampings. Some properties, however, depend on the specific work
hardening law used to best describe the actual behavior of the specimen.

Once a specific property from the tensile test can be correlated to a specific stamping (such as the normal
plastic anisotropy ratio with deep drawability), the problem then becomes one of determining the range of
the property (both maximum and minimum) which will assist in generating a satisfactory stamping.

Figure 4.1-1 Typical engineering stress-strain curves for steels without and with yield point
Figure 4.1-2 Comparison of true stress-strain curve with and engineering stress-strain curve.

Figure 4.1-3 The determination of the onset of diffuse necking for metals. The influence of srain
rate hardening (m) is shown (G-10).

Figure 4.1-4 The relationship between Lüder's bands for steels having yield point elongation (B-

Figure 4.1-5 The lower yield stress decreases as percent temper rolling increases until the yield
point elongation is eliminated. Then work hardening causes the yield stress to increase (C-6).
Figure 4.1-6 The relation between yield point elongation and grain size (B-10).

Figure 4.1-7 A theoretical relationship exists between the n value and the TS/YS ratio only for
steels with no yield point elongation and parabolic hardening.

Figure 4.1-8 Al linear relationship exists between yield strength and n value for steels with a yield
strength greater than 50 ksi (345 MPa) (K-29).

Figure 4.1-9 The strain hardening exponent n correlates with the log of the mean free ferrite path

Figure 4.1.10 Both uniform elongation and total elongation decrease as a function of yield
strength (F-2).
Figure 4.1-11 Two methods are commonly used to determine the strain rate hardening exponent,

Figure 4.1.12 The yield and tensile sterngths increase as fucntion of test speed for a high strength
steel due to a positive m value (C-8).

Figure 4.1-13 The yield and tensile strengths typically remain unchanged with test speed for most
automotive aluminum alloys with no strain rate hardening (C-8).

Figure 4.1-14 Yield strength as a function of strain rate for a cold-rolled rimmed steel sheet (S-9).

Figure 4.1-15 The strain rate hardening exponent, m, can be correlated to the static flow stress (S-

Figure 4.1-16 The shape of the stress-strain curve beyond maximum load (indicated by the vertical
arrow is related to the strain rate hardening exponent (m) (G-10).
Figure 4.1-17 Post-uniform elongation is directly related to the strain rate hardening exponent (m)

Figure 4.1-18 The total elongation for a given yield strength depends on the strengthening
mechanism (K-55).

Figure 4.1-19 Total elongation for a given tensile strength is a function of the hardening
mechanism (M-14).

Figure 4.1-20 The r value for sheet steel depends on specimen angle relative to the rolling
direction (F-8).

Figure 4.1-21 The traditional correlation curve between Em from the Module-r unit and manually
determing rm values from tensile specimens (M-35).

Figure 4.1-22 The r values are independent of yield strength for hot-rolled steels (F-2).
Figure 4.1-23 The rm value is a function of grain size for cold-rolled steels (B-10).

Figure 4.1-24 The rm can vary greatly as a function of tensile strength depending on the hardening
mechanism (M-14).

Figure 4.1-25 The mean anisotropy ratio, rm, has been shown to be a function of the strain level (H-
Figure 4.1-26 Experimental results show the change of r value as a function of strain (H-39).
Figure 4.1-27 The relative values of r0, r45, and r90 depend upon the chemistry of the steel (B-14).

Figure 4.1-28 For steel, the stress-strain curve for balanced biaxial strain is higher than the curve
for uniaxial strain. This causes a strain path change from biaxial prestrain to uniaxial tension to
induce a lowering of the FLD (G-16).

Figure 4.1-29 The X factor, the stress ratio dependence of work hardening, is shown as a function
of the rm value (Y-10).

Figure 4.1-30 Sheets of metal are glued together to form pieces thick enough for compressive
edge loading (T-14).

Figure 4.1-31 The tensile strength of steel decreases for steel as the test temperature increases

Figure 4.1-32 Variation in n value with strain is shown for different amounts of prestrain temper-
rolling (B-14).

Figure 4.1-33 The change in properties is given as a function of prestrain. Note how fast the
uniform elongation is reduced to zero (G-16).

4.2 Forming Limit Diagrams


Forming Limit Diagrams (FLD’s) have been empirically constructed to describe the strain states, or
combinations of major (e1) and minor (e2) principal strains, at which a highly localized zone of thinning, or
necking, becomes visible in the surface of sheet metal. The first published FLD for sheet steel appeared
in 1963 for stretch forming the low carbon, low strength steel commonly used by the automotive and
appliance industry – 0.036 inch (0.9mm) 1008 steel (K-15). Derived from laboratory rigid punch dome
tests, the first FLD (Figure 4.2-1) showed the maximum strain (called fracture strain) that this steel and
other metals could withstand as a function of the principal strain ratio. The criterion used to define the
maximum strain was the onset of a band of highly localized thinning in the sheet surface. This criterion
was selected because the appearance of a localized thinning or visible neck is sufficient cause for
rejection of exposed stampings in the press shop. For unexposed stampings, the formation of the
localized thinning signals the termination of further general deformation throughout the stamping and
introduces potential structural defects which can affect in-service performance.

The empirically derived laboratory data were utilized in production press shop experiments from 1963-
1965. The results of such work were summarized in a 1965 paper which laid the foundation for the
present analysis technique (K-12). This paper showed that the maximum strain limits obtained from
stretch formed production stampings were identical to those previously obtained in the laboratory. In
addition, the ratio of the principal strains plotted on the absicca was replaced by the minor strain.

Additional press shop experiments conducted during the 1965 to 1968 period led to two companion
papers in 1968. One by Keeler (K-21) detailed research conducted on the "right side of the FLD" where
e2>0 for stretch forming and on by Goodwin (G-23) detailed research conducted on the "left side of the
FLD" where e2<0 for deep drawing. Taken collectively, the two limiting strain curves represent the onset of
localized necking for different values of the minor strain encountered in sheet metal forming.

The FLD just described is known as the necking or instability FLD. Care must be taken not to confuse the
instability FLD’s appearing in the literature with two other FLD’s which have appeared in the literature.
One is the fracture FLD, measured when the specimen physically separates (G-39, K-35, B-6, N-6, T-3,
D-10). The other published FLD is the wrinkling or buckling FLD (H-8, H-33), which details strain states
for which wrinkling is possible. These other two types of FLD’s will be described in Sections 4.2-6 and 4.2-


The Forming Limit Diagram (or Forming Limit Curve in some areas of the world) can be plotted in a
variety of ways. The most common is shown in Figure 4.2-2. Here the vertical axis is the largest
engineering strain in the plane of the sheet or major strain e1. If the circle is used as the grid for
geometry, the major strain is obtained form the long axis of the resulting ellipse. The horizontal axis is the
smallest engineering strain in the plane of the sheet or the minor strain e2. This plot encompasses all
possible combinations of major and minor strains encountered in practical sheet steel forming; it is
sometimes denoted as “strain space” in the literature.

Data to be plotted in the strain space can be obtained in several ways. The most common measurements
are made on a series of rectangular strips stretched over a punch. This method was proposed by
Nakazima (N-6) and used by Veerman (V-4). Hecker (H-19) developed, streamlined, and studied in depth
a comparable method now used by many laboratories. Instead of many punch configurations and test
conditions, a single hemispherical punch – usually four inches or 100mm – is used to stretch to necking
gridded sheet specimens securely clamped at the periphery. Different minor strains (e2), and therefore
different amounts of strain biaxiality, are obtained by varying the width of the specimen (Figure 4.2-2).
Sometimes notched samples are required to avoid die radius failures in narrow strips (A-2).

Recently the literature has detailed other test techniques for obtaining onset of instability data. Some
investigators use hydraulic bulge tests using masks of elliptical shape with different aspect ratios to obtain
a series of positive minor strain values for establishing the right side of the FLD (M-16). Tensile
specimens of varying widths with side incisions are used to generate varying degrees of negative minor
strain to establish the left side of the FLD (M-16, H-6).

A completely different approach is suggested by Gronostajski and Dolny (G-35). They use modified
Marciniak domes for their tests. Both the specimens and the spacers have circular arcs of varying radii
cut into the width dimension of the sample. This specimen configuration is used to determine both the
instability FLD and the fracture FLD. These authors argue that the modified Marciniak domes eliminate
friction between material and tool surface, retain the flat surface of the specimens during the whole
straining process, closely approach proportional straining for all strain paths, and require only one punch
and one die to obtain the full FLD. Similar claims could be made by Azrin (A-35) and Ghosh (G-8, G-12).
Their in-plane stretching technique consists of an elliptical groove machined in the center of a sheet which
is subsequently stretched over a flat punch.

The greatest controversy in FLD determination is the procedure for determining the onset of the instability
for which measurements are then plotted to form the FLD. Keeler (K-21) and Hecker (H-19) suggest
stopping the deformation at the onset of necking. The strain for the circle directly over the location of the
incipient neck is measured and is coded as to unnecked, incipient neck, and necked. The FLD is drawn
between the unnecked and necked coded data points and through any incipient neck data points. A
similar data acquisition system is used for measurements from production stampings. This technique,
though harder to conduct, avoids the problems generated when attempting to measure the next whole
circle adjacent to the failure location. The problem with the adjacent circle technique is that it delicately
balances the necking strain for circles too close to the neck against the reduced strain level due to
gradients for circles too far removed from the neck. Similar problems have been encountered when
extrapolation of gradients across the fracture itself have been attempted (I-3). Some strain gradient
estimation techniques (A-21) lead “to FLD’s which are quite different from those obtained previously by
classical methods”. Keemola and co-workers argue that the change of the strain path towards the plane
strain provides the “lowest limit strains” (K-40). Thus, the definition of the FLD and the measurement
technique are critical in determining the shape and level of the FLD.
The steel, the shape of the FLD for proportional straining (linear strain path) shown in Figure 4.2-3 is used
as a standard shape in many press shop applications (K-28, K-30), especially in North America. The
vertical position of the FLD changes depending on the characteristics of the sheet steel which the FLD
represents. In other applications, the FLD for a specific steel sample is empirically obtained in the
laboratory through the use of Nakazima samples stretched over rigid punches (H-19). In this case, a
regression analysis is used to determine the best fit curve. European determination of the FLD is based
more on best-fit curves than on standard shape. In addition, the European curves consistently tend to
have the minimum of the FLD at a minor strain level of + 0.05 (J-3, K-40). The cause of this is unclear but
may be due to the FLD determination procedures used in Europe.

The use of the standard shape curve has simplified press shop application, since the entire curve is now
defined by the plane strain intercept (FLD0). However, this standard shape does not apply to stainless
steel and other steel alloys (R-6, K-28). A variety of FLD shapes are found for aluminum alloys.
Interestingly, however, a number of the automotive aluminum alloys (2036-T4, 6009, 6010, 5182-0, etc.)
have FLD’s with shapes similar to that of low carbon steel (H-14, S-35, H-16).

Another method of portraying the data is to plot the curve on a true major strain – true minor strain curve
(Figure 4.2-4). The left hand side of the curve has been shown to be a straight line with a slope of -1
when plotted on a major true strain versus minor true strain graph (I-3). This means the left hand curve is
equal to the strain allowed in plane strain plus a shear component ∊1 = ∊2). The right hand curve remains
to be the original curve replotted in the true strain format (K-15, K-12, K-24).

The major – minor strains in the surface of the sheet metal at the onset of instability can be used to
calculate the thickness strain (through the constancy of volume rule). Therefore, the curve in Figure 4.2-3
can be used to generate a thickness strain Forming Limit Diagram as shown in Figure 4.2-5 (K-11). This
thickness FLD can be presented on either an engineering or true strain axis.

Finally, the Japanese literature portrays the FLD with a rotation of the axis (Figure 4.2-6). Here the
traditional North American FLD is mirror imaged (rotated 180 degrees) about the y axis and then rotate 90
degrees clockwise.

A review paper on “Forming Limit Diagram – Sheets” was prepared for the 1974 Sagamore Conference
(K-28). All aspects of FLD’s and the literature as of 1974 are detailed in that document. Therefore, the
present review will provide only an update of the literature since the Sagamore Conference, and
complements a recent review published by Mellor (M-20).


The FLD is a characteristic of the steel and is independent of the stamping for which the steel is used. For
example, different stampings will have different forming modes which are utilized in the formation of the
stamping. These forming modes can be plotted on the Forming Limit Diagrams Figure 4.2-7). Therefore,
the higher level of the FLD, the higher the strain which can be imparted to the stamping before “failure”.
The level of the FLD depends on a number of parameters. These are reviewed below. Sheet Thickness

A previous publication (K-28) indicated a sheet thickness correction in which the plane strain intercept
(FLD0) increases from a value of n for zero thickness sheet as shown in Figure 4.2-8. Additional studies
showing this effect include H-1, C-3, H-32, H-25, K-40. Work on 2036-T4 aluminum (K-31) also has
shown an increase in the FLD0 with sheet thickness from an initial value approximately equal to the n
value. However, the slope is substantially less. It is suggested that the aluminum and steel both undergo
an increase in FLD0 with sheet thickness simply because the neck is geometrically more diffused as the
sheet thickness increases. The steel, however, has a large additional thickness influence which this
author suggests is related to the strain rate hardening exponent, m.
The role of strain rate sensitivity in the thickness effect of the FLD has been mathematically modeled by
Rao and Caturvedi (R-4, R-3). Studies of the thickness effect for dual-phase steels would be important for
additional understanding of the physical basis for the thickness effects. Mechanical Properties

A paper at Microalloying-75 (K-29) first indicated a systematic decrease in the FLD0 as the n value of
HSLA steels decreased below the 0.21 level. Additional work reported in the discussion of the
Microalloying 75 paper (K-29) showed a whole family of sheet thickness – n value curves which could be
used to determine an FLD0 for any HSLA steel (Figure 4.2-9). Still to be fully explained is the reason why
70-30 brass (Figure 4.2-10) has an FLD almost equal to that of steel, even though its terminal work
hardening exponent (n’) is almost twice that of AK steel. Some of the problem may be explained by the m
value and sheet thickness effects described above but it is uncertain whether that is the total solution (A-
35, G-12).

It might be expected that the normal plastic strain ratio, rm, affects the level of the FLD since the r value is
known to be important in tensile tests, deep drawing, and other deformation modes. However, studies
have shown the level of the FLD to be independent of the r value (K-28). The r value, however, does
affect the strain path taken during deformation. Figure 4.2-11 shows this effect on the strain path taken by
two tensile specimens. Thus, although the level of the FLD is independent of the r value, the permissible
FLD ceiling strain is indirectly a function of the r value through the strain path (B-18, K-45).

The traditional FLD details the strain conditions for the onset of localized necking. Therefore, correlations
between the level of the FLD and the uniform elongation are not expected. The uniform elongation does
not incorporate the effect of the strain rate sensitivity which tends to delay the onset of the localized neck
and increases the increment of post-uniform elongation. This is especially evident when the FLD’s of steel
and 2036-T4 aluminum are compared (H-19). Both have approximately the same uniform elongation
values (work hardening or n value controlled) but widely differing strain rate hardening (m value)

Likewise, no correlation exists between the total elongation and the traditional FLD based on instability.
The total elongation depends on the strain required for the localized neck to progress to fracture. The total
elongation decreases with increasing biaxiality, but the FLD first decreases and then increases.

The literature recognizes this by publishing fracture FLD’s. These are discussed in Section 4.2.6. The
literature contains numerous papers and reviews which attempt to show the role, or absence thereof,
which steel cleanliness plays on the level and shape of the FLD (K-40, S-16, D-12, A-25, A-11, K-28, S-
31, T-7, J-2, K-38). No clear, definitive conclusion can be reached. Bending

Bending adds a positive strain component to the convex surface of the sheet and a negative strain
component to the concave surface of the sheet. Somewhere between these two extremes is a neutral
axis. The compressive (negative) strain and the zero strain in the neutral axis counteract the tensile strain
in the convex surface and do not allow a through-thickness localized neck to develop. Strain readings
taken on the convex surface (the surface usually selected for strain measurements) can exceed the FLD
without the initiation of localized necking. This leads the press shop to consider the FLD to be too
conservative (B-12, A-22).

Three methods have been used to correct the strain readings obtained on stampings before plotting on
the FLD (K-31). The first is to average the strains from the convex and concave surfaces. In this manner
the bending strains are subtracted from the convex surface strains, which are then plotted on the FLD.
This method does not make any assumptions about the location of the neutral axis.
The second method is to calculate the bending strain from the measurement of the inside radius, the
sheet thickness, and an estimation of the location of the neutral axis. Such a calculation will show that a
1t bend will add a strain of 33 percent to the convex surface.

The third method is to measure the thickness strain of the sheet, either by ultrasonic thickness
measurements, cross-sectioning, or some other method. The major strain component then can be
calculated from the thickness strain and the minor strain through the constancy of volume formula.


The initial FLD’s were generated by single path deformation modes. These single paths also are known
as proportional straining and will plot as a straight line on the FLD. Even here differences exist as to the
definition of proportional straining – whether the strain path is a straight line in engineering strain or true
strain space (R-9).

Most experimental research on FLD’s in the last decade has been concentrated on the effect of changes
in strain path – especially radical changes. The two extreme boundary cases for steel (Figure 4.1-12)
appear to be the upper curve formed by unixial tension followed by balanced biaxial tension and the lower
curve formed by balanced biaxial tension followed by uniaxial tension. These multiple path FLD’s have
been examined by numerous investigator’s (K-35, G-16, I-7, K-56, R-7, M-15, M-37, K-37, L-4, K-40, A-
20, G-37, G-26, G-36).

A rule of thumb has been derived which summarized the results of the strain path research (R-9). This
rule states that the addition of two linear strain path increments will cause:

- higher limit strains if the strain increment ratio is greater in the second stage than in the first stage
(clockwise shift in strain path).

- lower limit strains if the strain increment ratio of the second stage is less than that of the first stage
(counterclockwise shift in the strain path).

Matsuoka and Sudo (M-15) provided an interesting suggestion that strain space be divided into three
zones. All strains in Zone 1 can be reached safely under all circumstances. Zone 2 contains strain states
that can or can not be reached safely depending on strain path. Zone 3 contains strain states that can not
be reached under any conditions. In Figure 4.2-12, Zone 1 is below the minimum forming limits curve (α =
0) and Zone 3 is above the maximum forming limits curve (α = 1.0).

The problem remains, however, to provide press shop documentation and case histories of the practical
application of strain path changes in single or multiple forming stage operations (K-41, K-42, K-56, G-39).
Most problem areas in forming can be attributed to deformation in the first major forming die.


A mathematical description and derivation of the FLD’s has been the other important research area
relative to FLD’s during the last decade.

A mathematical description of FLD’s is important for simplicity of press shop calculations and for entering
the FLD’s into computer plotting programs for computer graphic output. Here the conversion of the
graphical FLD into an equation form is required. This was done initially for an S'E Recommended Practice
(S-27). For low strength steels the following equations can be used to approximate the FLD (S-27, K-32):

When e2 is 0 to plus 30,

FLD = (0.6e2 + 25 + 350t) for t in inches
FLD = (0.6e2 + 25 + 13.8t) for t in mm.
When e2 is 0 to minus 30,
FLD = (1.5e2 + 25 + 350t) for t in inches
FLD = (1.5e2 + 35 + 13.8t) for t in mm.

Note that major and minor strains are expressed as a percent (not a decimal value) and the sign of e2 is

A more fundamental approach is the mathematical prediction of FLD’s from basic plasticity analyses of
instability. A number of papers have addressed this problem (M-7, M-8, J-3, K-40, L-1, G-20, V-5, T-5) and
it was reviewed at the General Motors Symposium on “Mechanics of Steel Metal Formability” (K-48). In
general, problems have occurred when experimental FLD’s are compared to mathematical models
derived from theory. While numerous “factors” have been introduced into the equations, the physical
significance of many of these “factors” eludes many readers (K-40, B-19, D-10). A solid, physical
understanding of the FLD still is lacking.


The previous discussion has been restricted to FLD’s derived for onset of a localized neck. The literature
also contains FLD’s derived for the actual fracture of the specimen (P-3, B-6, N-6, T-3, D-10, I-3, G-39, K-

Fracture strain measurements are very sensitive to a number of test parameters. Grumbach and Sanz (G-
39) showed the grid length used for measurements not only influenced the level of the FLD-fracture but
also the shape (Figure 4.1-13). For zero gage length the fracture strain (e1) decreased uniformly as the
degree of biaxiality is increased. As the gage length is increased, the FLD-fracture measurements
included an increasing proportion of the uniform and post-uniform strain. When the gage length becomes
large enough, the FLD-fracture duplicated the FLD-localized necking. Baret and Wybo (B-6) observed a
grid length effect on the FLD-fracture but no FLD-localized necking.

Other factors which influence the FLD-fracture are steel grade, inclusion size and shape, sample
orientation, degree of biaxiality, etc. (N-6, G-39, K-35, D-10, F-1). Because of this extreme sensitivity, it is
conceivable that an FLD-fracture would have to be obtained not only for every coil of metal but for
locations along the length of the coil to be truly representative of the coil.

The fracture FLD, therefore, seldom is utilized in the press shop. First, the fracture FLD will vary from
point to point in a coil of steel as a function of cleanliness. This makes it difficult to generate a FLD
representative of the coil. Second, necking is cause of rejection in many stampings, especially for those
exposed applications. Third, once the localized neck has begun, all deformation is now confined within
the neck. Therefore, even though the strain level at fracture in the neck is much higher than the strain at
the onset of the localized neck, the active gage length for the additional straining is so small that little
additional stamping depth is achieved.

For low strength steel, the fracture FLD is well above the instability FLD (Figure 4.2-14). As expected, the
curve decreases continuously with increasing biaxiality (increasing minor strain, e2). For some high
strength steels, the fracture FLD has dropped below the localized necking FLD (Figure 4.2-15). This is
seen in the laboratory as fracture without a localized neck-typically for large positive and large negative
minor strains (K-31).

In one special case, the normal sequence of uniform deformation and diffuse necking was interrupted by
ductile fracture prior to obtaining strain levels predicted by the FLD-necking (K-31). The steel was a
relatively “dirty” 50 ksi (345 MPa) yield strength steel without inclusion shape control. Major strains of 65
percent were achieved in the rolling direction of the sample with a visible neck beginning to form
perpendicular to the major strain direction. Suddenly, a sharp fracture occurred parallel to the rolling
direction and cut through the neck in a perpendicular direction. Strains across the neck were only 40
percent with no evidence of a neck preceding fracture.

Based on the above discussion, steel producers should use techniques, especially inclusion shape
control, to suppress ductile fracture initiation sufficiently to insure that the FLD-fracture is always at a
strain level higher than the FLD-localized necking. This will allow for the maximum stretchability the steel
is capable of producing.


Arguments have been made that fracture is not the only “failure” in forming. Wrinkles and buckles also
contribute to stamping rejection (h-8, H-33). The criterion for the initiation of buckles is that the thickness
strain is positive. An increase in thickness means a propensity of the sheet metal to buckling. The strain
states which cause an increase in thickness can be shown on the same strain space used for the Forming
Limit Diagram (Figure 4.2-16).


The Forming Limit Diagram represents the combinations of major and minor surface strains which sheet
metal can undergo without satisfying the conditions for the onset of localized necking. For this reason the
FLD is a formability characteristic of the metal independent of the specific application of the metal. The
data points plotted on the FLD are values obtained from the actual stamping under investigation. The
proximity of the various data points to the failure line indicated the severity of the stamping.

For steel, a standard shaped FLD curve is used to make the analysis technique simple and useful for
press shop application. The height of the curve-specified by FLD0 – is determined from a nomograph
based on the thickness and the work hardening exponent of the steel. These quick analysis techniques
are not applicable to alloys of steel or other metals. For these metals, experimental FLD’s must be
obtained in the laboratory.

Additional Forming Limit Diagram research is still required for more complex forming conditions, such a
prestrained metal and radical changes in strain path.

Figure 4.2-1 First published Forming Limit Diagram showing major strain as a function of the
strain ratio (K-15).

Figure 4.2-2 A Forming Limit Diagram commonly is generated in the laboratory by clamping and
stretching strips of varying width. The strain at the onset of localized necking (failure points in the
diagram) is poltted as a function of the minor strain (H-19).

Figure 4.2-3 A standard shaped Forming Limit Deagram is used in many North American press
shops. The height of the curve is set by the FLD0 determined from the nomograph in Figure 4.2-9

Figure 4.2-4 The axes of the traditional Forming Limit Diagram are engineering strains. When
plotted on true strain axes, the left side of the standard shaped FLD becomes a straight line at 45
degrees to the vertical axis (-34).

Figure 4.2-5 The conditions for the onset of localized necking (FLD) can be plotted in terms of the
thickness ratio and the minor strain. The conversion is accomplished with the constancy of
volume formula. The left side of the standard shaped FLD now becomes a constant thickness
ratio (K-11).

Figure 4.2-6 The Japanese version of the FLD is plotted with a different orientation of the axes (I-
Figure 4.2-7 Different forming modes can be depicted as different strain paths on the FLD.

Figure 4.2-8 Effects of sheet thickness on the FLD0 for steel and aluminum (K-31).

Figure 4.2-9 A nomograph to obtain the FLD0 for a steel when the values of the work hardening
exponent, n, and the sheet thickness are known (K-29).

Figure 4.2-10 The level of the FLD's for different metals depends upon both the work hardening
exponent, n, and the strain rate hardening exponent, m (G-10).

Figure 4.2-11 The plastic anisotropy ratio, r, determines the strain path a tensile test and other
deformation modes will follow prior to the onset of localized necking.

Figure 4.2-12 A variety of "FLD's" are possible if a radical change in strain path takes place (K-56).

Figure 4.2-13 True fracture strain as a function of the minor strain and the gage length used for the
strain measurements (G-39).

Figure 4.2-14 Both the FLD-fracture and the FLD-localized necking are shown for an AK DQ steel

Figure 4.2-15 A high strength steel with a large number of inclusions can have a FLD-fracture
which will intersect the FLD-localized necking (K-31).

Figure 4.2-16 The "wrinkling FLD" delineates conditions for which buckles or wrinkles can occur.
These conditions generally are those strain states which cause an increase in thickness.

4.3 Simulative Tests


The Forming System is a complex interaction of material, lubricant, die, and press. By holding the
incoming material constant, one of the primary components of the Forming System is held constant. This,
in theory, should reduce one of the causes of press shop breakage. Therefore, press shops continually
search for a test(s) which will permit evaluation of the formability of the incoming material.

Formability of incoming steel can be evaluated by three general types of tests. These are: 1) fundamental
properties, 2) simulative tests, and 3) actual press shop trials.
Fundamental properties utilized for formability evaluation generally are those properties which have
previously been shown to correlate to formability. Primary properties include work hardening exponent (n),
strain rate hardening exponent (m), and anisotropy ratio (r). Other related properties are yield strength,
uniform elongation, and total elongation. These properties are measured from a tensile specimen, which
is deformed at a constant rate by a uniaxial stress in free space (no surface contact). These properties
are widely used to assess the formability of sheet metal.

Two major determinations must now be made. The first is choosing the correct property or properties
which can predict the performance of the sheet metal in stamping under investigation. For example, the
work hardening exponent, n, is related to stretch forming but not to cup drawing. The problem now
becomes one of determining whether the critical zone in the stamping is formed by the stretch forming
mode. This may be difficult without an extensive evaluation of both the stress and strain states. The
identical strain state can be created by either a stretch forming mode or a compressive mode. Tensile
instability terminates the former but not the latter.

The second determination is selection of the proper test parameters. An argument is made that most
sheet metal is formed with a biaxial stress state, while the traditional tensile test are uniaxial. A valid
question therefore is whether various degrees of biaxiality change the n value. If so, a multiplicity of n
value test would be required to match the exact biaxial stretch conditions of the stamping for which the
steel is intended.

Other test parameters must also be selected for effective correlation with the stamping. These include
deformation speed, test temperatures, and prior deformation conditions. The argument also is made that
the surface/lubrication interactions are important in forming of actual stampings and these interactions are
absent in fundamental property tests such as the tensile test. To counter this last complaint, some
measurements of surface morphology and coefficients of friction can be made for each sheet material
being characterized.

On the other extreme, press shop trials indicate the response of the total Forming System. However,
failure of the system to produce a satisfactory stamping does not provide information as to which
component(s) is at fault. The Forming System is, unfortunately, a dynamic system. Failure of the system
to produce a satisfactory stamping simply means that the system components are mismatched at the time
the stamping is made. Without extensive system checks it is difficult to say which component – such as
the material – is at fault. Even worse, the current make/break evaluation method does not provide
sufficient gradation between materials with different levels of formability. Another problem with press shop
trials is the need to create a full size blank and bring it to the press. Finally, interjecting press shop trials
into a production schedule is sometimes difficult. Simulative formability tests were designed to overcome
these problems – a compromise between fundamental property evaluation and actual and actual press


Simulative tests can be used for three purposes in sheet metal forming:

a. Evaluate incoming metal with respect to a historical baseline.

b. Predict the success of the metal in a specific press application.
c. Analyze the effects of modifying various parameters.

a) Evaluation of incoming metal with respect to a historical baseline may be a simple go/no-go test
or a more sophisticated Statistical Process Control charting. In this application, the simulative
test indicates whether the incoming steel has the same characteristic values as the previous
shipments of steel. The simulative test used in the screening may have little direct relationship
to the actual forming operation. For example, a steel may be subjected to the Limiting Draw
Ratio test as determined by the cylindrical cup draw or Swift flat bottom cup test. The critical
mode in the actual production stamping may be breakage along a blanked edge, which
depends on the work hardening exponent, n, and the normal plastic anisotropy ratio, rm. The rm
also is a controlling factor in the cup drawing operation. Therefore, the cup test results can be
indirectly related to the blanked edge tearing. More importantly, historical records for the
stamping in question may show that steel from Company A processed to give the necessary
minimum rm value also will have a sufficiently high n value to make the stamping.
In the above example, the Limiting Draw Ratio evaluation was used
to check whether the incoming steel probably was processed
identically to the previous shipments of steel. The required minimum
rm value obtained on steel from another company may not insure
successful production of the stamping in question. Different
processing cycles may create identical rm values with entirely
different work hardening exponents. For evaluating incoming metal
with respect to its historical baseline, the application of simulative test
results is very narrow in scope and requires extensive historical
records. In addition, no statements can be made as to whether steel
outside the limits will or will not make the stamping successfully.
b) Prediction of successful forming by a given steel in a specific
stamping is very tenuous when made by the simulative test route. The
relationship between the simulative test and the actual stamping
usually is marginal. For example, stretching over a one-inch (25mm)
diameter punch may not be related to a stamping in which the largest
radius is twice metal thickness or 0.04 inch (1mm). Likewise, a
specific lubricant may assist forming over a generous radius but may
restrict forming over a tight radius.
c) Analyzing the effect of various forming parameters may be the most
effective utilization of simulative tests. Here the different deformation
modes can be isolated and the effect of material and process variables
can be studied. The effects of material properties, lubricants, punch
speed, die radii, temperature, and all other Forming System variables
can be studied without interaction from other forming modes. The
results then be extrapolated to the more complex forming processes.
The study of forming parameters with simulative tests also provides
verification data for the various mathematical models of forming. The
simulative tests usually are axisymmetrical, which is an easier form to
model. The actual dimensions of the simulative test can be entered
into the mathematical mode. The strain histories predicted from the
model can be verified with actual strain readings taken from grids on
deformed samples.
The frictional conditions at the interface between the workpiece and the tool are the least
quantified of any of the forming variables. As such, the correlation between simulative tests and
production stampings depends on how well the simulative test reproduces the interface friction.
The same comments apply to the mathematical models.


The most important description of any simulative test is the forming mode which it simulates. Some tests
are single mode tests, while others are combinations of different modes.


Hole Expansion, Yoshida Buckling – (minor strain is negative), LDH, Free Bend, Stretch Bend, Draw Bead
– (minor strain is zero), Olsen, Erichsen, Four-inch Dome, Marciniak – (minor strain is positive)


LDR, Swift Flat Bottom


Fukui, Swift Round Bottom

4.3.4 TEST DESCRIPTIONS Hole Expansion

The hole expansion test measures the ability of a sheet edge to be elongated. No standard test
procedures have been developed for this test. Thus, various combinations of hole diameters and punch
diameters, as well as different punch configurations, are used by different laboratories. Many test units in
operation today have a common diameter of four inches (102mm). The diameter of the hole depends on
the sheet metal being tested; a typical hole diameter of two inches (51mm) allows a maximum hole
elongation of 100 percent.

One typical test procedure (Figure 4.3-1) starts with either an eight-inch (203mm) diameter circle or
square blank placed in the test apparatus and a crimp or lock bead formed. The locking is required to
insure that all deformation is confined to the enlargement of the hole and that metal does not move into
the die opening from the binder area. The blank is removed from the test apparatus and a central hole is
placed in the blank; the crimp bead is used by the punching device to accurately center the hole. The
amount of hole expansion depends on the quality of the central hole. A milled hole will expand further than
a punched hole which contains damaged edges. A poorly punched will expand less than a good quality
hole. The hole expansion test, therefore, will allow different quality holes to be used as one of the test
variables. The problem becomes one of reproducing the specific quality of a hole from one test specimen
to another. The blank containing the hole is reinserted into the test apparatus and expanded by the
punch. Different punch geometries can be used. While the hemispherical punch is the most common,
conical and flat-bottom punches have been used in some laboratories. All the punches, however,
generate an edge strain path which approximates a tensile test. During the circumferential elongation of
the hole, the hole edge is free to contract in the radial direction. This creates the characteristic positive
major strain and negative minor strain.

Hole expansion is continued until a predefined end point is reached. This usually is the onset of edge
“checks” or edge notches. Deformation beyond this stage will rapidly lead to cracking. Traditionally, punch
load measurements are not made for determining the end point since the onset of checking may not
cause a sufficient drop in the punch load to terminate the test. For this reason, end point determination
usually is done visually.

Directionality of sheet metal properties (anisotropy) usually causes the hole to deviate from a circular
shape. Thus a series of diametrical measurements are necessary to determine an average hole
expansion. The formula for the hole expansion is

% H.E. = D f - DI x 100

where Df is the final hole diameter and Di is the initial hole diameter.
A number of papers have been written about the hole expansion test (K-42, D-6, D-8, W-14, N-3).
Originally used for studies of container flanging, the hole expansion test has grown in popularity for
evaluating higher strength steels and the ability of various steels to withstand blanking damage.

Some general observations can be derived form the hole expansion tests:

The primary factor which influences the hole expansion values is the condition of the initial hole.
This is illustrated in Figure 4.3-2 where the expansion values for different hole qualities and
different strengths of steel (with and without inclusion shape control) are presented.
Substantially greater variability in the hole enlargements were observed with the drilled holes
(initiation and propagation of cracks) than with punched holes (propagation only).
The percent hole expansion is:
directly related to:
sheet thickness
work hardening exponent, n
total elongation
normal anisotropy, rm
minimum r value
and, inversely related to:
yield strength
tensile strength

A good correlation was obtained between the stretch bend tests and the hole enlargement tests (D-2). Yoshida Buckling (Handkerchief)

The Yoshida Buckling test (YBT) is a test to evaluate the susceptibility of sheet metal to buckling (Y-5, Y-
8, H-12, J-4, Y-9, S-46, H-31, L-2, M-13, G-5, S-15). In this test, a square sheet metal sample is clamped
on one set of diagonal corners and elongated in a tensile test frame (Figure 4.3-3). As the specimen is
elongated, a series of wrinkles or buckles are generated parallel to the direction of elongation. The degree
of width contraction and height of the wrinkles are measures of buckling. Limiting Dome Height (LDH)

The Limiting Dome Height (LDH) test is a modified hemispherical dome test (A-12). Instead of a fully
clamped blank, strips of varying widths are clamped on end by a lock bead and then deformed with a
four-inch (102mm) diameter hemispherical punch (Figure 4.3-4). The different widths generate different
minor strains at failure. The height at failure (height at maximum load) can be plotted as a function of strip
width or minor strain. LDH curves for two different steels are schematically shown in Figure 4.3-5.
Superimposed on the LDH curves are the strain paths commonly followed by three traditional laboratory

The total height of the dome depend on two factors. The first is the maximum amount of strain the metal
can withstand before failure. Obtained from the Forming Limit Diagram (FLD), this strain represents a
limiting (ceiling) value. The second factor is how uniformly the strain is distributed without exceeding the
ceiling. Since the dome height is proportional to the area under the strain distance curve, a high uniform
strain will generate the largest dome height. The distribution of strain is governed both by the stretchability
of the steel and the strain distribution characteristics of the blank-punch interface. These are also the
characteristics which lead to good stretchability in a production stamping. Therefore, it is argued that the
height in the LDH test can be related to the stretchability of production stampings.
The shape of the LDH curve approximates that of the FLD. However, the ability of the substrate and the
interface to distribute strain in the presence of biaxial stress state will affect not only the height but also
the shape of the curve.

The most common application of the LDH test is to measure and report only the minimum of the curve –
LDH0. In this case it is necessary only to measure the specimen width; measurement of the minor strain is
unnecessary since the minimum occurs at plane strain.

Test procedures for the LDH test have not been standardized. Various researchers (G-9, A-30, M-23), as
well as the North American Deep Draw Research Group of the American Society for Metals, have
undertaken numerous cooperative programs to converge on the best procedure. The description which
follows is intended only as a guide.

To determine the LDH0, seven-inch (178mm) long specimens of the test metal with various widths are
sheared. Five different width strips are tested, each strip being 1/8 inch (3mm) wider than the previous
strip. The widths of the five strips are chosen to bracket the width which will generate a plane-strain
condition – the minimum of the curve. For uncoated, low carbon, mild steel this width usually is
approximately five inches (127mm).

Each blank is processed according to prescribed test procedures. Here testing philosophies diverge. One
procedure dictates maximum cleaning and degreasing to remove ill oil and other surface contaminants. A
second procedure requires the specimen to be tested as-received, since mill oil, prelubes, etc. affect both
the test result and the press shop performance. A third procedure attempts to standardize the interface in
order to measure only the steel stretchability. A low viscosity wash oil appears to provide a more standard
condition than the various cleaning techniques.

The strip is centered in the test fixture and securely clamped. Absolute clamping is imperative. In this
respect, the tooling must be highly standardized to provide interchangeable data. The strip is deformed by
the hemispherical punch at a typical speed of ten inches per minute (254mm/min). The punch travel at
maximum punch load is the Limiting Dome Height and is determined from autographic records or
electronic maximum load detectors. These data allow the minimum of the LDH-width curve to be
constructed and LDH0 determined. Different procedures to eliminate test variability include the use of
standardized samples and “seasoning” of the punch after changing material type (m-23). The tool material
can also be changed to duplicate soft tryout tools or hardened tools (B-16, M-24, B-17).

The common tensile properties which contribute to good stretchability also contribute to high LDH values:
work hardening exponent (n), strain rate hardening (m). total elongation, tensile/yield ratio, etc.
Experiments indicate that the high mean anisotropy ratio (rm) important to cup drawing can be detrimental
to the LDH value (H-21, N-12). the exact role of surface topography in controlling dome height needs
further research. Some complex interactions of sheet surface material, sheet surface profile, lubricant,
tool material, tool surface profile, interface pressure, and interface temperatures are present (B-16, B-17). Free Bend

Bend tests are different from most other sheet metal forming tests in that a severe strain gradient is
developed through the sheet thickness by the act of bending. A simple bend test (I-4) is made in one
direction without reversing direction of bending (Figure 4.3-6). A more controlled variation of the bend test
is to clamp a flat specimen against a die plate with a radius on one end and bend the strip to a specified
angle by using a slowly applied force (Figure 4.3-7). Specifications may require the specimen used to be
from either the rolling direction or the transverse direction of the sheet. The strip then is formed over a flat
plate until its sides are parallel and a fixed distance apart relative to the strip thickness. This distance
usually is given as a number times strip thickness, such as 4t for a four sheet thickness spacing. When
required, no spacer may be specified and the strip is bent flat upon itself through a 180 degree bend
angle (Figure 4.3-8). This is called a 0t bend. In simple bend tests, the requirement is to obtain the
specified angle or shape under load without regard to possible springback after the load is removed.

The interpretation of results is a matter for the material specification. The metallurgical and mechanical
factors important in all bending operations are the strength and ductility of the steel, the degree of
inclusion shape control, and the condition of the edge of the test blank. Bendability is described by the
radius to thickness ratio (in multiples of thicknesses) that the steel can be bent without developing cracks
over a specified length. This, therefore, becomes a pass/fail system.

Typical bend test data are shown in Figures 4.3-9 and 4.3-10. In Figure 4.3-9 poor correlation was
obtained between bendability and percent total elongation (T-8). Better correlation was obtained between
bendability and percent reduction of area. The effect of stringer inclusions for different yield strength
steels is shown in Figure 4.3-10.

A bendability definition which is superior to the pass-fail system is the length of the longest edge crack
developed under constant bend conditions (K-55). This test combine outer fiber strain and the strain limits
of the material. Using this criterion, the effect of sulfide shape control during bending has been assessed
(Figure 4.3-11). The data in this graph shows the reduced bendability of an 80 ksi (550 MPa) steel
compared to a 50 ksi (345 MPa) steel when neither steel has inclusion shape control. With inclusion
shape control, both steels have equal bendability at a level significantly better than the 50 ksi (345 MPa)
steel without inclusion shape control.

Like many other simulative tests, bending tests are often used to evaluate the adhesion of various
metallic and painted coatings. Stretch Bend

Some sheet metal forming operations are pure bending operations. Other operations are pure stretching
operations. The latter is true for thin sheets and generous radii, where the radius/thickness ratio (R/t) is
greater than 15 and the bending component is considered to be negligible compared to the uniform
strains through the thickness. Many production parts, however, are made from thicker steels or, more
commonly, have tighter radii in character lines, sharp punches, embossments, etc.

The Stretch Band test attempts to duplicate the combination of stretch plus bending. Two types of Stretch
Bend tests have been suggested in the literature (D-11). The first is called the Angular Stretch-Bend Test
(ASBT) shown in Figure 4.3-12. The angular punch has a single plane of symmetry. The rectangular blank
used in the ASBT is eight inches (203mm) across the die opening and four inches (102mm) wide. A series
of punches with different radii allow different ratios of R/t to be generated. More combinations can be
obtained without increasing the number of punches by varying the thickness of the steel to be tested.

The blank is firmly clamped and stretched. The depth of punch travel (configuration height H) is the
measure of stretch-bendability. The test conditions are monitored to insure that fracture occurs over the
punch. Fracture in the unsupported region of the strip would simulate tensile failure instead of the desired
stretch-bend mode. The second Stretch Bend test, a variation of the angular punch test, is the
hemispherical punch test (HSBT). Here the punch has a double curvature. In this case, blanks of varying
width are used to provide varying amounts of drawing-in (such as the Limiting Dome Height test).

The test results depend on the steels tested (Figure 4.3-13) and the test parameter R/t (Figure 4.3-14).
The test results should be taken as a relative ranking of various steels rather than an absolute value
which can be translated into design parameters for die construction.

Another combination test has been proposed by Rasmussen (R-8) whereby the shearing properties of the
sheet in the direction of the prior bending axis are used to indicate the severity of the bend and its
resistance to subsequent deformation. Draw Bead

Draw Bead tests are used to simulate the deformation a sheet of metal undergoes as it moves through
one or more draw beads located in the binder (blankholder) area of the die system. Two very distinct type
of Draw Bead tests are in use. One is used to test the adherence of coatings, while the other is used to
measure the coefficient of friction of sheet metal passing through the beads.

The coating adherence draw bead test is not a true sheet metal formability test. In these tests, the male
bead and the female recess (Figure 4.3-15a) have identical radii. Any sheet metal inserted between the
bead and the recess is heavily loaded at each shoulder due to the “negative” clearance which exists. The
sheet metal is dragged (even scraped) through the beads. Visual examination of the surface, or a weight
loss, is made after, typically, two passes through the beads.

The second type of Draw Bead test is called the Draw Bead Simulator (DBS) because it attempts to
simulate the deformation of the sheet metal as it passes through an ideal bead (N-14, N-15). Here a
coefficient of friction is calculated for each combination of sheet, lubricant, and bead metal. The
interchangeable beads (Figure 4.3-15b) can vary from hardened steel to a soft zinc-based alloy used for
die tryout. A positive clearance (gap dimension greater than metal thickness) is used to avoid any
pinching or scraping action.

The normal force on the bead is not controlled but allowed to vary. Instead, the beads are interleafed a
fixed amount and then locked. The pulling rate generally exceeds 50 inches per minute (1270mm/min) to
duplicate more closely actual press speeds. The measured force to pull the specimen through a fixed
bead has two components. One is the frictional force, which is used to calculate the coefficient of friction.
The other is the force required to bend and unbend the sample as it passes around the beads. This force
is obtained separately by pulling a second sample of the metal around frictionless roller beads. The force
from the roller beads is subtracted from the force from the fixed beads to calculate a coefficient of friction.

Studies to date (B-16, N-14, N-15, K-16, K-17, B-17, W-13) have shown a unique value of the coefficient
of friction for each combination of steel surface morphology, interface lubricant, and bead metal. One test
result can not be extrapolated to any other test combination – each combination must be tested. The
coefficient of friction generally increases as the test speed is decreased (K-17). Olsen/Erichsen Dome

The Olsen Dome test is used as a stretchability evaluation test in North America. The Erichsen Dome test
is a similar test used in Europe and Japan. The simple test procedures makes these two tests popular in
the sheet metal forming industry. A good correlation has been found between these two tests (N-12).
Therefore, comments will be restricted here to the Olsen Dome test.

The operational procedures of the Olsen Dome test are few (A-26). Specimen preparation requires only
sharing a small rectangular blank. The test apparatus consists of a hydraulic cylinder to force a small
diameter hemispherical punch into a sheet clamped by an annular die set activated by another hydraulic
cylinder (Figure 4.3-16). Measurements are made of punch load and punch travel. Punch travel is
stopped when the end-point is detected. The correct end-point is the maximum in the punch load-punch
travel curve. This can be determined from a graphical plot of punch load versus punch travel. Some of the
more advanced Olsen Dome test machines are equipped with automatic, electronic, load maximum
detectors. The common practice for most Olsen tests, however, is to observe the load indicator dial for the
load maximum and then to manually stop the punch travel. The load maximum is sometimes difficult to
detect accurately. Therefore, some operators observe the test specimen for a visual onset of the necking

Total punch travel is measured in thousandths of an inch; the Olsen value is the dome height in
thousandths. Therefore, a 425 Olsen value is really 0.425 inches of punch travel to the point of test cutoff.
The degree of necking and the response time for machine shutdown vary from operator to operator and
even for repetitive tests with the same operator. This difference, especially for inter-laboratory
correlations, can be as large as 60 Olsen units (A-7).

In theory the Olsen Dome test is a pure biaxial stretch test. As such the Olsen values should correlate
with common stretchability parameters, especially the work hardening exponent (n). Available data,
however, show extreme scatter (H-18, T-8, N-12, K-43). Little correlation is seen as a function of the n
value (Figure 4.3-17). or the uniform elongation (Figure 4.3-18). Somewhat better correlation is obtained
with percent transverse reduction in area (Figure 4.3-18). Correlation between the Olsen values and n
were obtained only when oiled polyethylene sheets were used as a barrier lubricant indicating the
extreme importance of frictional factors.

Research studies have highlighted a number of weaknesses in the Olsen Dome test which can account
for the lack of correlation between the Olsen value and the work hardening exponent, n (A-7, T-8, H-18,

a. Test parameters have been insufficiently defined. These parameters include absolute
determination of end point, lubrication procedures, sufficient clamping, and speed control. For
example, the Olsen Dome test is designed to be a pure biaxial stretch test. However, many test
fixtures have insufficient clamping forces which allow flange metal to flow over the die radius and
into the die cavity. The uncontrolled and predictable amount of metal flow randomly adds to the
maximum height of the dome at failure and therefore can be observed by deviation of the edge
of the test specimen from a straight line.
A speed increase from 0.05 to 1.5 inches per minute (1.25 to 38mm/min) can produce an
increase of 12 Olsen units for an automotive gage AKDQ steel sheet (K-27). In practice, the
typical Olsen Dome test is performed at a very rapid speed until fracture is approached and then
the speed until fracture is approached and then the speed is dramatically reduced in an attempt
to read the dome height at fracture. Thus, the test speed is usually unspecified and nonconstant.
Even the test parameters are specified, there are problems. For example, even between 0.060
and 0.062 inch (1.52 and 1.58mm) the punch dimension changes discontinuously from 1.0 to
1.25 inches (25.4 to 28.6mm) in diameter to accommodate the thicker material.
b. The small diameter punch can introduce a bending component when the punch radius/sheet
thickness ratio becomes less than 10-15. Thus, a bending component (and a change in
stress/strain state) is introduced when the sheet metal exceeds 0.04 inches (1 mm) in thickness.
c. A relatively small area of the sheet metal is evaluated in any one test.
d. Poor inter-laboratory correlations have been observed (A-7).
e. Corrections are required when comparing metals of different thicknesses (F-8). The Olsen value
increase 2.5 units for each 0.001 inch (0.025mm) increase in gage (F-8).

However, the Olsen Dome test can be very useful in evaluating certain parameters of the steel. For
example, the Olsen Dome test often is used to show the presence of “orange peel” at high levels of strain
prior to fracture. In addition, the type of fracture (ring versus highly directional) provides some indication of
steel cleanliness.

The Olsen Dome test also is utilized for determining the adhesion of metallic and paint coatings to a
substrate during stretch deformation. For this application, a “Scotch-Tape” peel test is usually included.
However, even for these applications, a severe strain gradient form the pole to the rim of this small
diameter dome complicates the test. Large Diameter Hemispherical Stretch

An improved dome stretching test has been used over the last 20 years to evaluate pure stretch forming
(K-15, H-24, H-14, H-18, H-19). The typical diameter of the hemispherical punch is 4 inches (102mm),
although diameters from 3 to 12 inches (76 to 305mm) have been used. These dome tests are designed
to eliminate the problems enumerated for the Olsen/Erichsen tests described above. They differ from the
Olsen/Erichsen test because:

a. The four-inch (102mm) diameter punch evaluates 16 times the area of the Olsen test. The larger
diameter also reduces the bending component.
b. The die ring contains a lock bead to insure pure stretching.
c. The fixture is a subpress designed to fit into a instrumented tensile test machine or is designed
as a complete stand-alone unit. Most of these units are computer controlled in terms of test
speed and data acquisition. The punch travel at failure is taken at the maximum load point.
d. Test procedures are not standardized. However, within a given laboratory, standard cleaning and
lubrication procedures have been established.

These large diameter dome tests are used for a variety of purposes, including evaluating the influence of
steel substrate stretchability, coatings, lubricants, test speed, temperature, tool material, and tool surface
coatings on the dome height. In the extreme, the rigid hemispherical punch has been replaced by
hydraulic fluid (of fluid pressure simulated by a thick plug of rubber) to create maximum strain under
conditions of balanced biaxial stress at the pole of the dome. Examples of the data obtained are shown in
Figures 4.3-19 (H-18). The lack of correlation is due to the fact that stretchability is a function of the work
hardening exponent (n) plus the strain rate hardening exponent (m). The value of (n + m) correlates with
the total elongation when different classes of metals are studied. In Figure 4.3-19 the following property
combinations are observed:

Zn: low n, high m

Steel: medium n, low m
Brass: high n, zero m
Aluminum: medium n, negative m

Thus, the dome heights of the metals shown in Figure 4.3-19 correlate well with total elongation in Figure

Within a given class of metal, steel for example, correlations between the work hardening exponent (n)
and dome height can be observed (Figure 4.3-21). Note here that the old terminology of cup height is
used. The current terminology is cup height for cylindrical deep drawn cups and dome height for biaxially
stretched, clamped sheets. In Figure 4.3-21, the dome heights for tests run with oiled polyethylene sheets
are greater than those run without lubrication (dry). However, the scatter for the polyethylene lubricated
domes is greater and the slope of the curve is reduced. Thus, the better lubricant tends to mask the
effects of other variables such as material properties. While this masking has useful implications in the
press shop, it reduces sensitivity of the simulative tests. Therefore, simulative tests should be designed to
maximize the effect of the variable under study. In a like manner, the n values for steel, and therefore the
dome heights, decrease as the yield strength of steel increases (Figure 4.3-22).

High normal anisotropy or strain ratio, rm, (important for good cup drawability) has been shown to be
detrimental to pure dome stretching (Figure 4.3-23). Here the circle arc elongation (eca) is related to the
uniform elongation and therefore the n value of the material. Therefore, for a given eca (or n value) the
dome height is inversely proportional to rm values. No explanation for this effect has been proposed. It
may be a direct effect of substrate stretchability or an indirect result of interface lubrication effects. Hecker
(H-18) could not duplicate these results. Other dome tests have been conducted which evaluate test
speed (Figure 4.3-24).

While the Large Diameter Hemispherical Stretch test has many advantages over the Olsen/Erichsen
Dome test, it still retains the strain gradient and varying strain states from the pole to the rim of the dome.
These point to point variations can cause problems in analysis of results.

Application of the Large Diameter Hemispherical Stretch test to actual production problems has begun.
Brazier (B-18) used the four-inch (012mm) dome test to establish permissible pocket depths permissible
pocket depths were established by the ratio of the dome height to dome diameter for various metals. Marciniak Stretch

The Marciniak Stretch test (M-9, G-35) is a modified dome test (Figure 4.3-25). It was designed to
overcome the severe strain gradients developed by the traditional dome tests using a hemispherical

If a flat sheet of metal is simply clamped and a flat-bottom punch is pushed into the sheet, a very limited
amount of stretch is possible, usually around the punch radius, before the strain level reaches failure and
tearing occurs over the radius. The low level of strain that does occur under the flat (central) portion of the
blank is balanced biaxial because stretching is equal in all directions.

To increase the level of straining in the flat bottom, metal must slide over the punch radius and transmit
increasing force to the metal in the flat bottom. Strain can not be allowed to localize in the radius. This is
extremely difficult to accomplish with a single sheet of metal. In theory, the punch radius could be
replaced with a series of ball bearings to generate a frictionless radius. A more practical solution is to
insert a carrier blank between the test blank and the punch (see Figure 4.3-25). A central hole punched in
the carrier blank easily expands allowing metal to slide over the punch radius with relatively small applied
force. The metal of the test blank on top of the carrier blank rides with the carrier blank. The metal of the
test blank within the circumference of the carrier blank hole elongates in all directions.

Several specimen sequences are possible. The simplest is to use a square carrier sheet and test sheet
with a minimum dimension of one inch (25mm) greater than the dimension of the lock bead. A common
size is eight inches (203mm) for a four-inch (102mm) diameter punch. The carrier blank can be made
from any stock steel or other metal with excellent formability; the test bank must fail before the edge of the
enlarged hole in the carrier blank checks or tears. Carrier blank thickness is not specified, but must be on
the same order as the test blank or else fracture can occur in the carrier blank.

The test blank and carrier blank are mated and placed in the test fixture to be crimped. This insures
proper carrier hole alignment. The carrier blank is removed for punching of the central hole and then
replaced. A two-inch (50mm) hole is common. The punch is driven into the pair of blanks (Figure 4.3-25)
until the desired end point is reached. For a given test configuration, the amount of strain in the flat
bottom is a function of punch depth. Therefore, blanks with identical amounts of strain can be generated
as prestrained samples for other tests. Another end point is fracture, this end point is best determined by
visual monitoring during deformation.

The Marciniak Stretch test is a specialized test used in only a few laboratories. Coated metals (both
metallic and painted) can be formed to increasing levels of strain. The balanced biaxial strain state
generates maximum increase in surface area. Changes in coating adhesion, ductility, and surface
topography are several parameters easily measured. Because no contact is made with the punch in the
central test area, print-through problems are eliminated. The specimens are flat for application of different
visual tests. All the specimens can be painted after forming to simulate painting of actual deformed

This test also indicates the internal cleanliness of the substrate based on the nature of the incipient
fracture. A long, straight, rolling direction, line fracture with no necking elsewhere in the surface indicates
a large inclusion. A surface with deep “wormy” necks in all directions over the entire surface indicates a
very clean substrate. By evaluating samples from edge to edge of the sheet, a profile of internal
cleanliness can be generated. This also can correlated with height at fracture (average strain) for the
various samples. Limited Draw Ratio (LDR)

The tests described previously were simulative stretch tests. The Limiting Draw Ratio test is a single
mode draw test. This test evaluates the ability of a sheet metal to be drawn into a cylindrical cup (Figure
4.3-26). Test procedures have not been standardized (H-34, W-19, A-28, A-29). Typically, however,
circular disks of increasing diameter are machined or punched. After deburring, they are inserted into the
draw fixture. A clamping force is applied which is sufficient to prevent wrinkling but which is not so large
as to add an unnecessarily large component to the draw load. Cups are drawn with increasing blank
diameter until the blank diameter is reached at which breakage is encountered. The Limiting Draw Ratio
is defined as that maximum ratio of blank diameter to punch diameter for the onset of breakage.

The absolute value of the LDR for any given lot of metal depends on die and punch geometry (Figures
4.3-27 and 4.3-28), test speed (Figure 4.3-29), temperature (Figure 4.3-30), lubrication, and holddown
parameters. Once these are fixed, however, various metals can be ranked according to their relative
capacity for deep drawing. The LDR increases with increasing sheet thickness (Figure 4.3-31).

The LDR has been shown to depend linearly on the normal anisotropy of the steel (Figure 4.3-32). The
mean Young’s modulus can also be used to predict the LDR (M-35). When evaluated over a wider range
of materials, however, the LDR-rm relationship has been shown to be a linear relation on a log-log plot
(Figure 4.3-33); this figure by Atkinson and Maclean (A-28) is popular in many paper textbooks. Hosford,
however, argues that b.c.c. and h.c.p. metals should not be compared on the same line (H-37). When
comparing only b.c.c. metals, the curve sharply decreases slope for increasing rm (Figure 4.3-34). He
contends that very large values of rm are not beneficial in increasing the LDR. One Japanese author (Y-
10) claims that limiting depth is better defined by their X value rather than the rm values for a wide range
of metals (Figure 4.3-35); the X value is a complex term incorporating work hardening anisotropy and
changes in the yield locus.

There is a one-blank method for evaluating deep drawability which greatly reduces blank preparation (A-
29, W-21). A blank of a given size is drawn into a cup of specified dimensions until the maximum load is
exceeded. The blank is then clamped and the load to fracture the cup wall is measured. The greater the
ratio of wall fracture load to draw load (Lu/Ld), the greater the deep drawability of the metal. This ratio can
be empirically converted to a rm value of the metal (Figure 4.3-36). Fukui Conical Cup

Very few stampings can be identified as being pure stretch or pure draw. Therefore, it can be argued that
laboratory simulative tests which are intended to be pure stretch (such as the Olsen Dome test) or pure
cup drawing tests (such as the Limiting Draw Ratio) should correlate poorly with actual press
performance. A laboratory simulative test is needed which incorporates both modes of deformation.

Fukui Conical Cup test was designed to overcome this problem (F-9). In this test, a circular disk of metal
is blanked in a separate operation; its diameter depends on the sheet metal thickness. This disk is then
placed into a conical die (Figure 4.3-37). No holddown is used. This is possible because the ratio of blank
diameter to sheet thickness is such that buckling does not occur. The absence of holddown eliminates
many of the test variables associated with draw type tests, such as holddown load, die radii, roughness of
the holddown surfaces, lubrication under the holddown, etc.

The deformation forces are generated by pushing a spherical ball into the center of the blank. Two
deformation modes occur. The central portion of the blank is stretched over the ball. This loading also
causes the blank to be pulled down the conical cavity. The circumference of the blank must decrease,
generating the compressive stress component found in cup drawing. This test sums all the various
components to produce a final cup height at failure. The higher the maximum height, the more formable
the steel.

The traditional Fukui Conical Cup Values (CCV) – the ratio of final cup diameter to blank diameter –
strongly depend on the product of nm times rm (Figure 4.3-38). The change in Fukui CCV values for AK
steel as a function of test speed is shown in Figure 4.3-39. The end point of this test was modified by
Goodwin and is called the “Formability Index” (G-24). The punch travel at maximum load is the
Formability Index; in this respect, the modified Fukui test is similar to the Olsen Dome test. Goodwin
showed that the Formability Index is related to the product of the minimum r value and the uniform
elongation of the sample tested (G-24). The minimum r value for cold rolled steel usually occurs in the 45
degree direction to the rolling direction. Swift Round Bottom Cup

The original Swift Flat Bottom test (C-14) was a pure cup drawing test. To make the test sensitive to both
stretch and draw components, the flat bottom of the punch was replaced by a hemispherical head,
typically four inches (102mm) in diameter (Figure 4.3-40). The test is conducted similarly to the Limiting
Draw Ratio test. Blanks of increasing diameter are formed with the punch until breakage occurs.


A wide variety of simulative tests are available in the literature. Some are well defined with all variables
and test parameters specified. Others are essentially undefined with equipment and procedures varying
from one investigator to another.

Each test represents an attempt to duplicate some portion of a complex stamping or a specific forming
mode. Many are successful; others are not. As the critical forming mode in any given stamping changes,
so the required test changes.

The current trend is to increase the number of simulative tests performed in order to broaden the
characterization of a specific metal or lubricant. In addition, the simulative tests provide excellent data for
verification of mathematical simulation models.

Figure 4.3-1 Schematic for the Hole Expansion test. Specimen after an increase of deformation is
shown as dotted lines.

Figure 4.3-2 Hole expansion results are strongly influenced by edge condition. Steels indicated by
l and l' were inclusion shape controlled steels. The 30, 50, 60, and 80 numbers refer to minimum
yield strengths in ksi (H-29).

Figure 4.3-3 Yoshida Buckling test specimen (H-12).

Figure 4.3-4 Schematic for the Limiting Dome Height test. Specimen after an increment of
deformation is shown as dotted lines.

Figure 4.3-5 Schematic showing Limiting Dome Height (LDH) for two different metals. The
minimum is labeled LDH0 (A-12).
Figure 4.3-6 Simple bend test for sheet metals (A-12).

Figure 4.3-7 Figure 4.3-7 Modified simple bend test. (a) is start of bend. (b) is finish flat using
specified spacer designated as 1, 2, 3-t (times sheet thickness) (A-12).

Figure 4.3-8 Bend flat upon itself is the most severe test condition - referred to as 0-t (zero
thickness) (A-12).

Figure 4.3-9 Bendability as a function of total elongation and transverse reduction in area for
various strength steels (T-8).

Figure 4.3-10 Stringer Inclusions reduce bendability (T-8).

Figure 4.3-11 Using length of edge cracking as a measure of formability (K-55).

Figure 4.3-12 Schematic of the Stretch Bend test. Specimen after an increment of deformation is
shown by the dotted lines.
Figure 4.3-13 Stretch-bent height as a function of yield strength (F-2).

Figure 4.3-14 Transverse stretch-band tests with and without rare earth treatment (F-6).

Figure 4.3-15 Schematic showing two types of Draw Bead tests. The coating adhesion test (left)
heavily loads the strip with a negative clearance. The coefficient of friction test (right) measures
pulling load for friction plus deformation (fixed bead) and pulling load for deformation only (roller

Figure 4.3-16 Schematic of Olsen Dome test. Specimen after an increment of deformation is
shown as dotted lines.

Figure 4.3-17 Olsen Dome height does not correlate well with the work hardening exponent, n (H-
Figure 4.3-18 Olsen Dome height correlates with transverse percent reduction in area (T-8).

Figure 4.3-19 Poor correlation of stretch dome height with the work hardening exponent, n, exists
for different metals.
Figure 4.3-20 The stretch dome height correlates with total elongation (H-18).

Figure 4.3-21 Dome heights for large diameter domes formed with and without lubrication (H-18).

Figure 4.3-22 Maximum dome height of a round bottom dome is dependent on the work hardening
exponent, n (F-2).

Figure 4.3-23 Dome height as a function of circle arc elongation (N-12, H-21).
Figure 4.3-24 Dome height at failure as a function of punch speed (G-10).

Figure 4.3-25 Schematic of Marciniak Cup test. Specimen after an increment of deformation is
shown as dotted lines.

Figure 4.3-26 Schematic of Limiting Draw Ratio (LDR) test. Specimen after an increment of
deformation is shown as dotted lines.

Figure 4.3-27 Limiting Draw Ratio (LDR) decreases as sheet thickness decreases (F-8).

Figure 4.3-28 Maximum Draw Ratio (LDR) as a function of both the die and punch profile radii (H-

Figure 4.3-29 Critical blank diameter for flat bottom punches increases with punch speed (F-7).
Figure 4.3-30 Limiting Drawing Ratio (LDR) decreases as the punch temperature increases (G-32).

Figure 4.3-31 Recommended Limiting Drawing Ratio (LDR) as a function of sheet thickness (J-13).

Figure 4.3-32 Limiting Drawing Ratio (LDR) as a function of both rm and Em (M-35).
Figure 4.3-33 Linear relationship found between Limiting Draw Ratio (LDR) and rm for a wide
variety of metals (A-28).

Figure 4.3-34 Limiting Draw Ratios (LDR) as a non-linear function of rm for a variety of metals as
published by Hosford (H-37).
Figure 4.3-35 Relationship between limiting depth and X and r values (Y-10)

Figure 4.3-36 Approximation of the rm value from a single blank cup draw test (A-29).

Figure 4.3-37 Schematic of the Fukui Conical Cup test. Specimen after an increment of
deformation is shown by the dotted line.

Figure 4.3-38 The diameter ratio of the Fukui conical cup test correlates well with the product of nm
and rm (F-8).

Figure 4.3-39 The diameter ratio of the Fukui conical cup test for various punch speeds and test
steels (F-7).

Figure 4.3-40 Schematic of Swift Round Bottom Cup Test.

4.4 Coated Steels


The use of coated steels for automotive applications is rapidly increasing. Starting simply many years ago
with galvanized rocker panels, the current vehicle designs are candidates for a wide spectrum of coated
products – ranging from prepainted cold-rolled steels on one extreme to multi-layers of different
electrodeposited metals to the other.
The introduction of coated products into the press shop was not been without problems. Little press shop
experience with these new products, if any, has been available to the artisan. Therefore, the artisan has
been forced to implement the traditional press shop techniques of trial and error. Sheets of a new coated
product have been inserted into available tooling and their press performance compared with that of the
existing bare steel sheets. The results have been mixed at best and confusing to most. Some of the
products have been so slippery that restraint in the binder has been impossible and the resulting
stampings were a series of buckles, waves, and loose metal. Other products have “welded” to the binder
and punch and would not flow into the die under any conditions; stampings were removed from the tooling
in multiple pieces. When compared with uncoated steel sheets, many coated steels have different
characteristics which affect formability in many unpredictable ways.

Attempts at characterizing the formability of coated products by traditional mechanical properties have
explained some of the differences in formability. Depending on the process used to make the product,
different values of the substrate properties have been obtained. These in turn have influenced the press
performance of the coated steels, just as the formability of bare steels would be affected by the same
changes in substrate properties. This has explained some of the variations in press performance of
galvanized steels. However, press shop experience has also shown that the press performance of some
coated products has varied widely – even for steels with identical substrate properties. This has confirmed
the long held suspicion that the coatings also have had a major influence on the press formability of the

Previous discussions of formability in this document have emphasized the importance of the four
components of the Forming System: material, lubricant, die design, and press. Therefore, this section on
coated steels also will review formability with respect to the Forming system. Coated products can be
directly related to two of the four components – material and lubricant.

One approach to analyzing coated products is to separate the basic formability of the substrate from the
effect of the coating (K-13, K-22). In this model, the formability of the substrate, as defined by its
mechanical properties, determines the primary formability of the coated product. The mechanical
properties of the substrate steel – like uncoated steels – determine the ability of the coated steel to
withstand strain in the various modes of forming (A-13).

The coating, in turn, affects the amount of the metal flow over the tool and die surfaces. In this manner,
the effect of the coating parallels that of a lubricant. In this section, the coating on the steel, the lubricant
in the workpiece-tool interface, and the surface of the tool are considered as a single system interacting
together to control the flow of metal over the various tool surfaces. The coefficients of friction are the
measured output of the system.

This separation of the substrate formability from the lubricity effects of the coating presupposes no
interaction between the coating and the substrate formability.

Some research (S-36, S-37) has suggested that some coatings can reduce the formability of the
substrate. For example, the zinc-iron layer formed at the surface of the steel substrate of a hot-dipped
galvanized product is said to cause local tensile stresses which lead to premature failure in regions of
negative curvature which contact the punch. This model is used to explain some observations that the
limiting dome height in punch stretching decreases with increasing intermetallic layer thickness (S-37).

A number of other studies, however, have been conducted comparing the formability of coated and
uncoated steels which have led to the opposite conclusion (M-25, M-24). To insure identical substrate
formability, the uncoated steel conditions are obtained by stripping the coating off the coated steel; the
tool-surface effects are eliminated by isolating the sheet surfaces from the tool surface with an oiled
polyethylene sheet. Meuleman, Denner, and Cheng (M-25) have shown that for both plane strain and
stretch deformation modes, the zinc coatings had a negligible effect on the formability. In terms of
drawability, only hot-dipped zinc-iron alloy coatings exhibited decreased drawability parameters relative to
uncoated steels – i.e., reduced rm values. However, these reduced rm values can be explained as an
artifact of the tensile test method rm value determination. The corresponding reduction in limiting draw
ratios has not been observed (M-26). Additional research is required in this area. Finally, the position can
be taken that any failure of the coating itself during the forming process – even without substrate
breakage – should be considered a formability problem because the coating failures are affected by the
mode and amount of the deformation. This category includes lack of adhesion, decohesion, scoring,
galling, and other problems.

The discussion following, therefore, is divided into three topics:

- Substrate formability
- Interface friction
- Coating failures

The primary emphasis of the discussion will be various types of galvanized coatings on steel substrates.
However, the discussion is general and is equally applicable to other metallic coatings and paints, as well
as substrates other than steel.


The formability of the substrate can be measured by the traditional formability parameters, including the
work hardening exponent (n), strain rate hardening exponent (m), plastic anisotropy ratio (r), uniform
elongation, total elongation, and other mechanical properties. Specific combinations of steel composition
and processing conditions allow a wide range of different formability parameters to be developed in the
steel substrate in order to meet the formability requirements of different stampings. A full discussion of
these parameters is provided in Section 4.1.

Historically, the galvanized steels used initially for the automotive industry were produced by the hot-
dipped galvanizing process. Two different types of hot-dipped galvanizing processes have evolved
(Figure 4.4-1).

One hot-dipped galvanizing process uses cold-rolled steel which has been pre-boxed annealed to obtain
a soft, ductile structure that exhibits good formability. This steel then is heated to a temperature range of
850 to 900 degrees F (455 to 483 degrees C) to ensure that the steel is at the same temperature as the
molten zinc bath. This “low temperature” process also is known as the “Cook-Norteman” process.

The other process begins with the fully cold worked steel obtained from the tandem mill. This steel is
heated to a temperature range of 1250 to 1600 degrees F (695 to 970 C) to achieve in-line annealing to
replace the box annealing cycle. This “high temperature” process is known as the “Sendzimir” process.
Because the in-line annealing is short in duration compared to box annealing, a slightly less formable
steel results (A-13). The rapid heat up does not allow for the recrystallization and growth of
crystallographic textures which lead to high normal anisotropy, rm (B-10).

The rapid heating and the rapid cooling of the strip from the annealing furnace temperature to the
temperature of the galvanizing pot causes excess carbon to remain in solution in the steel and a smaller
grain size; these reduce the stretchability of the steel through lower values of the work hardening
exponent, n. Correspondingly, the yield and tensile strength values are elevated and the total elongation
is reduced. For these reasons hot-dipped galvanized steels as a class have been considered to have
inferior formability.

The electrogalvanizing process eliminates the heating and cooling of the steel required by the hot-dipped
galvanizing process. For this steel, the electrogalvanizing step is added at the end of the normal cold-
rolled steel processing cycle. The formability of the substrate of the electrogalvanized steel therefore
should be identical to the formability of its cold-rolled steel counterpart.
To improve the formability of the hot-dipped galvanized steel substrate, the steel producers have
developed a number of processing options (Figure 4.4.2). The first option is a post batch anneal. While
the rm value is unchanged, a slight increase in the n value and stretchability is achieved. The major
change is in the lower yield strength. The second option is both a pre and post anneal in a batch anneal
furnace. The properties now are similar to the bare cold-rolled steel. Superior stretchability can be
achieved through special chemistry and processing. The most common here are ultra-low carbon steels
(with or without additions) processed by vacuum degassing.

The result of these chemistry/processing options is that the galvanized steel product received by a
stamping plant may have different formability characteristics depending on the specific route a particular
supplier chooses to meet the formability requirements of each stamping. However, as illustrated
schematically in Figure 4.4-3, the steel producers have sufficient options available to them with which to
produce one or more types of galvanized steels with the formability equal to or even exceeding that
available with bare, cold-rolled steel (A-13).

Interestingly, one study (G-38) has shown that the zinc layer improved the formability of steel in the
stretching area by raising the FLD. The argument is made that the zinc increase the total thickness of the
sheet ad therefore also increases the level of the FLD.


An obvious difference between bare steel and coated steel and coated steel is the frictional effect the
coating has on the interface. The coefficient of friction is the resultant of a specific combination of
workpiece (coated sheet metal), interface lubricant, and tool surface. Coating the sheet metal can be
considered as adding another component (another layer) to the interface lubricant system.

Recent research has shown that no single test can evaluate coated steel/lubricant combinations (M-25, K-
13, B-16, B-22, A-13, K-17, M-24, K-16, R-12). Instead, a variety of tests are required which will simulate
various forming modes. This is illustrated in Figure 4.4-4. The specific forming mode is more important to
coated steels than uncoated steels. In addition to the specific response of the steel substrate to the
forming mode, the coating will respond differently to each strain state. One extreme comparison would be
cup drawing versus biaxial stretching. In cup drawing the surface area of the flange is decreasing. Here
the coating does not have to flow to provide coverage during the generation of new surface area of the
substrate. However, the coating is subjected to compressive stresses which could cause a high strength
coating to buckle (as opposed to upsetting upon itself) and separate from the substrate.

The opposite occurs in biaxial stretching. Here the deformation is tensile which prevents coating buckling.
However, if the ductility of the coating is less than the ductility of the substrate, then the coating will crack
and create voids in the coating.

Another deformation mode occurs in the draw bead area of the stamping. This deformation is plane strain
bend-and-straighten. However, the coating is on the outer surface of the bend and therefore is subjected
to the maximum strain. Even worse, each surface is subject to alternating tension and compression
cycles which are demanding both on coating ductility and adhesion.

A single coefficient of friction for each coated steel/lubrication combination – independent of forming mode
– would be ideal for the press shop. However, recent research has shown the opposite (M-25, K-17, M-
24). The coefficient of friction for each combination of coated steel and lubricant depends on the specific
forming mode to which the combination is subjected. Even worse, the rank order of a lubricant changes
with variations in steel coating and forming mode. Likewise, for a given steel coating, the rank order of
different lubricants changes for different forming modes. Finally, the coefficients of friction are further
modified by forming speed, interface pressure, interface temperature, and other forming process
Laboratory prediction of forming performance of coated steel products currently can be accomplished only
for a specific set of test parameters. Thus, one laboratory test will be applicable only to one small
segment of any complex production stamping. Therefore, current laboratory evaluation of coated steels
are even more restricted in scope and applicability than laboratory evaluation of uncoated steels.

The avenues for solving this complex problem appear possible, but need further research to develop
press shop feasibility. First, identify test procedures which will provide a significant coefficient of friction for
each forming mode which will encompass a large population of steels. For example, the coefficient of
friction from a punch radius test conducted at one inch (25mm) per minute may correlate with the severity
of most large, rectangular boxes, while a coefficient of friction from a high speed dome test will correlate
with pure stretch forming such as a door handle pocket. Thus, one test could be sufficient to predict press
shop behavior, to a first approximation.

Second, perfect mathematical modeling and other research such that all forming conditions can be
theoretically derived or empirically calculated from one or two key frictional tests.

Third, make stampings insensitive to various types of steel when using a restricted number of mill applied
lubricants and then prohibit use of in-plant lubricants. This restricts the number of possible combinations,
and therefore restricts variations from a single source supplier.

The problem is compounded when the tool material is changed. One common example is the soft, zinc-
based alloys used for die tryout and prototyping. The effect of the zinc coating depends on the
deformation mode. For example, a hot-dipped, zinc-iron alloy, coated steel, commonly known as
galvannealed steel, shows consistently diminished formability regardless of the deformation mode when
tested with soft, zinc-based tools (M-24). In contrast, other hot-dipped free zinc and electrogalvanized
steels show decreased formability with soft tooling only when substantial sliding of the blank occurs over
the tooling, such as with soft draw beads; these same materials show improved performance in plane-
strain stretching with a soft, zinc-based punch. Thus, the galvannealed and the free zinc coated steels
have performance changes in the opposite directions for punch stretching, but in the same direction for
metal movement in the binder area. Thus even relative performance ranking between these various
galvanized coatings is lost when changing from soft, zinc-alloy based tooling to hard, steel tooling.

The reduced formability of the hot-dipped galvannealed steel is sufficiently severe that both Meuleman
and Brazier (M-22) suggested that soft tool tryouts with galvannealed steel were not representative of
how the galvannealed steel would perform in hard tools. These two authors independently concluded that
soft tool tryout with bare steel (with comparable substrate properties) would best duplicate the forming
conditions of the galvannealed steel in hard tooling.

Most of the literature addresses problems with galvanized steels. However, identical analyses can be
performed on prepainted steels (W-11).

In summary, the coated steel-lubricant-tool interaction is so complex that no specific guidelines can be
provided here. This conclusion has a significant impact on the mathematical modeling of coated steels,
since many mathematical models are sensitive to the coefficients of friction for accurate calculations.


All of the previous discussion has assumed that the coating has maintained its integrity, has remained
bonded to the steel substrate, and has not “welded” itself to the tool. Some coatings do not respond in
such a predictable, steady-state manner. These coating failures are yet another type of stamping rejection
which depend both on the forming mode and the level of deformation.

This concept is elucidated in a paper by Sudoo, Hayashi, and Nishihara (S-43) where a “Flaking Limit
Diagram” is used to define deformation behavior of surface films (Figure 4.4-5). The axes for this diagram
are the same as the Japanese Forming Limit Diagrams, which differ from other Forming Limit Diagrams in
that the axes are rotated first 180 degrees around the y axis (mirror image) and then 90 degrees
clockwise. This paper concluded:

a. The flaking limit curve is remarkable different for different coated steels. The deformation mode
favorable to one coated steel is sometimes unfavorable to another coated steel.
b. Galvanized steel formed under biaxial stretching is sometimes
susceptible to flaking. This is accelerated by a shear stress at the
boundary of the surface film.
c. In contrast with galvanized steel, galvannealed steel flakes easily in
shrink flanging. Even though the strong bonding of the galvannealed
film is useful in preventing flaking in biaxial stretching, the brittleness
of this film causes easy breaking and flaking under compressive
stresses which causes the coating to drop off as powder.
d. Zinc-rich primer coated steel is susceptible to flaking in biaxial stretching and shrink flanging.
Flaking of this coating is considered to consist of both “dropping off of zinc particles” (cohesive
failure) and “exfoliation of the film itself” (adhesive failure).

Shiokawa et al (S-20) performed a cylindrical cup test or a hat channel drawing test (including pre and
post specimen weighing) in order to standardize an evaluation procedure for powdering. Their tests
showed wide differences between different coatings, or even variations of similar coatings, in terms of
weight losses due to powdering.

Other papers confirm the complex nature of coating failures (H-36, N-11, E-4). The nature of coating
deformation was examined in more detail by Makimattila and Ranta-Eskola (M-2). They found that the
biaxial stretching of galvanized steels can be subdivided into two stages. In the first stage cracks nucleate
and grow in grains that have brittle crystallographic directions oriented unfavorably with respect to slip
directions; this is referred to as partially plastic deformation. After a gradual transition, deformation is
characterized by more brittle behavior. Primary cracks widen and secondary cracks nucleate as the base
steel is strained.

Schedin, Karlson, and Melander (S-10) suggest a plasticity index (k) for coatings, where k = 0 for a
coating which does not deform plastically and k = 1 for a coating which deforms as the base metal without
cracking. A value of 0.7 was obtained for unixial tension, plane stain, and equibiaxial stretching for a
commercially produced hot-dipped galvanized product.

A two-stage coating evaluation test has been suggested (M-2). The first deformation mode is a biaxial
stretching test. If the coatings pass the biaxial stretching test, they are then subjected to the more severe
bending test. Other tests proposed to study the adhesion and cohesion of coated steels are they
cylindrical cup test and the beaded hat channel test (S-20, E-4).

Based on an evaluation of different combinations of factors-flaking, powdering, frictional resistance, and

instability in subsequent stampings (die buildup and panel damage) – various authors propose different
types of galvanized steel as being the best for formability.

Another type of coating failure is galling. Apparently galling begins when interface pressure exceeds some
limit (M-2). However, once galling is initiated, the friction coefficient tends to decrease during sliding as
built up particles on the tool surface become coarser and cause fewer contact points. A thicker galvanized
coating tends towards higher galling limit pressure, reducing the risk of galling. Likewise, large draw
beads and die radii are beneficial since changes in the surface topography due to bending deformation
are small.

One theme is constant in all the papers reviewed – formability has many definitions, many modes, and
many different types of failure. The coated steels have an added variable (the coating) which adds yet
another dimension to the already complex matrix of interactions. This complex interaction makes the
coated steels less predictable from stamping to stamping and from laboratory to press shop. In addition,
when the stamping has a zero safety factor, the coated steels are even more susceptible than uncoated
steels to the prevailing forming parameters.

The only practical solution today is to model the galvanized steel in terms of the Forming System. The
formability of coated steel is primarily dependent on the properties of the substrate and must be specified
in the same manner as uncoated steel. The coating and lubricant combination must then be determined
so as to provide metal flow patterns consistent with formability requirements of the stamping. This
selection currently is guided by trial and error. Finally, the steel producer must user must implement steps
to protect the more vulnerable coatings.

Figure 4.4-1 Two process cycles for producing hot-dipped galvanized steel compared to
traditional method for producing uncoated, cold-rolled steel.

Figure 4.4-2 A variety of special processing options can be employed to improve the formability of
hot-dipped galvanized steel (A-13).

Figure 4.4-3 The relative formability of the various galvanized steels encompasses the span of
formability of uncoated cold-rolled steels (A-13).

Figure 4.4-4 Different forming modes can be simulated by different simulative tests.
Figure 4.4-5 Flaking Limit Strain Diagrams for various galvanized steels (S-43).



Formability of higher strength steels, especially the HSLA variety, is simply an extension of the formability
of low strength steels. The same analyses are applicable, the same rules apply, and the same predictions
can be made. The primary difference is that the specific values of the formability parameters are generally

Formability of higher strength steels depends on the material parameters reviewed in Sections 4.1 and
4.2. These include n, m, r, FLD, uniform elongation, and total elongation. The primary question to be
asked for any higher strength steel is what the values of the formability parameters are when the
minimum required yield (or tensile) strength has been achieved. These values will determine the relative
formability of the steel under investigation compared to low strength steel, as well as compared to other
higher strength steels which also meet the same strength requirements. In this respect, the
composition/processing combinations used to obtain the required strength are important only as they
influence the formability parameters. For example, a 60 ksi (415 MPa) yield strength steel can be
obtained through grain size control, alloying elements, or by cold work. Evaluating the formability
parameters of the final product will indicate that cold work is not the best method to obtain the necessary
yield strength because the formability parameters will be substantially lower, and therefore not
competitive, with respect to steels strengthened by other techniques. If the steel is simply to be used in a
shallow box with little forming requirement, then cost plays the dominant role. However, in automotive
stampings, the maximum formability usually is required. The decision then is made on the level of the
formability parameters and the cost necessary to obtain them.

4.5.2 FORMABILITY PARAMETERS Work Hardening Exponent

The relationship between yield strength and the work hardening exponent, n, is shown in figure 4.5-1. For
yield strength less the 45 ksi (315 MPa), little n value change is noted with the possibility of a large scatter
band. Above 45 ksi (315 MPa) yield strength, the n value decreases linearly. This curve is useful for
estimating the n value for any steel which has “competitive formability”. Steels which have strengths
created by cold work have n values which lie below the curve and are not competitive.

A German review of HSCR steels (K-2) contains a similar yield strength curve (Figure 4.5-2). The data
here are below the middle line in Figure 4.5-1, indicating slightly lower n values for equal strengths.

Another German paper (W-25) reviews four other steels. The dual-phase steel falls in the right extension
of the curve in Figure 4.5-2 and the rephosphorized steel falls in the existing curve. The mild steel was
given two skin passes: 1.5 and 3.0 percent. The 1.5 percent skin passed sample had an n value of 0.18
versus a range of 0.22 to 0.24 from the curve in Figure 4.5-2 for equivalent yield strength. The 3.0 percent
skin passed sample had an n value of 0.16 versus a range of 0.20 to 0.22. Thus, even small amounts of
skin passing, beyond elimination of yield point elongation, can generate large reductions in n value.

A reduction of 0.05 in n value has a significant reduction in stretchability of the sheet metal. The n value
versus yield strength curve is an excellent method of evaluating the expected stretchability of any given
steel. In turn, the uniform elongation of steel sheet is directly related to its n value by the equation n = In
(1+ uniform elongation) for steels which follow parabolic hardening. Strain Rate Hardening

The post-uniform elongation can be related to the strain rate hardening exponent, m. The m value, in turn,
is related to the strength of the steel; the m value decreases as the strength of the steel increases; this is
shown in Figure 4.1-15 form reference S-9. Total Elongation

Two major components of the total elongation are the uniform elongation (related to the n value) and the
post-uniform elongation (related to the m value). Since both components decrease with increasing
strength, the total elongation decreases with increasing strength (Figures 4.5-3 and 4.5-4). Figure 4.5-3
again shows the detrimental effect of achieving strength by cold work. Plastic Anisotropy Ration

For most higher strength steels the plastic anisotropy ration, rm, is near unity. Typical data are shown in
Figure 4.5-5. The rm values of micro-alloyed cold-rolled sheets ranges from 0.8 to 1.3. The
rephosphorized steels (P275), on the other hand, have rm values ranging from 1.3 to 1.7; these steels
have good deep-drawability and could effectively compete in formation of oil pans, inner door panels, etc. Forming Limit Diagrams

The effect of work hardening (inverse effect of strength) on the Forming Limit Diagrams is shown in the
FLD0 nomograph shown in Figure 4.5-6. No effect is noted for n values greater than 0.21. This probably is
related to the n value – yield strength effect noted previously in Figure 4.5-1, but no studies have been
conducted in this area. For n values less than 0.21, the reduction in the FLD0 with n value basically is a
linear effect. The effect of sheet thickness in Figure 4.5-6 can be interpreted in two ways. First a 50
percent reduction in n reduces the FLD0 by 50 percent. This same reduction holds for all sheet
thicknesses. Therefore, it could be argued that sheet thickness does not affect the strength – FLD0
relationship. However, in absolute terms, 50 percent of 60 strain percent is much greater than 50 percent
of 30 strain percent. Therefore, in terms of absolute strain percent reductions, the thicker steels suffer a
greater loss in FLD0 as the strength increases.

The dual-phase steels have provided interesting studies. Thompson and Hobbs (T-10) showed that the
FLD0’s for dual-phase steels are no different from other steels when compared in terms of uniform
elongation. Keeler (K-33) showed that the FLD of a dual-phase was similar to that of a 100 ksi (695 MPa)
yield strength steel. Thus, at onset of localized necking depicted by the FLD, the n value at the necking
strain (often called the terminal n) is the important n value. Thus, at necking, the dual-phase steel and the
100 ksi (605 MPa) yield strength are similar in resistance to localized necking; previous strain
characteristics are not important.


The standard rule of thumb is that springback increases with increasing yield strength. This rule generally
is experimentally verified with a simple bend test. Most automotive panels are not so simply deformed
(Section 8.3). For example, studies of an outer side sill showed springback increasing with increasing
strength. However, the increase was completely overshadowed by the reduction in springback due to
restriking (Figure 4.5-7). The springback characteristics of dual-phase steel have generated research
interest, since this steel is both a low strength and high strength steel during its forming history.
Nakagawa and Abe (N-2) report small springback for small bending curvature because of the low yield
strength; large springback is reported for large curvature because of the high work hardenability.


The literature contains few, well documented case histories on the relative formability of higher strength
steels. The formability of higher strength steels is a complex interaction of all variables. One may be
tempted to base formability analysis only on the reduction in the FLD. However, peak strain levels also
need to be considered; for example, if the current safety factor is 20 strain percent, a higher strength steel
which reduces the FLD by 10 strain percent will not maintain the desired safety factor of 10 strain percent.
The reason is that the FLD is both lowered with increased strength and also the peak strain is increased
with increased strength (Figure 4.508). Thus, both effects must be considered. This is why simple
knowledge of the change in the FLD with strength is insufficient to predict how a higher strength steel will
perform in a stamping currently made with low strength steel. Too many unknown parameters enter into
the creation of the strain distribution to predict accurately the peak strain.

In one study (K-29), higher strength steels were placed in tooling designed for lower strength steel. The
higher strength steel resisted deformation under the punch and transmitted a higher force to the material
under the binder. This higher force overcame binder restraint forces and permitted more metal flow from
the binder. This reduced the level of stretch required under the punch necessary to create the stamping
depth. The higher strength steel could withstand less stretch under the punch, but in effect, the higher
strength steel compensated for this stretch reduction by pulling relatively more metal from the binder area.
The increased strength of the steel sheet reduces the amount of stretch which can be induced in the
center of automotive body panels. For this reason Asai et al (A-23) recommend that higher strength
autobody panels for formed with stretch draw forming instead of conventional double-acting draw dies.
This can increase the strain level by 50 to 100 percent of the normal level. The dent resistance for the
stretch draw panels will be raised about 10 percent. Of course, the strain window for the higher strength
steel is smaller and the stretch forming operation must be carefully controlled not to exceed allowable
stretch limits.

Similar process changes were recommended by Wollrab and Streidl (W-24); they encouraged increased
blankholder forces or larger blanks to prevent wrinkling and surface deflections with higher strength
steels. The higher pressures could result in increased tool wear, however. Similar results were found by
Sato et al (S-7) who documented their work in Figure 4.5.9. However, as the strength of the steel
increases, the ability to induce center panel straining by increased blank holder force is diminished.

Press shop experience forming an intrusion beam from a 140 ksi (1000 MPa) tensile strength steel
showed that while the maximum forming height is normally low for this steel, two drawing stages gave
almost the same results as with mild steel formed under identical conditions (M-29). In this case the first
stage forming was done with a large punch radius and the second with a small radius.

A formability study done on higher strength, cold-rolled, sheet steels with a 58 ksi (400 MPa) tensile
strength concluded that is was impossible to improve all properties to the level of mild steel sheets (S-18).
Therefore, the applicability of specific higher strength steels should be considered with respect to the
deformation mode of the intended application. The characteristics of the six steels studied are portrayed
in a “Formability Balance” as shown in Figure 4.5-10.


Generalized statements concerning the formability of higher strength steels sometimes are misleading or
even incorrect. In terms of stretching, the work hardening exponent of the steel decreases with an
increase in yield strength of the steel. This decrease is not a discontinuous loss of stretchability but is a
gradual decrease well defined in the literature. On the other hand, the normal plastic anisotropy ratio is a
function of steel processing and is independent of the yield strength per se.

Sometimes the change in formability limits caused by different material properties is offset by a change in
deformation over the tooling. Flow patterns usually will change because of the different material
properties. The net deformation change, therefore, for higher strength steel may be more favorable than
for lower strength steel.

Springback in a pure bending configuration increases with increasing yield strength of the steel. However,
deformation sequences are possible which will eliminate all the springback. In terms of formability, higher
strength steels should be categorized as having different forming characteristics – with no connotations
attached as to whether these characteristics are “good” or “bad”. On this basis, the tooling can be
designed and turned to accommodate these different characteristics to produce satisfactory stamping.

Figure 4.5-1 A linear relationship exists between yield strength and n value for steels with a yield
strength greater than 45 ksi (315 MPa) (K-29).

Figure 4.5-2 Relationship between n value and yield strength (K-2).

Figure 4.5-3 The total elongation for a given yield strength depends upon the strengthening
mechanism (K-55).

Figure 4.5-4 Relationship between total elongation after fracture and yield strength of cold rolled
steels for a series of German steels (K-2).

Figure 4.5-5 Distribution of nmm values for cold-rolled steels. Both parameters are determined by
the processing used to produce the steel and are not related to each other (K-2).

Figure 4.5-6 The combined relationship of FLD0, sheet thickness, and work hardening exponent (n)
for low carbon steel (K-29).

Figure 4.5-7 Effect of yield strength, blankholder, and restrike on the springback on two
automotive components (Y-1).
Figure 4.5-8 Strain distributions for four HSLA steels measured on the wing radius of an
automotive bumper (A-12, N-7, K-33).

Figure 4.5-9 Relationship between yield strength of the steel and the equivalent strain in the
center of the panel (S-7).

Figure 4.5-10 Formability balance for six steels shows wide formability differences depending on
mode of deformation (S-18).

5.1 Introduction

Lubricants in sheet metal forming have many purposes. Some are applied at the steel mill at the time the
steel is produced to prevent rusting; they remain on the steel and become a primary aid to forming. Some
are applied in the stamping plant after blanking. Others are contained in blank washers which serve the
dual purpose of blank cleaning and lubricant application. Finally, a few may be selectively applied within
the press to assist metal flow in a critical area of the stamping.

The list of required lubricant characteristics usually is long. Cleanability, compatibility (with everything
from phosphate treatment to adhesives), cost effectiveness, storageability, weldability, toxicity, solubility,
and even formability are included; the list increases yearly. This review, however, will be restricted to
formability characteristics. The other characteristics become separate items for discussion by themselves.

The theory of lubrication has been covered in detail (S-11, S-12, W-23, B-13, R-1, K-3, F-5). An especially
Schey (S-11). Therefore, no attempt will be made to repeat the various theories of lubrication.

Finally, this review encompasses a rather broad view of the definition of lubricant. In addition to the
traditional lubricants in liquid, paste, or solid form applied to the substrate metal, this review treats metallic
coatings, such as anticorrosion coatings, as lubricants. For example, galvanized steels are analyzed in
terms of a) the substrate steel with its primary control over the formability of the sheet metal and b) the
interface – composed of the zinc coating, the lubricant, and any die coatings. In a like manner, tin is
considered part of the lubrication system in the forming of drawn and ironed beverage containers and
paint becomes part of the lubrication system for prepainted stampings found in several industries.

In terms of formability, lubricants have two primary functions. The first function deals with the control of
sheet metal movement. This movement may take place from the binder area into the cavity of the die or
may occur over the radius of the punch. The lubricant may encourage metal flow through a low coefficient
of friction or restrict metal flow through a high coefficient. The key is a reproducible behavior which will
consistently duplicate exactly the metal flow intended by the die designer.
The second function of a lubricant is prevention of scoring and galling. Here the lubricant must maintain
sufficient isolation between the work piece (sheet metal) and the tool to prevent metal accumulation on
the tooling (galling) which eventually leads to metal plowing (scoring). In a similar manner, wear of the
tooling must either be avoided or reduced to a tolerable minimum.

5.2 Control of Metal Flow

In sheet metal forming, attempts are made to characterize the ability of a lubricant to control metal flow.
This empirical characterization is performed without any attempt at understanding the reason or
theoretical basis for the results. This characterization can be divided into four main areas:

1. Measurement of coefficient of friction

2. Measurement of metal flow during a simulative test
3. Measurement of sheet metal behavior during actual production
4. Characterization of the sheet metal surface

Each area will be discussed in turn.


The first coefficient of friction measurements were conducted in a manner typical of a first course in
Physics (S-1, W-30). A strip of metal was pulled between two flat platens whose surfaces are wider than
the strip (Figure 5-1a). The pulling load resulting form the applied normal load was used to calculate the
coefficient of friction. The test was simple. No deformation of the substrate occurred. Different
combinations of substrate surface, substrate coatings, interface lubricants, tool coatings, and tool
substrates could be readily evaluated. However, a sharp entry angle could not be tolerated because the
lubricant would be scraped off. Any modification of the entry zone by increasing the radius would modify
the type and degree of film developed in the interface.

To overcome this die entry problem, a number of modified tests were developed. These modified tests
included two cylinders (Figure 5-1b) used by Ike et al (I-1) or a combination of roller and platen (Figure 5-
1c). A review of these tests has been provided by Miyauchi (M-32).

These test fixtures allow for rapid evaluation of die composition and surface effects by interchangeable
inserts. Observations of the recorded pulling load versus strip travel can lead to some general
observations about the lubricants (G-18, A-9). A steady draw force indicates a good lubricant. An
increasing force indicates gradual lubricant breakdown. A decreasing force suggests activation of
additives or a change in the lubricant and/or surface behavior. A sudden drop at the beginning of the test
shows a high static coefficient of friction compared to the dynamic value; this has been correlated to a
tendency toward galling (G-18, A-9). Additionally, tests frequently are conducted with incrementally
increasing force to indicate critical die pressures.

Recently, Nine (N-14, N-15) has argued that the substrate in production stampings is deformed as the
sheet metal stamping is created. One of the most severe deformations zones is the bending and
unbending experienced when the sheet metal is drawn over a draw bead. Depending on the direction of
the bending (positive or negative strain) and whether the sheet metal is in free space or in contact with
the punch during the deformation, the sheet surface may roughen or become smoothed. This modification
of the sheet surface can change the response of the interface lubricant.

To measure the actual coefficient of friction during draw bead deformation, the flat platens were replaced
by actual draw beads (Figure 5-2). The pulling load through the fixed bead set, however, is composed of
two components – the load to overcome friction (the desired measurement) and the load to deform the
substrate during its journey through the bead set. To obtain only the friction load, a second test is
required. Here a strip of the same material is pulled through a frictionless bead set – roller beads – to
obtain the load required to deform the substrate as it traverses the bead set. Subtracting the deformation
load (roller bead) from the total load (fixed bead) yields the frictional load. From this and the normal a
coefficient of friction can be obtained.

Another common mode of deformation is observed at the die radius (Figure 5-3). Here a single bending
and unbending is observed over a ninety-degree radius (L-13). To simulate die conditions more
realistically, Woska (W-31) applie a blankholder pressure. Finally, Doege and Witthuser (D-20) utilized a
roller to separate the frictional force form the other forces (much like Nine above) and to permit calculation
of the coefficient of friction. This test also is used by Stine (S-40), but grease forced into the interface
under pressure is used instead of the roller. These last tests, therefore, require three measurements: the
bending plus the blankholder force, the frictionless bending plus the blankholder force, and only the
blankholder force.

Yet another mode of deformation – the punch radius – was studied by Duncan (D-22). Here, very little
relative motion occurs between the tool and the sheet metal. A fixture to duplicate this mode of
deformation is shown in Figure 5-4. As the strip is deformed, elongations in the vertical and horizontal
legs are measured. By comparing the two elongations on the stress-strain curve, the amount of stress
transferred around the pin, and therefore the coefficient of friction, can be calculated.

Comparative studies using the different coefficient of friction tests described above have shown different
coefficients of friction for a given material/lubricant combination when tested with a constant
bead/die/punch radius (S-40, K-16, K-17). This result is not surprising. Mathematical models have been
shown to be more effective in predicting actual measured strain distributions when the various coefficients
of friction for the various forming modes are entered into the equation as opposed to a single value (S-
40). In addition, different lubricants respond differently when applied to different locations in the stamping.
The problem becomes more complex when these tests are conducted on galvanized steels, because
certain deformation modes are sensitive to the specific zinc coating/lubricant combinations, while other
combinations are not (K-16, B-16, B-17, M-25).

A numerical coefficient of friction is obtained from each of the above tests. However, Schey (S-11) and
others warn that these tests represent only one set of test conditions. For example, test speed is one
variable. In the draw bead simulator, Keeler has shown that some metal/lubricant combinations are speed
sensitive, while others are not (K-17). While press shop personnel catalog forming operations in terms of
inches per minute – some at rather high speeds – all sheet metal blanks must pass through an infinite
number of speed regimes from zero to maximum forming speed (albeit for an extremely short time period)
on their way from no motion at the start of the forming operation to maximum deformation rate. Other
variables include increased ambient die temperatures form extended operation, lubricant buildup,
lubricant breakdown, metal transfer to dies, interface pressure changes due to metal thickness changes,
etc. Add these to test procedure variations, such as specimen cleaning, lubricant application, and test
repeatability, and the resulting numerical coefficients of friction must be interpreted with respect to the
variability of test parameters and the particular combination of parameters associated with the value

Perhaps the best use of the numerical coefficients of friction obtained from the various tests described
above is in the mathematical simulation or finite element analysis models. At least here the resulting
changes in metal flow, strain distribution, loading/unloading, and other forming parameters can be
determined through the various computations which tend to refine the impact of the raw coefficients of


The coefficient of friction measurements described in the preceding section require careful attention to
laboratory procedures, such as specimen preparation, repetitive tests, and numerical calculation. To short
circuit some of these problems, numerous laboratory tests have evolved in an attempt to stimulate
common metalforming operations. Two common ones are the dome test and the cup draw test (M-24).
Based on the differences in coefficient of friction described above, it is understandable that wide
variations in test results are obtained. The situation is best described by the following segment from
Schey (S-11):

“There are those who deny the validity of any simulation. There is, of course, some justification for such
pessimism, as shown by the general lack of correlation even in such seemingly simple cases as
evaluation of lubricants for sheet metalworking. Thus, Gibson et al (G-18) found no correlation between
strip drawing and a cupping (deep drawing) test, nor between laboratory tests and production
performance, particularly when the evaluation is based on friction alone. If, however, the trends in force
were observed, correlation became much better, indicating lubricant breakdown is of much more decisive
influence than the magnitude of initial friction. …..trends in forces, torques, etc. are very sensitive to
changes in lubrication mechanisms and that it is therefore essential for the test run to be long enough to
establish steady-state conditions. Details of the surface profile, which determine the load-bearing area
and the fullness of the profile (which in turn controls the amount of lubrication entrapped). interact with
interface pressure to change friction form low to high and vice versa….. Therefore, more important than
the value of friction is whether the lubricant can resist breakdown, metal transfer, and galling. For this,
testing at elevated temperatures is essential…. Results are more reproducible and transferable when
plastic deformation is induced in the course of testing. Thus, Ebben (E-3) reported on the evaluation of
some 20 lubricants; correlation between a laboratory ironing test and plant performance was satisfactory.”

It should be amply evident form the above that no single test, or even an extensive battery of tests, can
be used to rank the behavior of a lubricant in a complex sheet metal forming operation with all its
interactions unless performed for an extended period such that elevated temperature and other steady-
state conditions are reached.

Evaluation of the lubricant performance with regard to metal flow should incorporate the latest evaluation
techniques. For example, percent breakage is inadequate to evaluate forming severity. Instead, a
technique such as Circle Grid Analysis (K-24, A-12, D-18) is a useful evaluation tool. The evaluation of
lubricants, in terms of the other extremes – loose metal, low spots, buckles, waves, springback, and other
elastic/plastic behavior – is less formalized. The ultrasonic thickness gage (K-11) can be utilized to detect
small tensile versus small compressive strain states. The ultimate test for these defects, however, may be
the human eye in the “green room”, where special lighting and highlight oils are use to improve detection
of visual surface defects.

5.3 Sheet Metal Behavior During Production

Sheet metal behavior during actual press production is difficult to define and measure. As previously
mentioned production is a complex interaction of many variables so that the effect of one variable is
difficult to observe, much less measure. Therefore, most information is restricted to an obvious lubrication
effect - scoring and galling.

During deformation of the sheet metal over a tool, contact occurs only at the peaks of the sheet and the
tool surfaces. Depending on the morphology of the surfaces, high contact pressures can be generated
which cause microwelding of the asperities. Upon surface sliding, these welds are sheared. The resulting
debris may then adhere to the tool surface and scratch the workpiece (R-16, H-28). This phenomenon
has been called scoring, galling, and metal pickup. Even with a lubricant, plastic deformation of the
surface asperities may lead to prow-like debris (R-11).

Many investigations have been conducted to define the effect of sheet metal roughness on galling (M-32,
L-13, H-28, R-11, F-11, K-8, G-19, G-25, Z-1, O-1, I-5, E-6, H-30, H-36). These studies have shown that
non-galling surfaces generally had an arithmetical average roughness of Ra = 0.7-1.5 micrometer and a
peak density of 3.7 – 5.7 peaks/mm. Less roughness and greater peak density were shown to be
detrimental because the surface area became too large compared to the valleys. The debris generated
could not become trapped in the valleys to be removed from the deformation zone and the lubricant
therefore had only minor reservoirs. Greater roughness and smaller peak density leads to too small a
contact area between the sheet and tool, thereby creating a very high surface pressure. The influence of
the sheet and tool material, lubricant, surface pressure, sliding length, surface roughness of the tool,
sliding viscosity, and surface temperature on the friction and galling behavior in press working was
investigated by Kumpunamnen (K-58) using a bending under tension type strip drawing tester. He
concluded that good lubricants usually make the friction coefficient decrease with increasing surfce
pressure; in this case, the coefficient of friction does not depend on the sliding length. With poor
lubricants, however, the coefficient of friction increases as a function of both surface pressure and sliding
length, and galling may occur. In contrast, many of the materials tested could be drawn over the steel tool
bead without lubrication. Increases in sliding velocity always decreased the friction and often prevented
galling. The influence of temperature, of course, depends on the chemical constituents of the lubricant.

Kumpulainen’s study (K-58) also showed that the rougher beads increased the coefficient of friction
resulting in an increased incidence of galling. If, however, the sliding direction and tool grinding direction
are transverse to each other, the coefficient of friction decreases with increasing bead roughness: the
transverse troughs act as reservoirs for both lubricant and debris. This study also showed that the bearing
area provided useful qualitative information about the influence of various factors on the contact ratio and
friction. Another study (M-27) showed that very clean surfaces lead to susceptibility to galling during sheet
metal forming.

The Japanese Deep Drawing Research Group studied galling (J-7) and concluded:

a. Galling is strongly affected by contact pressure and sliding distance. Therefore, blankholder pressure,
sheet thickness, and panel depth should be minimized.

b. Blankholder force should be distributed as widely and uniformly as possible.

c. Surface roughness of the die should be minimized, especially in the case of tool steels.

d. The surface roughness of steel sheets does not seem to be a predominant factor within the present
roughness range in commercial steel sheets.

e. Die hardness does not play a major role in galling. However, the die hardness should be at least two or
three times the sheet hardness to protect the die surface.

f. The galling resistance is affected by the metallurgical properties of the die material and is especially
improved in nonferrous die materials (see K-52).

g. Higher strength steels have decreased galling resistance because of the larger forming force and
resulting contact pressure.

h. Galling resistance is improved by lubricants with higher viscosity. Sold lubricants are especially

5.4 Standard Tests for Evaluating Formability Effects

ASTM Committee D-2 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants recognized the multifaceted problem of
evaluating lubricants. Instead of a single test, the current procedure has four tests, each evaluating a
different mode of deformation (A-27). These four tests are: 1) sliding strip test with flat dies, 2) sliding strip
test with beaded dies, 3) biaxial stretch cup test, and 4) deep draw cup test. Relative to the Forming Limit
Diagram, the first two tests are located at plane strain, the third is in the right hand side of the diagram,
and the fourth is in the left hand side of the diagram. Each test will yield a different lubricant ranking
unique to its deformation mode, the substrate, and the lubricant.

5.5 Characterization of Sheet Metal Surfaces

More fundamental than simulative tests in the laboratory are attempts to mathematically describe the
surface topography. A number of studies have attempted to define new parameters to define surface
topography (A-5, A-12, B-11, V-6, L-12, M-3, D-9, A-17). One promising descriptor is the percent bearing
area curve (W-12). The surface roughness of the sheet changes during deformation, depending on the
deformation mode and type of interface contact with the tool (N-14, T-6). Thus, metal contacting a punch
may have been so dramatically deformed being pulled over a die radius that description of the initial (as-
received and undeformed) surface topography may bear little resemblance to the sheet metal surface
seen by the deforming punch.

Unfortunately, the human eye seems to be the best device currently available for detecting differences in
surface topography. In the future, non-contact devices which can detect and characterize surface
topography features identifiable to the human eye will be required to differentiate between different

5.6 Summary

Lubrication serves two functions in sheet metal forming: modification of friction to control sheet metal
movement and prevention of scoring and galling. Friction occurs between the metal substrate (workpiece)
and the deforming tool. In this context, the lubricant includes not only liquids or solids introduced into the
interface, but also metallic precoatings of the steel.

Studies have shown that a different coefficient of friction is associated with each combination of sheet
steel surface, metallic precoat (zinc, tin, paint, etc.), mill applied lubricant, press shop applied lubricant,
and tool surface. In addition, for a given combination, the coefficient of friction is a function of the specific
mode of deformation to which the sheet steel is subjected. Thus, many opportunities exist to tailor this
combination to provide the desired metal flow in different zones of the stamping. The correct combination
usually is selected by trial and error.

The proliferation of surface, coating, and lubrication combinations which provides extensive press shop
options also make s prediction of specific coefficients of friction difficult for each combination. These
coefficients of friction are required, however, for accurate mathematical modeling of formability and other
sheet metal forming predictive techniques. Determination of these coefficients of friction by laboratory
tests depends on how accurately the laboratory tests simulate the actual forming operation, including
speed of forming, metal flow rate, interface pressure, and interface temperature.

Rules of thumb generally are found in the literature relating to techniques for avoiding the onset of falling
and scoring.
Figure 5-1

Figure 5-2
Figure 5-3 A draw bending friction test fixture simulates the deformation created when a strip is
pulled over a die radius with constraint from the binder pressure.

Figure 5-4 Frictional conditions around the radius of a punch are simulated by this test fixture by
Duncan (D-22).

6.1 Introduction

The press is one of the major components of the forming system. Press shop experiences have shown
that a specific material/lubricant/die combination can produce satisfactory stampings in one press line and
be incapable of producing satisfactory stampings in another press line. This is especially true for
stampings which lack sufficient “safety margin” and are balanced at the onset of failure. Likewise, the
ability to produce quality stampings without loose metal, buckles, waves, low spots, and other surface
defects depends on the characteristics of the press in which the stamping is produced. Some presses
have very accurate alignment and tight guidance systems. Other presses have loose guidance systems
and the punch to die alignment, as well as blankholder reproducibility, changes from one stamping to the

The sensitivity of the forming system to the characteristics of the press and the prevailing adjustments is
confirmed by traditional press shop practices. When stamping quality needs to be improved – either with
respect to failure or surface appearance – one of the first adjustments to be made is to the press. These
adjustments include position of the holddown or binder ram, position of the main ram, ram speed, line
pressure on cylinders, etc.

This document is a review of sheet metal formability. Acknowledging the role of the presses as one
component of the forming system is the purpose of this short section. The details of press construction,
design features, maintenance, etc. are beyond the scope of this review. The reader is directed to
reference books for this information, such as the textbook by Eary (E-2). The important point is that
variability of the press – either intentinal or undetected – contributes to the variability of the system.

6.2 Press Characteristics

The two main press drives are mechanical and hydraulic. Many discussions have been held about the
advantages of both without any real definitive conclusions being documented. One of the main
differences between the two types is the load/stroke characteristics. The hydraulic press has a constant
load capacity throughout the entire stroke, whereas the mechanical drive reaches maximum load capacity
only at the bottom of the stroke. This becomes more important for pure stretch forming operations which
require maximum blank clamping loads to be exerted at ram positions far removed from the bottom dead
center and high up on the stroke curve where load capacity is low for mechanical presses.

Another difference is the length of the stroke. A hydraulic press can be set easily at any stroke within the
limits of the hydraulic cylinder travel. The ram stroke on the mechanical press is fixed.

A third difference is the speed curves. The hydraulic press can operate either at a constant ram speed or
any programmed speed cycle desired. The speed curve of the mechanical press is neither constant nor
programmable, but is a fixed sine wave. The speed ranges from zero at the beginning and end of the
stroke to maximum speed at the halfway point. This particular speed curve may not be ideal for some
critical stampings. However, minimum information on this effect appears in the literature.

In general, the differences between press characteristics can easily be defined. The problem remains to
conduct some definitive experiments which will document the effect of these differences on sheet steel

6.3 Press Instrumentation

Instrumentation of the press is a key area for advancement of sheet metal formability – especially in terms
of efficiency of die change and reproducibility. If the successful forming of metal depends on the relative
flow of metal from the binder, then binder loading now becomes an important factor to both measure and
control. Load monitors on all four corners of the inner and outer rams, plus digital position indicators for
the same locations, become important and are being installed on many presses.

The primary use of such instrumentation is initial setting of the press parameters when a die change has
occurred. The previous successful settings are used to reset the press when the die is reinstalled. A
secondary use is to monitor the process (forming operation) during an extended run. If the load readings
are changing, this could indicate that the forming process itself is changing. Changing load readings
suggest that the quality of the stamping is changing.

Currently, a key topic is rapid die changes. While the dies can be physically changed in a rather short
time, the problem lies in obtaining good quality stampings within minutes after the completion of the
physical die change. Press instrumentation can assist in the adjustment of the forming system to the ideal
state. The main ram and holddown ram positions are set on the digital indicator to either the previous
setting or a specified ideal setting established during die tryout. During the first piece run, the load
indicators should reach values in the previously determined acceptable range. If the load readings are
different, it means that the forming system is different from the previous run or the ideal condition –
depending on which settings are used. Further investigation is required to determine the cause of the
variation, such as material out of specification, change in lubrication, misadjustment of the dies, etc.

6.4 Summary
Presses have always been one component of the Forming System. However, traditionally they have been
considered as a constant factor and generally ignored. However, system reproducibility demands that the
conditions of the press be factored into the system equation.

Measurement and control of press characteristics become important topics in the study of sheet metal
formability. In a like manner, the specific adjustments to the press must be measured, documented, and
reproduced for each set of tooling.

Two specialized forming operations are reviewed in this section. The first is stretch forming, which is
rapidly gaining acceptance for many outer body panels. The other is roll forming. Long used by other
industries, roll forming is gaining additional acceptance by the automotive industry.

7.1 Stretch Forming


Stretch forming is the simplest of all the sheet metal forming operations to analyze and understand. The
ability of sheet metal to be stretched can readily be duplicated in the laboratory. The properties of work
hardening, strain rate hardening, instability, and fracture have been studied extensively and defined (K-
24, G-10, K-28). The stress rate is considered to be plane stress with the only important stresses acting in
the plane of the sheet. The interface stress, while important for friction behavior, is small relative to the
yield stresses.

The stretch forming mode is simplified because all the metal flow from the binder area is eliminated. This
greatly reduces the complexity of the deformation. In addition, a smaller blank size is utilized because
additional surface area is generated by the stretching operation. In contrast, metal flowing into the die
area from the binder area can thicken and reduce available surface area due to the compressive

Stretch forming has excellent potential as the primary mode of deformation to be used by press shops in
the future. The advantages of stretch forming will be developed in detail later in this report. However, the
list includes: ease of analysis, no metal flow from the binder, reduced blank size, “tight” panels, reduced
sensitivity to metal variability, and increased flow stress in the formed panel. The minimization of residual
stress gradients reduces springback and improves final dimensional accuracy to part print.

Compared to aluminum and other metals, sheet steel is well suited to the stretch forming mode of
deformation (H-16, K-9). Most important is the positive strain rate hardening exponent, which is related to
post-uniform elongation. This is reflected in the high level of the Forming Limit Diagram. Also important
are the high levels of the work hardening and the resistance to sheet thinning (as reflected by the normal
plastic anisotropy) of steel.

Several laboratory advances have enhanced the understanding of sheet metal stretching and opened the
way for more effective utilization of stretching as the primary mode of deformation in the future. One is the
computer simulation of sheet metal forming (K-48, A-3, B-15, W-10). All the interactions of the stretching
deformation can be simulated and the ideal combination selected. The advantages of stretch forming then
become obvious.

7.1.2 BASIC DEFINITIONS Stretch Versus Draw

Stretching and cup (deep) drawing are basically opposite forming processes. (See discussion in Section
2.3). The difference is highlighted in Figure 7.1-1.
Stretch forming is deformation over the punch. This deformation mode does not allow any metal flow from
the binder (metal under the blankholder). Only metal initially within the die opening undergoes strain. This
deformation mode results in a decrease of metal thickness.

In deep drawing, metal under the punch (initially within the die opening) undergoes no strain. All
deformation takes place in the sheet metal under the blankholder as it moves towards the die opening. An
additional requirement is that both the blank and die opening be circular. Therefore, as metal moves
towards the die ring, it is compressed in the circumferential direction (the circumference is constantly
decreasing for all elements) and elongated in the radial direction. This results in an increase in metal

A third deformation mode found in most stampings is termed bend-and-straighten (Figure 7.1-2). This is
similar to deep drawing except that the die radius is a straight line. Thus, an element is bent as it
conforms to the die radius and then is straightened as it enters the wall of stamping. Because the die
radius is a straight line, no decrease in the “circumferential” direction takes place. The metal exiting into
the die wall ideally has no net change of shape, although metal work hardening has taken place.

The breakdown of a complex stamping into component forming modes (K-26, A-12) will serve to illustrate
the difference better (Figure 7.1-3). The straight-line segments of the walls are formed by bend-and-
straighten type of deformation. Only the corners are formed by deep drawing. The metal below the
restrike line (initial location of the blank at the die radius) is stretch formed. In the stamping illustrated in
Figure 7.1-3, only a small portion of the part is generated by deep drawing. In some parts, the entire
stamping is created by only stretch forming or stretch forming plus bend-and-straighten. Stress State Versus Strain State

One problem in identifying modes of deformation is that identical strain states can be created by different
stress states. This is illustrated in Figure 7.1-4. An identical biaxial strain state can be generated (Figure
7.1-4a) by either a compressive stress through the sheet thickness or by equal biaxial tensile stresses in
the plane of the sheet. In this case, the thickness strain is the same for both deformation conditions. Only
the latter deformation condition is stretch forming. Here the stress state must be know to identify whether
stretch forming has taken place.

Another set of common stress conditions illustrated in Figure 7.1-4b creates the same pair of surface
strains. However, in this case the compressive stresses cause an increase in sheet thickness. The tensile
stress causes a reduction in sheet thickness. Again only the latter condition is considered to be stretch
forming. Compressive stresses in the plane of the sheet are not generated in stretch forming operations.

The definition of stretch forming present in the first section (deformation within the die opening) now can
be generalized an redefined in terms of stress state. Stretch forming is uniform deformation through the
sheet thickness where the major stress is positive and the minor stress is either zero or positive. The
requirement of uniform deformation through the sheet thickness eliminates bending from this definition.
This definition encompasses a wide variety of stretch forming deformation states; several possibilities are
illustrated in Figure 7.1-5 for an isotropic metal.


Many different forms of stretch forming have been used over the years to produce a variety of sheet metal
stampings. Except for the stress definition of stretch forming presented above, little apparent commonality
exists among the different production processes using some form of stretch forming to produce
stampings. Therefore, a tabular method is used here in an attempt to provide at least some form of
grouping to highlight the types of operations utilizing stretch forming.
Categorizing production processes according to this tabular format is complicated in that some processes
combine more than one of the fundamental modes of stretch forming. These more complex production
processes therefore are not listed in the Table I.


Concept Method Example
Pre-stretch Clamp and Pull Before Form Cyril Bath (B-7)
Locked Stretch Lock Beads Automotive Stretch Dies
During Form Fluid Forming
Cyl. blank Wallace Expander (R-17)
Post-Stretch Lock and Pull Shapeset (A-32)
After Form

Stretch Flange Wiping Frame Rail

Hole Expansion Pierce and Extrude Built-in Threads


As seen in Table I, a variety of stretch forming processes is available, either singularly or in combination.
To better understand the stretch forming modes, each of the production processes will be described. Cyril Bath Stretch Former

The Cyril is a machine used to form panels much like a standard closed-die system (B-7). A male punch
and female die are used to generate the final forming. However, a special clamping device replaces the
binder ring.

In operation, the gripper jaws clamp the blank and prestretch it a fixed amount. This accomplishes four
things. First, a smaller blank can be used, reducing blank cost. Second, the stretching of the blank
removes loose metal. Third, all areas of the blank receive some preset degree of cold work, thereby
strengthening the otherwise unworked areas. Fourth, a more uniform strain distribution is generated,
reducing the severity of the stamping.

The last benefit above – requires more explanation. In a normal forming operation, deformation begins at
a location of high stress. When the level of stress reaches yielding (point A in Figure 7.1-6) those
elements subjected to the high stress yield and work harden. However, adjoining elements are at lower
levels of stress. Some could be as low as point B. Therefore, point A has to undergo extensive straining
and work hardening (to point C) until the stress at B climbs sufficiently to reach yielding. The resultant
strain distribution would be extremely non-uniform. In many forming operations, element B never reaches
yielding. This is especially true around sharp radii and under flat punch areas.

If the blank was prestretched to yielding and then pulled over the male punch without unloading the
stress, a change in behavior would be observed. Point A would undergo an additional increment of strain
and work harden. However, the increment of work hardening would be small before the adjacent element
(shown as point E in Figure 7.1-6) would begin to undergo deformation because it was already preloaded
to the same yield stress. Thus, the strain distribution would be much more uniform.
The Cyril Bath Stretch Former therefore produces “tighter” stampings from smaller blanks. In the press
shop, a tight panel is one which conforms to the design shape without buckles, loose metal, low spots or
depressions, lack of rigidity, or other specified defects. The resultant stampings are less severe because
of the improved strain distribution. Therefore, this forming technique is more applicable to less formable
metals. Finally, shallow panels can be more easily formed by this technique because they do not have a
vertical draw wall which is difficult to form. Consequently, most Cyril Bath machines are found in the
aircraft/space industry. Only very limited trials with these machines have been conducted by the
automotive industry. Stretch-Draw

The stretch-draw system of die design is a modification of the conventional toggle draw die system. The
two differences are that the die set is inverted and that a double acting toggle press is not required.

In stretch-draw, the male punch is in the bottom position. As such it is attached to the bed of the press
and does not move. The die cavity and ring, now in the top position, are lowered by the action of the
press. The lower ring is not fixed but is located on an air cushion or a system of nitrogen die cylinders.
This removes the need for the outer slide of the press.

The first action is the same as the conventional toggle draw die – the binder shape is set with the rings.
This is accomplished by the upper die portion moving down.

During the second action, the upper die cavity/ring moves down over the punch. This is identical to the
punch moving into a stationary die cavity. The lower die ring moves downward on the air cushion or
nitrogen die cylinders while maintaining the preset force. These cylinders are nitrogen filled and act much
like shock absorbers. Placed under the lower die ring, they exert a constant upward force while collapsing
to allow the die rings to move downward.

One advantage of the stretch-draw process is that a single action press can be used to provide double
action performance. This is especially advantageous when an older press can be utilized in this manner.
Alternatively, the technique can be utilized in a transfer press which can not provide independent double
action for each station.

The stretch-draw die system does not, however, eliminate the problem of controlling metal flow into the
die cavity from the binder area. Inverted Toggle Draw With Floating Binder

As the name suggests, this die set is similar to the conventional toggle die set. However, there are two
differences. First, the die set is inverted with the punch fastened to the bed of the press and the die cavity
moved by the main press ram. However, unlike the conventional toggle draw or the stretch-draw dies, this
die configuration has both the upper and lower binder rings independent of the punch/cavity system. This
allows an extra degree of freedom in positioning the blank; this extra action can be used to stretch the
blank over the lower male punch.

The first action is to set the blank in the binder. This setting can be done with the blank supported by the
male punch. This controls blank sag and blank shape when the binder rings are closed. The second
action is the outer slide pushing down on the upper binder ring. The lower binder ring moves down in a
controlled manner due to the action of the pressure cylinders which maintain the binder locking action
while collapsing downward. This causes the general male shape to be stretch formed into the blank which
exerts a general tensile pull over the entire blank. This action is absent in both the conventional die
system and the stretch-draw system. The third action is the upper or female die closing on the blank. This
not only imparts the final panel shape, but the outer edges of the female cavity act as secondary stretch
points to provide an additional stretching action. Wallace Expander

The Wallace Expander is used by the appliance industry to produce washer/dryer tubs, outer wrappers,
and inner liners (R-17). All these items are contiguous, four-sided stampings. The expander system
begins with a cylinder of sheet metal formed by rolling a tube from a blank and welding the junction line.
The cylinder is then placed over a segmented punch. This punch can be segments of an arc (eight or
more) to generate an expanded cylindrical drum for washers or dryers. The segments can also be four-
sided flat punches to form four-sided wrappers and inner liners.

Inside the segments is a conical wedge. After the cylinder is placed over the punch, the wedge is driven
upward. This forces the segments outward. After contact with the cylinder, continued expansion places
the cylinder in tension. In some cases embossments are subsequently formed in the sidewall of the
cylinder. For this, a mating set of male and female die inserts are placed in the punch and cavity walls.
Because the cylinder is both in tension and acts like an infinite blank, the deformation mode of these sub-
areas is by embossing, whereby deformation is confined to the punch and die radii. Applicable forming
limit rule of thumb must be observed, such as the height of the embossment can be no greater than 80
percent of the sum of the punch and die radii for steel.

The Wallace Expander concept fills a unique need for the appliance industry. Here the stretched formed
stampings have excellent shape without loose metal. All the surface area has been subjected to a tensile
strain. This not only work hardens the steel but also causes sufficient deformation to trigger age
hardening in rimmed steel. Post Stretch of Channels

A specific forming operation – channel forming – has been the focus of much research in stretch forming.
The channels are formed by the traditional forming processes of bend-and-straighten. This primary
forming operation usually results in springback, which takes the form of sidewall curl show in Figure 7.1-7.
post stretch forming is used to eliminate this curl.

Research in this area has been carried out by Ford (D-3), GM (A-32), and other companies. GM has a
formal production practice called Shapeset (A-32). All these techniques involve some form of post stretch.
Here the channel flange is locked near the end of the stroke while the punch continues down to impart
tensile deformation in the channel wall. With proper die design conditions, any degree of curl can be
obtained – even negative curl – as shown in Figure 7.1-7.

Early work by GM-APMES (J-5) and Duncan (D-23) showed interesting results (Figure 7.1-8). Springback
in channel forming was changed by the amount of post-stretch forming, where the channel flange was
locked before the end of the stroke. Post-stretching reduced springback. The higher the strength of steel,
the greater the post stretch required before the minimization process begins. Thus, for some level of post-
stretch found in most channels (Line A in Figure 7.1-8) the amount of springback highly depended on
sheet strength. Thus, to control springback – in this case sidewall curl – a narrow range of yield strengths
is required. The important aspect of the work was that beyond a certain minimum amount of post stretch
(shown as line B in Figure 7l1-8) all the steels reached the same level of springback (level C in Figure
7.1-8). Design considerations such as this are important for dual metal dies, such as low/high strength
steel and steel/aluminum combinations.

A similar type of post stretch can be found in restrike operations. The very nature of the restrike is to
sharpen radii, impart details, and change configurations; this incorporates an element of stretch. The
amount of stretch often exceeds the capacity of the sheet metal and tearing results in many attempts to
restrike. Specialized Stretch Operations

A series of specialized forming operations are pure stretch forming by their design. They include:

explosive forming
magnetic forming
electro-spark discharge

In all cases a blank is securely clamped to the binder ring. In the case of the first three listed above, a
shapeless punch is used to push the metal into the cavity. The nature of the shapeless punch (some type
of fluid) requires a complete locking of the periphery to insure a seal. This creates the stretch forming
mode. In the case of hydroforming, the female die cavity is replaced by a rubber pad or by a rubber
diaphragm over a cavity filled with oil.


The Forming Limit Diagram or FLD defines the maximum amount of deformation a sheet of metal can
undergo before the onset of localized necking terminates useful deformation. This deformation is defined
in terms of two principal strains called the major and minor strains. The Forming Limit Diagram (Figure
7.1-9) shows that the amount of major strain a sheet can under go is determined by the sign and
magnitude of the minor strain.

Early work on the FLD (K-12, K-21) related the left side of the curve to deep drawing and the right side of
the curve to stretch forming. This description overlooks the fact that the left side of the curve also
describes an important range of stretch forming. For example, the tensile test plots on the left side of the
diagram because it has a negative minor strain (equal to half the true major strain for an isotropic metal).

Therefore, the entire FLD can be used as one representation of the stretching limit of sheet metal. This
can be more clearly visualized if the FLD is modified by plotting the thickness strain on the vertical axis
(Figure 7.1-10). This shows a constant thickness strain as the forming limit for negative minor strains (K-
11). Therefore, my forming component – such as pure shear – which does not decrease the sheet
thickness is a desirable component of any stretch forming operation.

The importance of the FLD to stretch forming technology will be its importance to the part/die designer.
Once the sheet metal grade and thickness are specified, the FLD is fixed. However, the strain ratio
usually is a variable which can be controlled by proper design of both the part and the forming dies. Thus,
the FLD not only indicates to the designer the current stamping severity but also identifies options which
are available to modify the severity.

The FLD defines conditions for the onset of localized necking (K-15). This is the concentrated band of
thinning (neck) which precedes fracture. Thus, substantial deformation can occur within the neck prior to
fracture. However, because the deformation is confined to the neck, no practical overall deformation of
the part is accomplished during this localization to fracture. Thus, the FLD represents a practical limit to
useful deformation. Work Hardening Exponent

Stretch forming capability of a material is controlled primarily by the work hardening exponent, n, defined
by the stress-strain equation:
σ = Kεⁿ

where σ is the current true stress to continue deformation, K is a constant for the metal under test, ε is the
true strain, and n is the work hardening exponent.

The n value influences stretch forming in two ways. First, the height of the FLD, defined by FLD0, is a
direct function of the n value (A-12). This relationship is shown by the plot in Figure 7.1-11, which
indicates that the FLD increases for increasing values of the work hardening exponent. This relationship
is valid only for high-strength steels with yield strengths greater than 50 ksi (345 MPa). For steels with
yield strengths less than 50 ksi (345 MPa), the level of the FLD has been experimentally shown to be
constant (K-29).

Second, the n value is one of the factors which determines the uniformity of the strain distribution; the
other important factors are lubrication, part/die design, and press adjustments (K-23). A high n value
means greater work hardening of the metal. This means the metal will more uniformly distribute the strain
in the presence of a stress gradient (H-22). Strain Rate Hardening Exponent

The strain rate hardening exponent or m value is determined from the strain rate hardening equation:

σ = K’έm

where σ is the instantaneous flow stress, K’ is a material constant, έ is the strain rate, and m is the strain
rate hardening exponent.

As the strain rate increases, the flow stress increases. Thus strain rate hardening acts much like work
hardening in distributing the stain more uniformly (C-8). An increase in the m value increases the post-
uniform strain capability. This is reflected in the level of the FLD which describes the sum of uniform and
post uniform deformation. While m value is relatively small for a given metal, the effect is large. It
accounts for the reduced level of the FLD (about one-half) and the reduced stretchability of 2036-T4
aluminum compared to a low carbon steel with the same value of n (H-19). Anisotropy Ratio

The anisotropy ratio, r, is a measure of the directionality of the uniform straining in sheet metal. It is
commonly defined as the ratio of the width strain to thickness strain when a strip of metal is elongated by
a uniaxial stress. If the two strains are equal, the deformation is termed isotropic. If the r value is greater
than one, the metal resists thinning.

The r value has not been shown to affect the height of the FLD (B-3). It will, however, affect the strain path
the metal will follow when subjected to a given stress state. The best example is the uniaxial tensile test
(Figure 7.1-12). For a given major strain, a metal with a high r value resists thinning. Because of the
constancy of volume, this reduction in thickness strain must be accompanied by an additional increment
of width strain (negative minor strain in this case). Thus, the strain path deviates towards the left and
climbs to a higher major strain before reaching the limiting strain curve. Another way of describing the
effect of r value is based on the critical thickness strain level on the left side of the FLD (Figure 7.1-10).
Therefore, any factor – such as the r value – which generates a reduction in thickness strain allows for
greater deformation before reaching the critical level of thickness strain. Yield Strength

The yield strength of a metal influences stretch forming in several indirect ways. (i) As yield strength
increase above 50 ksi (345 MPa), the n value decreases proportionately (Figure 7.1-13). This reduced the
level of the FLD and reduces the ability of the metal to distribute the strain uniformly in the presence of a
stress gradient. (ii) The increased strength causes a greater loading on the binder. Therefore, the locking
system (beads, etc.) must be more effective to withstand the increased radial forces. (iii) The increased
flow stress of the metal increases the interface pressure between the punch and the sheet. This means
that the lubricant must be more effective and may require an EP (extreme pressure) additive to provide
comparable lubricity. Therefore, unlike deep drawing which is independent of yield stress of the metal,
stretch forming is reduced as the strength of the metal is increased.

Cold work is not an effective method to strengthen steel which is to be subsequently used for stretch
forming. In Figure 7.1-13, steel strengthened by cold work has n values well below the curve. This curve
(B-4) was obtained for steels strengthened by grain size control, solid solution hardening, and/or
precipitation hardening. In fact, small amounts of temper passing can be quite detrimental to n values (C-
6). The same comments are applicable to multiple stage forming, where prior cold work can severely limit
stretch forming capability. Thus, for sequential operations, stretch forming followed by compressive
deformation is more effective than compressive deformation (which reduces the n value) followed by
stretch forming. Elongation

Uniform elongation is related to the n value of the material. Since n value is the more fundamental
property of the metal, stretch forming is better related to n. In addition, uniform elongation can be difficult
to define and measure from a tensile test.

Total elongation is the summation of a metal’s capacity for uniform elongation, diffuse necking, and
localized necking which eventually terminates in fracture. Uniform elongation is related to n value and
diffuse necking is related to the m value. Beyond the onset of localized necking, useful deformation no
longer occurs for stretch forming over a rigid punch. Therefore, a measure of n and m better reflects the
stretch forming capacity of the metal than the total elongation. The problems with total elongation are
compounded by its dependence on gage length over which the measurements are made.


Both the producers and users of steel for stretch forming applications desire some form of quick test(s) to
prequalify the steel for its intended applications. Several options are therefore available.

Specific formability evaluation of sheet metal currently is divided into two components. The first is the
basic formability of the substrate itself. The second is the surface topography of the sheet metal and its
interaction with the lubricant and tool surfaces. Therefore, two common methods of evaluating
stretchability of sheet metal are (I) with the sheet surface in free space and (ii) with the sheet surface in
contact with a lubricant/tool interface. Tensile Tests

The most important substrate (bulk) properties related to stretch forming are the n and m values. For
specific applications the r value and total elongation can also be important. All four of these properties can
be obtained from the tensile test. By the design of the tensile test, the surface of the specimen is in free
space and normal surface topography does not affect the results. Therefore, the tensile test is by far the
best evaluation of substrate properties for formability. This is especially true for stretch properties where
the property-stretchability interactions are well defined.
Arguments have been made that the tensile test is only a uniaxial stress test while the stress state in
practical deformation in most automotive stampings is approximately plane strain. Deformation over the
head of the punch often may be balanced biaxial. Biaxial stress tests are difficult, if not impossible, to
conduct. In one attempt to evaluate the substrate properties under these stress states, hydraulic bulge
test are conducted by some laboratories. The fluid punch has no interaction with the sheet surface. With
extreme care, a biaxial stress strain curve can be obtained along with the attendant n and m values (J-
16). Experimental problems with hydraulic bulge tests, however, restrict this test to research laboratories
at best. Included in this same category of tests are the Marciniak (M-11), reduced cross-section (A-35),
and other specialized sheet metal formability tests which isolate the sheet surface from the tool/lubricant
interface. Punch Tests

Punch tests are an attempt to simulate the total forming system, which is basically the formability of the
substrate modified by the interface interaction with the tool.

Historically these punch tests have included the Olsen/Erichsen dome tests, the Swift round-bottom
punch, Fukui, and other simulative laboratory tests. The latest punch test to emerge is the Limiting Dome
Height Test or LDH test (G-9, A-31, M-23). Problems with the test procedure (M-23) notwithstanding, the
use of the LDH and all other simulative punch tests raises a major issue about correlation. Different
locations in a single stamping, much less different stampings, all have different combinations of stress
state, interface pressure, lubricant/sheet surface interaction, speed, temperature, prior strain history, and
all the other active variables. Even the most complex of computer forming simulation programs can not
predict the resulting strain distribution and provide an estimation of the stamping severity. The problem is
compounded when coated steels multiply the possible interactions among tool surface, sheet surface,
and interface lubrication. How then can a single test of sheet metal correlate well with all stampings?

Similarly, laboratory simulation of stretch forming of a blanked edge raises difficult problems to be
overcome. Here the hole expansion test (D-6, D-8) is commonly used as an evaluation test. Even this
simple test is completely dependent on the quality of the initial hole, the shape of the punch, and other
test factors.

For the above reasons, punch simulation tests should be used with caution and preferably only when
tensile test data are unavailable.


1. An important element of many complex forming operations is stretch forming. Press shop terminology,
however, usually categorizes this stretch mode as “deep draw”.

2. Stretch forming is defined by a stress state in the plane of the sheet metal composed of a positive
(tensile) major stress and a positive or zero minor stress. Simply defining the strain state is insufficient to
differentiate stretch forming from some compressive modes of deformation.

3. Stretch forming always creates a reduction in sheet thickness.

4. The stretch forming limits for deformation over a rigid punch are defined by the onset of localized
necking and are detailed by the Forming Limit Diagram.

5. The forming limits for stretch forming a blanked (free) edge are related to the tensile elongation of the
substrate metal and the quality of the blanked edge.
6. The two most important metal characteristics for general stretchability are the work hardening
exponent, n, and the strain rate hardening exponent, m. Both properties improve the distribution of stretch
deformation by reducing the localization of strain during uniform straining and post-uniform straining,
respectively. These properties allow good stretchability in steel.

7. The quality of sheet metal for stretch forming operations is primarily related to substrate formability.
Surface topography and coatings interact with the lubricant and tool steel to modify the lubricity of the

8. Stretch forming is well understood in terms of mathematical simulation and some success has been
achieved for axisymmetrical stampings.

9. Most pure stretch forming operations, such as Cyril Bath Stretch Former and the Wallace Expander,
are currently confined to non-automotive applications.

Figure 7.1-1 Schematic showing the difference between (A) stretch forming with all deformation
within the die opening, and (B) deep drawing with no deformation within the die opening.

Figure 7.1-2 Schematic of the bend-and-straighten mode of deformation. Circle grids are
undeformed after the element enters the stamping wall.

Figure 7.1-3 A complex stamping is generated by many different forming modes. Only a small
section of most stampings is formed by a deep draw mode.

Figure 7.1-4 Schematic showing the range of possible stress states for stretch forming an
isotropic sheet metal.

Figure 7.1-5 Schematic showing the range of possible stress states for stretch forming an
isotropic sheet metal.

Figure 7.1-6 Stretching under pretension creates a more uniform distribution of strain because all
elements of the blank are initially at the yield stress.

Figure 7.1-7 Sidewall curl caused by springback during forming is positive. By adding a post
stretch operation, the amount of curl can be reduced or even made negative (D-3).

Figure 7.1-8 Springback depends on the strength of steel until the post stretching exceeds a
minimum level indicated as B (G-6).

Figure 7.1-9 The Forming Limit Diagram indicates the proximity of a strain state to the onset of
localized necking. Above the curve the conditions for localized necking are satisfied and the
breakage is expected.

Figure 7.1-10 A modified Forming Limit Diagram in which the thickness strain replaces the major
strain as the vertical axis. Note the constant thickness strain as the forming limit for negative
minor strains (K-11).

Figure 7.1-11 A nomograph showing the value of FLD0 as a function of the work hardening
exponent, n, and teh sheet thickness (A-12).
Figure 7.1-12 The anisotropy value, r determines the strain path taken by a unixial tensile text.

Figure 7.1-13 A curve relating the work hardening exponent, n, to the yield (flow) stress of steel.
Steels in the band were strengthened by grain size, precipitation hardening, solid solution
hardening or a combination thereof. Steels strengthened by cold work have lower n values for
equivalent strengths (B-4).

7.2 Contour Roll Forming


Contour roll forming, or cold roll forming, is a process whereby a sheet or strip of metal is formed into a
desired shape of uniform cross section by feeding the stock longitudinally through a series of roll stations
equipped with contoured rolls or roller dies – two or more per station. The forming is accomplished by
progressively working the metal in each station until the finished shape is produced.

The cold roll forming mill consists of a train of pairs of driven roller dies which progressively form the flat
strip into the desired configuration. The key to successful forming of the desired shape is the correct
determination of the number of pairs of rolls required to form the shape and the proper contour of each
roll. An insufficient number of roll pairs will cause too severe a change in contour at each pair. Too many
roll pairs may be beneficial to the forming sequence but add unnecessary cost to the operation.

The number of pairs of rolls depends on the type of material (and any coating) being formed, the
complexity of the shape being produced, and the particular design parameters of the mill being used
(such as center distance between roll stands). A conventional roll forming mill may have as few as 4 or
more than 30 pairs of roller dies mounted on individually driven horizontal shafts. Idler (undriven) sets of
rolls can be placed between driven sets for additional shape control.

The contour roll forming process is particularly suited to the production of long lengths of complex shapes
held to close tolerances. Large quantities of these parts can be formed with a minimum of handling and
manpower. The process can be continuous by coil feeding and exit cutting to length or batch operated by
feeding individual sheets. Auxiliary operations, such as notching, slotting, punching, embossing, curving,
and coiling can easily be combined with the contour roll forming to produce finished or semi-finished part
shapes off the exit end of the roll forming mill. When the entry material is prepainted or otherwise coated,
ready to ship parts can be shipped directly from the mill.


Contour roll forming is one of the few sheet metal forming processes which is confined to a single primary
mode of deformation (Figure 7.2-1). Unlike most forming operations which have various combinations of
stretching, radial drawing, bending, bending-and-straightening, stretch flanging, shrink flanging, and other
forming modes, the contour roll forming process is nothing more than a carefully designed series of bends
(A-14, S-29, G-43).

The deformation mode in contour roll forming is bending – both under the contoured rolls at each station
and between each station. The metal thickness is not changed except for a slight thinning at the bend
radii (G-43). Formulas for calculating the required initial width of the strip (discussed later) are simply a
mathematical substitution for the manual method of determining blank width (R-14, J-15). The manual
method consists of making a large-scale layout of the final part shape, dividing it into its component
straight and curved segments, and totaling the developed width along the NEUTRAL AXIS. This is
illustrated in Figure 7.2-2.

Contour roll forming is performed on sheet/strip stock which varies from 0.005 to 0.75 inches (0.13 to 19
mm) in thickness and from 1/8 to more than 72 inches (3.18 to 1829 mm) in width. All metals that can be
shaped by any of the common forming processes – especially bending – can be contour roll formed. The
formability of the work metal controls the permissible speed of the roll forming and the degree or severity
to which the metal can be formed. For example, the softest grade of aluminum can be contour roll formed
at a speed 400 times faster than rolling titanium strip into a similar shape (A-14). In addition, the soft
metals can involve bending through 180 degrees, while titanium might be limited to 90 degrees or less.


The cross sections which can be roll formed are as varied as the materials which can be formed into
these cross sections. All texts on roll forming, however, agree that the most effective and trouble-free
operations are those which are designed with the roll forming process in mind. A few simple rules should
be followed (A-14).

SYMMETRY - The ideal cross section has symmetry. Nonsymmetrical sections can be formed without
difficulty, but lack the equal stresses imparted to each edge of the metal as it passes through the form

CROSS SECTION DEPTH - Extreme depth in the cross section should be avoided. Roll forming
produces more complex stresses than brake bending or other simple bending processes. In deep
sections, the metal movement around the arc of the bend is much greater and the resulting edge stresses
are greater.

BEND RADII - Sharper radii can be obtain by roll forming than by other forming processes. However, the
minimum bend radius is still a function of the ductility of the work metal. Bend radii equal to metal
thickness should be possible with most metals. Sharper radii can be formed by a special process of
grooving or beading the metal.

For simple bending with the neutral axis at 0.5t, the equation for outer fiber strain in percent is:

%e= x 100

Thus, the outer fiber stretch is 33 percent for a bend radius equal to metal thickness. For prepainted
products, this amount of stretch could be significant, as any paint film on the surface of the substrate
metal must undergo an elongation greater than 33 percent without degradation or reduced performance
capability. This may require, for critical applications, roll forming with the surface temperature of the paint
above the Tg (glass transition temperature) to allow the surface to flow. However, some metal coated
products may not have the option of changing the formability of the metal coating by temperature. In this
case, the limit of the bend radii is not set by the formability of the substrate metal but by the tensile
stretching limit of the coating on the outer fiber of the bend. The converse – compressive deformation
without shearing from the substrate – is required on the inner fiber of the bend.

BLIND CORNERS - A blind corner is a bend or an area of a bend that can not be controlled by direct
contact of the rolls. Accurate control of section dimensions is difficult in blind corners.

LEG LENGTH - Minimum practical leg length (flat beyond last radius of bend) is three times material
thickness. Shorter leg lengths cause nipping of the edge of the material and result in a wave along the
edge of the part.

SECTION WIDTH - Sections with wide, flat areas in the final part are prone to lose their flatness.
Longitudinal ribs are required to mask or hide coil waviness and to remove tendency to “oil can” (trapped
excessive metal which is elastically bowed and can be snapped between deflection above and below the
zero position). Roll forming can not remove coil imperfections (loose metal, waves, buckles, full center,
etc.) in wide flat areas; it can only attempt to suppress them in the cross section with ribs.

NOTCHES AND PUNCHED HOLES - Prepunched holes should be located at least three to five times
material thickness beyond where the bend radii will be located. Holes closer to the edge will be distorted
during the bending operation.

PART LENGTH - The length of the part is created either by precut or post-cut methods. For precut parts,
the minimum length should be twice the horizontal distance between roll forming stations. For post-cutoff
the final cross sectional shape must be designed to facilitate cutoff.
The design considerations listed above indicate the type of design guidelines available in the lieterature
(S-29, G-43, A-14, R-14, J-15, F-3, H-38, G-27, G-28, G-29, G-42, H-2, H-3).


The greatest amount of “art” in contour roll forming deals with determination of the required number of roll
stations and the design of each pair of contoured rolls (S-29, G-43, A-14, R-14, J-15, F-3, H-38, G-27, G-
28). The initial design of roll tooling is the development of the “flower” (Figure 7.2-3). This is a station-by-
station overlay of progressive section contours starting with the flat strip and ending with the final desired
section profile. The flower also can be obtained by starting with the final profile and unfolding it into the
flat strip. Each intermediate profile is a pair of roll forming tools.

Two prime considerations in designing the flower are (I) smooth flow of material from the first to the last
roll stand and (ii) maximum control over the fixed dimensions while roll forming. The first-smooth flow – is
easy to visualize. Take a long strip of paper which is the length of the roll forming machine. Hold one end
(incoming) flat. Contour the other end (exit) around a pattern of the final form. The gradual change in
sweep and curvature would be the ideal progression of the metal flow. If cross sections were taken at
equally spaced intervals between the beginning and the end, a flower would be generated. This flower
would represent the ideal roll forming with respect to material flow, but would be lacking in dimensional

Such a progression, however, is continuous and not in discrete steps created by direct contact with each
set of contoured rolls. The number of roll sets is limited by cost considerations. Likewise, bending should
not take place between roll stands. Any free space (or air) bending can not be controlled as to the location
or the dimensions of the resulting deformation.

The other extreme would be to form each corner to its completed angle with total or maximum roll contact
before leaving the roll set. This would eliminate air forming and blind corners. However, the flow would be
a jerky, step-by-step, motion rather than a flowing motion. This stop-go-stop motion would generate
excessive stresses which would cause forming problems, as well as require an excessive number of roll
forming stands.

The compromise between perfectly smooth flow and the controlled deformation is the art required by the
roll former designer. The designer starts the forming in the center of the strip and works towards the edge
of the strip and impose a tensile stress in addition to the bending stress; this would severely limit forming
capacity and greatly increase breakage. The proper sequence is illustrated in Figure 7.2-4a.

Some roll formed panels, however, have additional ribs inserted into the panel after the initial forming
sequence, as shown in Figure 7.2-4b. These ribs may provide additional stiffening or a cosmetic effect.
Now, however, the metal on both sides of the new roll formed ribs is completely locked; metal can not flow
into the bend from the free edges. The deformation mode now becomes more complex with a
combination of bending and stretch forming. this “non-ideal” roll forming procedure can be very severe
and may exceed the formability of either the substrate metal or its coating or even both. This deformation
mode and its corresponding limit are better duplicated in the laboratory by a stretch-bend test than by the
more traditional free-bend test (H-43).

The designer also attempts to impose less forming in the initial and final roll sets (S-29). Forming in the
early stations is limited because material inertia must be overcome. Forming should be slowed down at
the later stations so that the section loses its tendency to continue forming at its predetermined rate. This
slowing down also helps to eliminate flare on the ends of the section. The design of the final rolls is critical
because here overbending is introduced in order to compensate for springback.

Methods to develop the flower are suggested in the literature (S-29, G-43, A-14, G-29). Recently, the
design of the flower has been assisted by computer computation (R-14, J-15, Y-13).

The number of stations is affected by the work metal thickness, composition, and hardness (A-14). Other
factors are the complexity of the shape, tolerances, production quantity, available equipment, and special

- For a given shape, the number of work stations increases as the thickness of the work metal increase;
the increase is not proportional, however.

- Composition and hardness of the work metal strongly influence the number of stations required; an
increase in the yield strength increases the number of stations. For this reason, annealed work metals are
preferred because the yield strength is the lowest. However, Lüder’s bands (stretcher strains) are
undesirable. In some roll forming mills, a roller leveler unit is installed ahead of the first set of rolls to
eliminate any yield point elongation (A-14).

- Use of an insufficient number of roll stations leads to shape and straightening problems and excessive
straightening would be required.

- Greater production speed often is obtained by the addition of more roller stations. The instantaneous
strain rate at each roller station is therefore held relatively constant because less deformation is being
generated at each station.


Speeds in contour roll forming can range – in the extreme – from 1.5 to 800 ft/min. (0.5 to 244 m/min).
The most common speed range is 80 to 100 ft/min. (24 to 30 m/min). The following factors can influence
the optimum speed (A-14):

1. Composition of the work metal

2. Yield strength or hardness of the work metal
3. Thickness of the work metal
4. Severity of the forming operation
5. Cutting finished shapes to length (speed of shear)
6. Number of roll stations (strain rate in each)
7. Required auxiliary operations (time for each operation)
8. Use of a lubricant (coolant)

An example of the low speed end of the range would be forming of titanium into a complex shape. The
high end of the range would be production forming of aluminum or low strength steel in a thickness less
than 0.035 (0.9mm) inch with mild forming severity and long lengths greater than 80 feet (24m). Such
high speeds would require additional sets of driven rolls and less incremental forming per roll station.


The effect of work metal properties and formability on contour roll forming is generally the same as other
modes of forming (A-14):

- For a constant thickness, different work metal composition, initial yield strength, and rate of strain
hardening will require different power capacities, number of stations, roll material, lubrication, and speed.

- When work metal thickness and tooling remain unchanged (common condition), substitution of a more
formable metal is seldom a problem with respect to formability limitations. In general, a more formable
metal can withstand the shape changes at each roll stand. An example would be forming of aluminum in
tools designed for low carbon steel. The finish station rolls may have to be reground, however, to avoid
overbending of the section so that final dimensional tolerances can be met.

- Substituting a metal of higher strength or less formability, however, most likely would require changes in
the roll pass sequencing; certain section changes could not be tolerated by the higher strength, less
formable metal.

- Another common change for the roll forming industry is from carbon steel to stainless steel. Problems
are often encountered in adequate power and machine strength. While the metal itself may have sufficient
formability, the roll former may not have sufficient power to impart the required deformation and maintain
production speeds. In addition, insufficient machine strength (rigidity) can cause elastic deformation of the
roll stands and housings and therefore cause changes in part dimensions when higher strength metal is
formed. For example, for identical shape and thickness, type 302 stainless requires twice the power
needed to form 1010 carbon steel.

- Higher strength materials require an additional overforming to compensate for springback.

- Highly cold worked metals often have residual stresses which cause straightening problems, especially
when forming unsymmetrical shapes. This is corrected by adding more work stations to decrease the
amount of forming in each station.


The primary purposes of a lubricant in contour roll forming are to insure good tool life and protect the
metal/coated surface. A recent paper lists twelve important areas to consider to eliminate lubrication
mistakes, as well as other problems, in roll forming (I-8):

1. Accelerated tool wear

2. “Metal pick up” on rolls
3. Surface conditions of purchased material
4. Compatibility of lubricant vs. material
5. Choice of application technique
6. Understanding the secondary operations
7. Unusual lubricant properties
8. Proper startup and operating procedures
9. Preparation of the lubricant
10. Maintenance and control lubricant
11. Secondary metal forming lubricants
12. Maintenance of roll forming equipment

All of these topics deal with the protection of the tooling and the work material – especially if it is coated
with a paint or some other easily damaged surface. For example, emphasis is placed on flushing the
surface of the rolls to remove pickup of metal fines or scale from the work metal. If this is not done,
scoring and galling will follow. The flushing also is used to reduce the ambient temperature of the rolls.

The forming done in roll forming – bending – appears to be unaffected by lubricants, or the lack of them,
in a well designed roll forming operation. In fact, many of the roll forming operations are performed
without a lubricant for those parts where surface quality is not critical. In yet other areas, such as the
appliance industry, prepainted metal is received with only a wax coating over the paint. No additional
lubricant is applied because the plants do not want the extra step of lubricant removal. Here extreme care
is taken in the roll forming operation to preserve the quality of the incoming painted surface.


The width of the strip (blank) required to roll form a given shape can be calculated form the geometry of
the proposed part (S-29). While this strip width calculation is theoretical, only slight modifications will be
required when the part is actually formed.

The calculation process begins by dividing a complex part (Figure 7.2-2) into segments – each segment
being described by a single shape. Each straight line unit is a segment. Each curved element of constant
radius is a segment. The example in Figure 7.2-2 has nine segments.

The calculation is based on the length of the neutral axis. Therefore, the neutral axis length of a straight
segment is its actual length.

The neutral axis length calculation for curved sections is called Bend Allowance. This calculation is more
complex than calculations for straight segments.


Calculation of the Bend Allowance (BA) for a curved section:

BA = R

BA = Bend Allowance (inches or mm)

R = Bend radius (inches or mm)
α = Angle through which material is bent (degrees)

For an inside bend radius greater than two times material thickness:

R = Ri + 0.5t

Ri = inside bend radius (inches or mm)

t = metal thickness (inches or mm)

This formula is equivalent to the neutral axis lying in the center of the strip thickness.

For an inside bend radius less than two times material thickness:
R = Ri + 0.4t

This represents a shift in the neutral axis closer to the inner radius. This reduces the length of the neutral
axis but will increase the percent stretch required in the outer fiber.


Instead of only two different positions of the neutral axis, method two varies the position of the neutral
axis according to the ratio of the inside bend radius and the material thickness (RA).
BA = [(txP) = Ri] (0.)
BA = Bend Allowance (inches or mm)
t = Material thickness (inches or mm)
P = Material thickness – percent
Ri = Inside bend radius (inches or mm)
α = Angle through which material is bent (degrees)
0.01745 = 1/57.3 used in Method One.
For RA (ratio inside bend radius to material thickness) less than one:

P = (RA x 0.04) + 0.3

For RA greater than one:

P = (RA – 1)0.06 + 0.34

with a maximum value of 0.45 for any RA > 2.83.

These calculations have the neutral axis varying from 0.3t for a tight radius to 0.45t for a generous radius.
These calculations can be easily computerized.

7.2.10 SUMMARY

The forming mode of a well designed contour roll forming operation is bending, both under the contour
rolls at each station and between each station. This bending deformation allows steel with “low
formability” in traditional stretching operations to be contoured into complex shapes without breakage.
One example is the roll forming of very high strength automotive door beams.

The bending mode of deformation also permits calculation of blank width based on constant length of the
neutral axis through the bending process. This single forming operation allows rules of thumb to be
developed for proper design of roll formed sections, as well as making this forming operation amenable to
computer design.

Figure 7.2-1 A roll formed part developed in twenty forming stations. Geometry is generated by a
sequential bending operation (S-29).
Figure 7.2-2 Cross-section of a part with the calculated "developed" strip width (S-29).

Figure 7.2-3 Flower development of a lock-seamed tube showing progressive section contours
starting with the flat strip and ending with the final section (S-29).

Figure 7.2-4 (a) Proper development of roll forming sequences requires innermost sections to be
formed first (numbered 1) so that metal can flow into the forming zone before more outboard
sections (numbered 2, 3 and 4) lock the metal. (b) Sometimes stiffening ribs (numbered 5) are
added last - these are limited in design and depth because the deformation mode is now stretch-

The concept of the Forming System has gained acceptance over the last decade. It highlights the fact that
any one component of the system can be analyzed only in terms of the remainder of the system.
Formability parameters can be specified only in terms of a specific stamping. For example, stretchability
can be discussed as being directly related to the work hardening exponent or n value. The absolute value
of n required to successfully form a stamping depends on the stamping design plus knowledge of the
lubricant, press adjustments, and other die parameters, such as draw bead design, blank size, die radius,

This section describes three areas where the Forming System and the interactions among the system
components have been considered. These areas are Severity Analysis in the Press Shop, Mathematical
Modeling, and Springback.

8.1 Severity Analyses


Analysis of grids on the surface of a deformed stamping is an important press shop analysis technique.
Grids are placed on the blank prior to deformation. After forming, measurement of the deformed grid
provides the magnitude and direction of the principal strains over the entire stamping, as well as the flow
of metal from one area of the stamping to another. Grids measured on a series of partially formed
(“incremental” stampings) show the relative metal movement within the die as a function of punch travel.
In addition to defining the actual strain states in the stamping, the measurements from the grids are
plotted on the Forming Limit Diagram (Section 4.2) to establish the severity of the deformation.

A typical analysis is shown in Figure 8.1-1. here the strain states, strain magnitudes, strain distribution,
and strain severities are shown in a concise and easily interpreted method (F-2). This analysis shows that
the entire wall of the corner is critical. Another type of analysis is shown in Figure 8.1-2. Here the severity
of the stamping being analyzed increases dramatically as the maximum percent reduction is approached

The most common grid geometry is the circle grid. The circle patter is used in press shops throughout the
world. The details of the circle grid analysis system have been extensively published. Booklets on the
subject include A-12, D-18, K-10, M-36, G-13. Other literature includes A-7, C-7, F-2, G-2, G-16, H-14, H-
16, H-17, H-18, I-7, J-13, J-14, K-24, K-26, K-28, K-29, K-30, K-48, S-28, L-6, M-6, S-41. Therefore, the
circle grid analysis technique will not be amplified here.

Early grid studies utilized square patterns because the grids generally had to be hand scribed; printed
grids would be scraped off the surface of the sheet metal during forming. Circle grids were difficult to
scribe. Circle grids became popular only with the advent of electrochemical marking or etching of the grid
into the surface of the blank from a stencil containing the circular pattern (D-18). Electronic grid
measuring systems are now available (H-5).

Direct measurements of principal strains from the original square grids were difficult because of the shear
component of the deformation required calculation of the principal strains through formulas. Today,
analyses of square grids are reappearing. The square grids have certain advantages over circles (T-11).
First, the square pattern allows a mesh to be drawn over the sheet surface which will cover the entire
surface of the sheet without either gaps or overlaps in the coverage. Second, speed of measurement and
flexibility of choice in the reference grid are available, especially with the assistance of computer based,
automatic digital coordinate measuring (optical scanners) devices, data acquisition systems, and
analysis/computational programs (D-1). Third, the square grid is required to analyze the influence of the
strain path when the deformation is non-coaxial. The final measured shape change of the circle does not
dictate the deformation mode experienced by that circle during the entire process. The same shape
change can be achieved by an infinite number of monotonic deformation paths. Unlike the circle, a square
grid shows both the stretch component plus the rotation of the element from its initial direction.

Several recent papers have used the square grid along with certain simplification procedures to develop a
viable press shop analysis tool (C-10, C-12, N-13, T-12, S-32, S-33). The simplification process is based
on the assumed “pure homogeneous deformation” mode. Studies of springback and other elastic/plastic
deformations require the analysis of small strains. An example is the deformation and deflection of an
automotive hood panel. Here a large circle – ranging from 1 to 10 inches (25 to 250 mm) in diameter – is
scribed in the panel surface to improve the measurement accuracy of the small strain levels (D-18, K-10).
However, the problem of determining accurately the direction of the principal strains from the deformed
circle is magnified at the low strain levels. One solution is to use the brittle lacquer technique (where
cracks occur normal to the largest principal strain direction) to gain additional information for strain state
analysis (U-1). Another analysis technique is the use of Moire patterns to observe sheet metal
deformation (Y-11). Finally, the bonding of wire strain gages to the surface of the sheet has been used (A-
18). The advantage here is that high speed recorders can be used to record the strain history for delayed
analysis; such histories are obtained with full production conditions of press speed, temperature, etc.

However, the square grid analysis can be used effectively for the low strain measurements of automotive
body panels. Excellent work was performed by Nihill and Thorpe (N-13). They developed a commercial
software program entitled "SIROSTRAIN". This computer program computes the first and second (major
and minor) principal surface strains and their orientations from the measured distortions of square grid
patterns. The results were displayed in the form of a series of maps showing contours of equal strain
magnitude and the orientation of the first principal strain. These maps for automotive body panels are
shown in Figure 8.1-3 for an outer hood panel, Figure 8.1-4 for a right-hand front fender panel, and Figure
8.1-5 for right-hand rear quarter panel. Once the measurements are stored in the computer data base,
additional analyses can easily be performed. For example, the strain states for each panel and the strain
levels can be displayed on a strain space axis similar to that used by the Forming Limit Diagram (Figure
8.1-6). Note that most strains are positioned around the plane strain axis.


The Forming System is amenable to many types of statistical analyses. Standard Statistical Process
Control (SPC) techniques can be used to analyze various processes to determine if they are in or out of
control and to determine the process capability. Examples could be the thickness of the incoming steel,
the dimension of the blank, the thickness of the applied lubricant, and other single measurements. With
the installation of proper sensors/monitors, other SPC analyses can be done. Key sensors currently being
installed in the press shop are load monitors on all four corners of both the inner and outer rams. These
are useful for initial settings after die changes and to assess the consistency of the settings over an
extended press run. This, of course, helps control metal flow in a uniform manner.

On the other extreme, the Taguchi method is used to design meaningful experiments which can be run in
the press shop with a minimum of disruption to production. Here the sensitivity of the Forming System to
specific variables can be evaluated at any given point in the history of a stamping.

A need exists, however, for an analysis systems which will be sensitive to the interaction of all variables in
the Forming System, can be sued to quantitatively define the severity of the system (without any
breakage), will monitor the Forming System over the life of the tooling, can be used to determine the
cause of system variability, and can evaluate the sensitivity of the system to any variable. One promising
system for achieving these goals is called Statistical Deformation Control or SDC (K-11).

With SDC the status of the Forming System is obtained through ultrasonic measurements of stamping
thickness in the critical zone (K-11). Converted to a thickness ratio, the severity of the stamping is
obtained from a thickness Forming Limit Diagram. Standard SPC techniques are used to obtain a control
chart and to analyze the system with respect to the control chart. Breakage of the stamping is neither
required nor desired. Various studies can be conducted to determine the cause of system variability and


Chrysler Engineering has pioneered an analysis system which relates formability demands by the part
configuration to the formability capacity of the various metals (K-4, K-5, K-6, K-7, V-2). The formability
capacity of metal is first evaluated in the laboratory for conditions of pure stretch and pure draw. Using
these two measurements as end points, a forming line is constructed (Figure 8.1-7) to represent the
maximum amount of forming allowed (Forming Ratio) for any combination of stretch and draw. Each
candidate material, or different samples of the same material, can be so characterized.

The second step is to measure certain parameters (such as blank size, punch diameter, stretch-draw
boundary, etc.) on the actual formed stamping. These parameters are used to calculate a percent draw
and a forming ratio of the panel under study. Panel severity is a comparison of the actual forming ratio
assigned to the stamping and the allowable forming ratio of the material (See Figure 8.1-7). The
distribution of strain influences the stretch-draw boundary and therefore becomes part of the severity
calculations. Although qualitative results can be obtained from blueprints, quantitative measurements
require a formed stamping with circular grids.

A cooperative program of the American Deep Drawing Research Group (A-7) evaluated a number of parts
ranging from stretch to draw. The shape analysis severity rating and the FLD severity rating showed a
linear relationship. The shape of the stamping often determines the relative amounts of stretch and draw
required to form the stamping. Any analysis of shape which proportions the stamping into stretch and/or
draw can be used to estimate the dependence of the stamping to the formability parameters n and r
(Figure 8.1-8). Such a diagram can be constructed for any given stamping if a series of steels with varying
n and r values is available.


Much of the actual sheet metal forming data available today is in the form of case histories. A variety of
data presentation techniques are found in the literature. These range from reports (Figure 8.1-9) on
specific part trials with different steels (A-8) to a strain composition diagram (Figure 8.1-10) of the whole
surface of a car body (I-6, K-16). Strain frequency histograms are becoming common in the literature
(Figure 8.1-11). Likewise, the various strain states and strain levels are being coded (Figure 8.1-12) and
then used to provide a visual presentation of the deformation of panels. One example (Figure 8.1-13)
shows the development of the strain for various stages of the punch stroke for two different punch

Obviously such data are invaluable to the press shop. The data are both visual and quantitative. They
provide a record of the deformation in the stamping for each trial variable. Trends can be observed. More
important, permanent records can be kept for future reference. These case history records also serve an
important purpose as experimental verification for mathematical modeling calculations (Section 8.2).


Severity analyses currently utilized by the press shops depend upon informaiton gained from the
stamping itself. Circle grids allow the major and minor strains from critical locations within the stamping to
be characterized in terms of forming severity. Statistical analyses provide a systematic method of tracking
the severity of a stamping throughout its production life cycle. Shape analysis relates the relative amounts
of stretch and draw within a stamping to their respective limits determined from laboratory tests.

In each case, the analyses are postmortem in nature. The formed stamping reflects the summation of the
Forming System components. Only then – after actual forming of the stamping – can an estimation of the
forming severity be made. The Forming System is so complex that results of changes in the components
currently can not be predicted. Until improved mathematical modeling techniques are created, the existing
severity analysis techniques can be utilized to reduce the severity of stampings.

Figure 8.1-1 Strain analysis shows the entire wall of the pan was in the critical zone with high
probability of failure (F-2).

Figure 8.1-2 The severity rating increases dramatically as the maximum percent reduction is
approached (J-13).

Figure 8.1-3 Strain map for an automotive outer hood panel showing contours of equal strain
magnitude and orientation of the maximum strain (N-13).

Figure 8.1-4 Strain map for an automotive front fender panel showing contours of equal strain
magnitude and orientation of the maximum strain (N-13).

Figure 8.1-5 Strain map for an automotive rear quarter panel showing contours of equal strain
magnitude and orientation of the maximum strain (N-13).

Figure 8.1-6 Strain distributions shown for various automotive panels as a function of major and
minor strain ratios. The numbers for each ring display the occurence frequency (N-13).

Figure 8.1-7 The shape analysis technique to determine an allowable forming ratio based on the
percent of draw in the stamping (K-6).

Figure 8.1-8 Different parts are sensitive to different formability parameters depending on the ratio
of stretching to drawing (B-10).
Figure 8.1-9 Strain analysis report commonly used in press shops around the world (A-8).
Figure 8.1-10 Strain composition diagram for the whole surface of a car body (I-6).

Figure 8.1-11 Classification of forming strains into categories based on major and minor strain
combinations (I-6).
Figure 8.1-12 Frequency diagrams for the major and minor strains found on different panels in a
typical automobile (I-6).

Figure 8.1-13 Changes in the punch contact zones created when stampings are made with
different die shapes (I-6).

8.2 Mathematical Modeling


Mathematical modeling for sheet metal formability is thought to be a recently developed science, but, in
fact, a paper by Sachs provided a mathematical model for the deep drawing a cylindrical cup in 1935 (S-
2). Since that date, :improvements in stamping have been due not so much to any enhancement of die
design skills but to a continued improvement in material uniformity and to recent discoveries in tool
materials and tool surface treatment and the potential for reducing die costs due to electro-discharge
machining and numerically controlled contour milling machines.….It can be expected that developments
in modeling will lead to better understanding of sheet forming and, as a consequence, better tools and
better forming machines, but as yet this has not been fully recognized” (D-25).
The axisymmetric or cylindrical deep drawing process has occupied a major role in the early development
of mathematical modeling. The deep drawn cup contained the major sheet metal forming modes –
drawing, stretching, and plane strain. In addition, the geometry was sufficiently simple for analytical
purposes – especially in the precomputer era. Many early analyses were made by Swift (S-45, S-44).
Woo followed with numerical modeling using finite difference methods for punch stretching and drawing
(W-27, W-28).

The initial modeling studies in sheet metal formability were conducted as a means to understand the
behavior of the metal as it was transformed from a flat sheet into its final configuration. Much of the early
work was aimed at providing a mathematical model of a simple sheet deformation process that could be
verified in the laboratory. For a given geometry of tooling, initial blank shape, and a constitutive relation for
the material, the objective was to obtain mathematically a result that agreed reasonable well with

The goal of current mathematical modeling activity is different from the early work in the field. Instead of
trying to duplicate mathematically an existing stamping, math modelers now are trying to determine for a
given final stamping shape how this stamping ought to be produced in the press shop and then to attempt
to devise a process and tooling to achieve the shape. The ultimate goal would be to eliminate any “soft
tryout” tooling and to design directly the final tooling which would produce quality stampings with no
modifications required during die tryout. In this concept, all tryout, modification, adjustment, and
optimization of the forming process would be conducted within a computer program and the final design
then committed directly to another computer responsible for the CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) of
the final die set.

The driving forces for mathematical modeling are many and include:

- Development of the necessary forming configurations (thickness and final flow stress) to comply with in-
service part requirements.

- Selection of correct Forming System variables (die design, material parameters, lubrication, press
characteristics) and evaluation of system severity before the design is committed to tool production.

- Maximum utilization of the developed part surface which already has been mathematically described in
the computer data base during the previous styling processes.

- Reduction in time and cost from concept to first production for sheet metal stampings.


The central goal for modeling of production stampings is the generation of the dies necessary to form the
stampings. This involves translating the geometry of the part as defined by the stylist into the final sheet
metal stamping. This deformation of the sheet is accomplished in the die. Because sheet metal forming is
so complex, the dies used for this deformation may bear little resemblance to the final part geometry.
Preforms, binder areas, restrikes, flange and trim, springback corrections, and even reverse forming
(where the initial stamping is turned inside) are intermediate steps in the contortion of sheet metal into its
final shape. In the extreme, 75 percent of the sheet metal used in forming a stamping may be trimmed
and thrown away as offal or engineered scrap; an average for all automotive stamping is around 35

A great deal of time and man-hours currently are required for the designing, manufacturing, and modifying
of the dies. This process is necessary for the production of quality stampings. Unfortunately, techniques
for this designing have been inadequate. The personal experience of the skilled workers and the sum
total of past trial-and-error development of similar stampings have been the sole base to accomplish this
very complicated task (K-23).
The computer has the potential to replace this trial and error process with a formalized, mathematical
analysis of great complexity and speed. Each section of the stamping can be modeled. The interactions
between sections can be formalized as one section becomes the boundary conditions of the adjoining
sections. All parameters of the Forming System can be included. Changes can be implemented in
minutes instead of the days required for required modifications to the hard tooling. Most important,
numerous “what-if” scenarios can be research to optimize the design before committing to the final design

Generally, three levels of computer modeling have been identified – each level using models of increasing
complexity and accuracy but decreasing interactivity (B-9). These levels are:

- The first level is based on geometrical concepts similar to the one presented by Toyota (T-1). The results
given by this code include the initial punch/sheet impact position, the deep drawing depths of the part,
and an estimate of the elongations in the formed part during the process. The first stage of the analysis is
the numerical determination of the shape flange over the die cavity corresponding to the binder wrap
stage. The formulation is based on the linear elastic membrane theory of thin shells; the boundary
conditions are imposed displacements. Essentially, this method closely corresponds to the empirical
approach used by stamping designers (B-9). This method is not convenient for accurate stress/strain
evaluations and only estimates the elongations in the part.

- The second level uses simulation codes which are a faster response method. The strain distribution is
obtained by using a direct iterative systems for calculations between the known final geometry of the part
and the initial flat geometry of the sheet. This technique was previously developed by Lee (L-5, C-13) for
two-dimensional and axisymmetric configurations. The computational procedure uses a simplified
variational method. This is derived from the principle of minimum potential energy to determine the initial
nodal positions in the mesh corresponding to the flat configuration.

- The third level has an analysis scheme for the complete calculation of stress and strain distributions at
any stage of the deep drawing process. This uses large elastic-plastic Finite Element Modeling of sheet
metal forming with contact boundary conditions. The basic hypotheses to establish the formulation are
membrane thin shell theory, plane stress condition, isotropic elasto-plasticity with Von Mises’s hardening
criteria, and contact boundary conditions with Tresca’s friction law (B-9). This third level modeling is the
most difficult to develop, both on the theoretical and numerical aspects, and needs to be improved in the
methods used to incorporate friction boundary conditions and the mechanical behavior of the sheet metal

An ideal designing concept using CAD (Computer Aided Design) is shown below and would replace the
current trial and error process for creating the required die design (T-2, H-27):

A) Data base with part shape

B) Part shape analysis
C) Tipping position
D) Step draw
E) Blankholder surface
F) Draw bead
G) Evaluation of press forming severity
H) Blank shape
I) Stamping die data base
J) Final drawings or CAM system input.

Each step is described in greater detail below.


A) Data Base With Part Shape
The starting point for any analysis is the mathematical description of the required part or the specification
of the required surface. The normal sequence for styling has been development of the clay model, the
digitizing of the clay model, mathematical “smoothing” of the design lines into more consistent equations,
and then correcting the clay model. Ideally, however, the styling should be done using a computer. From
this computer design the clay model can be automatically machined for visual checking. This sequence
eliminates the extensive digitizing procedure and correction of the clay model because the mathematical
description of the surface was created as the styling progressed.

Sheet metal parts can be divided into two categories. The first are those surfaces which are developable
and singly-curved. Developable surfaces can be “developed” by combining formalized, three-dimensional
mathematical shapes, such as cones and ellipsoid. These parts can be formed by roll forming, press
brake bending, folding, and flanging. These shapes can be described by straight line generators and are
“single-parameter” surfaces (D-25). The descriptions of such surfaces do not present great problems.

The second category of surfaces are those formed by stretching and drawing so that they become non-
developable and doubly-curved. These stampings usually are irregular and highly complicated in shape.
Automotive outer body panels are in this category. Even though these panels have smooth contours, the
actual shape can not be fitted by formalized, three-dimensional, mathematical shapes such as cones,
toroids, and ellipsoids.

Automotive inner body panels span both categories. The panel can be broken down into a number of
simple developable shapes, but the interconnection of these elements is complex and mathematically
difficult to describe.

A mathematical description of the part surfaces is one of the important issues in mathematical modeling
and will continue to be the target of detailed future research. An important issue in surface description,
however, must be addressed now – that of standardization. Unlike flexible human beings which can
interpret and digest various systems of presentation, computers are very rigid in the format in which input
data must be submitted. Even more important, workable CAD/CAM systems will extend rapidly to contract
stampers world wide. Standardization of data from a variety of requesting companies. A proliferation of
system formats will either restrict the ability of various companies to bid on available jobs or force them
into the expensive option of being equipped with numerous systems. The need for a standard language
for mathematical surface description is great.

B) Part Shape Analysis

This step represents the heart of the mathematical modeling process. The mathematically described
surface is entered into the analysis program and is modified to provide the necessary output. The output
of the analysis can vary from one program to another. However, a typical output might include: a) a
mathematical mesh of the deformed grid (Figure 8.2-1), B) strain history plots (Figure 8.2-2), strain level
plots on Forming Limit Diagrams (Figure 8.2-3), frequency histograms of strain ratios (Figure 8.2-4),
“What-if-scenarios” (Figures 8.2-5, 8.1-6), or pictorial displays of forming severity (Figure 8.2-7).

The two most common analysis procedures are finite element analysis (FEA) and geometric modeling.
Finite element analysis (FEA) methods are the most popular approach to solving sheet metal forming
modeling problems (W-4). These methods describe, by a sequence of discrete steps, the manner in
which a component is formed. The calculations are continued until a final shape is realized or until some
failure condition (wrinkling, tearing, localized necking, unacceptable thinning, etc.) is met. If the model
shows that the part can not be formed, the initial conditions are changed and the calculations are
repeated until a satisfactory part is achieved.

The initial conditions can include all the material formability parameters (strength, work hardening,
anisotropy, temperature, strain rate effects, etc.), interface friction, punch/die geometry, and other
variables in the Forming System. To date, some success has been achieved in analyzing parts of simple
geometry, particularly for axisymmetrical components (D-21).

The FEA method is less satisfactory when more complicated shapes are considered (C-11). Extensive
computation time is required, even for parts of simple geometry. At the present time the technique is not
suited for interactive computer-aided design. The time level may be reduced to a practical level for the
new supercomputers.

A simpler, more approximate approach to mathematical modeling is geometrical modeling. In this

process, a sheet metal component is transformed from a flat sheet into a nondevelopable surface without
a change in thickness. In other words, each element would be deformed by plastic shearing so that its
area remains constant. Although few practical forming processes occur in this way, many traditional die
design rules are based on a similar assumption, namely that the overall blank area remains unchanged
during a stamping operation (C-11). This assumption provides a useful basis for tool and blank design.

Thus, geometrical modeling achieves the transformation of a flat sheet to a developable shape by
bending only (constant area at the neutral axis). This means that the strain path is one in which the major
and minor strains are equal and opposite. With this assumption, the transformation from a flat sheet
becomes a kinematic problem rather than one of continuum mechanics and it is intrinsically easier to
solve. Although this mapping method is approximate, it does not facilitate the analysis of complicated
surfaces (D-24). This technique was used to predict the deformation of a square grid during forming of an
automotive rear deck lid inner panel (D-25). The predicted deformation agreed favorably with the
measured deformation. More important, the computation time was less than ten seconds on a
microcomputer; this makes the geometrical modeling approach useful for an interactive computer-aided
design system available to many more die design shops.

A third method is the shell theory (D-25). For axisymmetric shapes, the surface can be divided into a
number of shell elements of spherical, cylindrical, or toroidal shape. The advantage is that this system
can be used in a number of different ways. For example wither force or thickness can be used as initial
boudary conditions and iterated to obtain a reasonable solution. Wood et al have compared analysis of
thin sheet forming using the “viscous shell” formation and a solid mechanics based method (W-29). This
paper concluded that the viscous shell approach is computationally faster than the elasto-plastic
counterpart, but at the expense of the exclusion of elastic behavior. The elastic behavior becomes
important, however, when the calculations must correct for springback (D-5, M-24).

Whatever the computational procedure, the solutions are only as good as the description of the material
behavior. A variety of material phenomena have been found which require modification of standard
plasticity formulations for accurate representation of the material as it affects the formability of materials.
In the paper by Wagoner the modifications included non-isotropic hardening, complicated strain-rate
sensitivity formulations, transient behavior along nonproportional loading paths, and temperature-
dependent flow (W-1).

A particularly difficult description of material behavior is that of coefficient of friction needed in most of the
analyses. Stine (S-38) reported that agreement between the computer model and grid analysis results
was substantially improved when experimentally determined friction coefficients were used as input to the
computer model. In contrast, the use of arbitrary estimated coefficients can have a very detrimental effect
on the ability of the computer model to predict actual results. The coefficient of friction depends not only
on the material and lubricant being used but also the deformation mode and tool material (See Section 5
– Lubrication).

C) Die Tipping Position

Automotive stampings are formed with the sheet metal blank approximately in the horizontal position. The
specific orientation of the final stamping geometry relative to the plane(s) of the blankholder is a critical
decision in the die design process. Two extremes are shown on Figure 8.2-8. Depending on the “angle” of
the die, the deformation can be made (a) by a plane strain stretch without required metal movement from
the blankholder or (b) by a bend-and-straighten operation with metal movement from the blankholder. The
plane strain stretch deforms the metal in free space and avoids dragging the metal (with potential
scratching) over the die radius. However, the strain is highly localized over the punch and balancing of the
deformation forces is required to avoid sliding of the sharp punch across the ace of the stamping.
Consideration must even be given to the dimensions of the stamping to allow the stamping to be removed
within the confines of the die opening. Obviously, computer modeling of the forming process is the ideal
method for studying the tipping angle of the stamping. To evaluate this with real tools requires major and
time consuming modifications ot massive sets of tooling.

D) Step Draw
The “draw wall” is the location of many failures in sheet metal stampings (S-21). Failure in the wall has
been divided into three zones (Figure 8.2-9) – punch shoulder, center wall, and pass-through-drawbead.
Metal in the straight sides of the stamping generally undergoes plane strain deformation, which allows for
easier modeling. The forces imposed on this area are created by the blank geometry, the blankholder
configuration, the draw beads, die radii, and interface friction. Therefore, the step draw is evaluated in
conjunction with the next two analysis stages: E) Blankholder surface and F) Draw Bead (H-27).

Successful forming of the stamping wall depends on the tensile strength of the steel being stretched in a
plane strain deformation mode (S-21). This factor determines the capacity of the wall to withstand necking
while generating sufficient force to pull the blank length through the blankholder/draw bead restraining
system. Shiokawa states “that it is possible to estimate the amount of tension, elongation, and movement
of material in each part in the process of panel forming, and to predict the occurrence of fracture.” (S-21).

E) Blankholder Surface
Another difficult decision phase in die design is the development of the blankholder surface (T-4).
Blankholder surfaces seldom are designed in a single, horizontal plane. Instead, the closing of the binder
ring causes a deformation of the blank into a preform configuration (Figure 8.2-10).

The preform has two goals. One is to shape the metal to the general configuration of the punch (“wrap”)
so that the punch does not travel an extended amount while riding only on the sharp edge or character
line of the punch. Instead, the general contour of the punch is preformed into the blank so that contact
over a major portion of the punch is accomplished with little additional travel. This can be seen in Figure
8.2-10. The punch travels well below both edges of the blank (and especially the right hand edge) before
contact is made; then contact over the entire surface is rapidly accomplished.

The other goal is to avoid locked metal between two initial contact points on the punch. This locked metal
will be the site for potential buckles, low spots, and other surface contour defects. This latter
determination is difficult to predict without mathematical modeling. When the blank is preformed by the
binder geometry, various sections of the blank undergo different amounts of elastic and plastic
deformation. Combined with residual stress patterns, the contours of the sheet surface within the binder
opening can deviate greatly from the geometries of the binder surfaces. This changes the pattern of
contact sequences between blank and punch. Trapped metal can occur in totally unexpected areas.

A number of papers have been devoted to the mathematical modeling of this binder wrap (t-2, M-28, I-6).

F) Draw Bead
Laboratory tests utilizing draw beads are discussed elsewhere (Section However, the
deformation mode occurring within the draw bead itself has been the subject of mathematical modeling
(N-14, S-21, L-7, L-9, W-5, Y-4). The experimental data and the mathematical modeling have shown the
importance of the draw bead system – both as a design option and as a process variable.

When used as a design option, difficulty has been encountered building the exact bead geometry into the
die and then maintaining the bead geometry over the life of the die. After changing blankholder force, the
next die modification used to make the steel function properly is a change in bead geometry – weld up,
grind down, or both. The draw bead then becomes an unknown and uncontrolled variable. Future
stamping design incorporating complete blank locking to achieve pure stretch forming will eliminate the
draw bead as a process variable (Section 7.1).

G) Evaluation of Press Forming Severity

Forming severity can be interpreted in two ways. The most common relates the calculated strains to the
Forming Limit Diagram. Details of the Forming Limit Diagram as a determinator of forming severity are
provided in Section 4.2 (Forming Limit Diagrams) and Section 8.1.1 (Circle Grid Severity Analyses). If the
strain level exceeds the Forming Limit Diagram, localized necking and failure are probable. For strain
levels just below the forming limit on the Forming Limit Diagram, the stamping has an insufficient safety
factor. Most mathematical models use the Forming Limit Diagram as the “terminal point” for deformation
calculations (D-25, S-38, B-5). However, other parameters are used, such as the Mean Section Length
Ratio and Local Elongation Ratios (H-27).

Even though the Forming Limit Diagram began as a quantitative description of the onset of localized
necking, the FLD also has become a convenient method of portraying all possible strain measurements in
sheet metal forming. As shown in Figure 8.2-11, the FLD now is used to depict the allowable “strain
space” and becomes a graphical method of presenting both experimental and computer modeled results

Another definition of forming severity is the ability of a die set to produce a stamping to the exact
mathematically described surface without “low spots”, wrinkles, buckles, waves, loose metal, etc. Thus,
stampings can be ranked in severity according to the ability to be produced without these cosmetic
defects. On this basis, quarter panels (low spots above the wheel house opening), decks and lids (large
flat areas which are difficult to pull tight), and doors (buckles emanating from the door handle pocket) are
examples of severe forming.

H) Blank Shape
Superimposing the trim line on the final stamping shape now determines the initial blank shape.
Opportunities exist here to optimize the blank shape, such as reducing the blank dimensions, changing a
contoured blank into a rectangular sheared blank, improved nesting, and other cost saving factors.
Mathematical modeling allows the user to verify that the blank shape changes will not prevent the final
stamping requirements from being accomplished.

I) Stamping Die Data Base

The final stage in the modeling analysis is the storage of the complete mathematical description of the
finished stamping, the die geometry, and all other components of the forming system. The structure of this
data base system must be designed to ensure easy management of the mass data, rapid recovery from
system failures, and quick response to command execution (H-27). A whole field of expertise is being
developed in this area of massive data generation, storage, retrieval, and flow between different
computers. Discussion of this field is beyond the scope of this report.

J) Final Drawings Or CAM System Inut

Completion of the mathematical analysis will provide (when the system reaches its full potential) a
complete description of the tooling surfaces (which all be different from the stamping surface because of
springback, subsequent forming operations, etc.), the binder surfaces, draw beads, etc. This information
can then be translated into traditional drawings or used as an input for the Computer Aided
Manufacturing. This CAM can be an in-house activity or the data can be electronically transmitted to an
outside contractor for the actual construction of the tooling.

Computer Aided Manufacturing and other programs for manufacturing the tools for producing the
stamping are beyond the intended scope of this report.

Mathematical modeling ha the ultimate goal of designing the final stamping configuration and the
corresponding die geometry such that the stamping produced will have strain states and strain levels
within well defined boundaries. To do this the modeling system must be able to calculate the strain values
at all stamping locations. Thus, an important test of each proposed modeling system is to compare the
calculated strain profiles with experimental strain values measured on formed stampings. A number of
programs have reached that critical stage – although the stampings may be simple, axisymmetrical

The following is a partial list of the stampings which have been modeled:

Stamping Author Company Reference

1984 Camaro Lift Window Outer Arlinghaus GM A-19

Oven Door Liner Stine GE S-38
Rectangular Punches Stoughton GM S-42
Hemming Makinouchi Riken M-5
Simplified Deck Lid Tang Ford T-4
Rectangular Pan Doege Hannover U. D-19
Conical Cup Logan U ofo Mich. D-19
Rear Quarter Panel Shiokawa Nissan S-21
Press Brake Bending Nagpal Battelle N-1
Superplastic Rect. Box Ghosh Rockwell G-11
Roll Forming Yuen Lysaght Y-13
Channels Wang Ford W-9
Channels Chakhari Grenoble C-2
Deep Draw with Square Blank Kaftanoglu Mid-east K-1
Wall Breakage Hayashi Sumitomo H-10
Front Fender Yamasaki Mazda Y-2
Hemispherical Zone Ziemloewocz U. of Wales Z-2
LDH Dome Gerdeen Mich Tech G-7
Non-axisymmetric Cup Iseki Tokyo Inst. I-5
U-Bend Makinouchi Riken M-4
Circular Discs Nakamachi Yatsushiro N-4
Dryer Inner Door Chung RPI C-13
Hemispherical Dome Kim Soul Univ. K-36
Swift Cup Test Budiansky Berkeley B-21, K-44
Stretch Flanging Wang GM W-8


The introduction of large scale computer graphics systems opens up new possibilities in describing
surfaces and their deformation (D-25). The detailed analyses with equilibrium and constitutive equations
are the most precise of the numerical models. However, the purely geometric methods appear to be the
most useful at the present time (D-25).
The development schedule for introducing computer modeling at Volvo Car Corporation appears to be a
realistic summary of the field (K-50). During the last five to ten years styling, pre-production engineering,
tool design, NC machining, and dimensional measurement and verification have been applied to Volvo.
The future schedule is as follows:

- Improvement in modeling techniques for forming processes in general.

- Obtaining methods of finding intermediate shapes in multi-stage forming processes.

- Determination of metal flow during stamping.

- Calculations of the relationship between strain and draw depth.

- System for finding the appropriate developable surface for wrapping the sheet around the punch in the

- Calculation of a force balance to aid in the choice of punch entry angle.

- Enhancement of a system for documentation, storage, and retrieval of performance data.

“In order to optimize the use of modeling methods, our understanding of the relation between process
design, product quality, and productivity must be deepened. Computer-aided modeling and analytical
techniques also require precise information on mechanical properties and process variables such as
friction. Ideally, the process can be reversed, whereby the modeling of the process can be used to
develop the material parameters necessary to successfully form the designed part. The resulting
constitutive equations can then be related back to microstructural parameters such as texture coefficient,
cell size, grain size, etc. (F-13). In addition, these must be readily accessible, hence the requirement for
documentation and storage of process data” (K-50).


The goal of mathematical modeling is readily understandable. Instead of constructing tooling to evaluate
potential forming problems, the forming process is simulated in the computer. The strain distribution, the
forming severity, springback, metal flow, blank shape, binder configuration, and other parameters of the
Forming System are analyzed quickly by a computer program. Changes to the Forming System can be
analyzed interactively as the search for the best parameter combination progresses. Cost of development
tooling and die tryout are eliminated or at least reduced. More important, the lead time from concept to
final tooling is radically reduced. The benefits are unquestioned.

The key to mathematical modeling is the design of the simulation program. Currently several levels of
analysis are under development, ranging from simple geometrical line fitting to complex analyses
implementing metal working and anisotropy, interface friction, deformation speed, tooling temperature,
and other parameters. The more complex the simulation, the more accurate the results. However, the
complex simulations currently require tremendous computer speed, memory, and computation time.

While significant progress in mathematical modeling has been made during the last twenty five years,
major work remains before the programs are readily useable in the press shop.

Figure 8.2-1 A square mesh on the initial blank is mathematically deformed to produce the strains
required the final geometry of the stamping (D-25).

Figure 8.2-2 The strain distribution across the stamping and a historical development of the
gradients can be presented after completion of the analysis (W-29).

Figure 8.2-3 The strain ratios of the various analysis elements are presented in "strain space" (D-
25). These points were obtained from Figure 8.2-1.

Figure 8.2-4 Histogram of the relative frequency of nodal strains for the stamping shown in Figure
8.2-1 (D-25).

Figure 8.2-5 Various parameters can easily be changed to evaluate many "what if" scenarios (B-5).
Here the effect of the work hardening exponent is examined on strain distribution in a) equal
biaxial stretching and uniaxiat tension.

Figure 8.2-6 A change in blank size requires a modification of a radius in order to keep the
maximum strain level below critical (T-2).
Figure 8.2-7 Coding of the stamping (original in color) according to strain level (A-19).

Figure 8.2-8 Die tip changes the deformation mode from (a) plane strain stretch to (b) bend-and-
Figure 8.2-9 A number of different failures can occur in the sidewall or "draw step" (S-21).
Figure 8.2-10 Pictorial view of a binder, blank, and die during the binder-wrap stage (T-4).

8.3 Springback


Sheet metal forming involves the transformation of a flat sheet of metal into a useful shape. A common
problem in this transformation is the distortion in the shape of the stamping that occurs when the
deforming load is removed or when the stamping is removed from the tooling. This dimensional change is
called springback and results from changes in strain produced by elastic recovery.

Springback is inherent in all sheet metal forming processes. The amount of springback depends on the
interaction of part geometry, friction, material properties, and die design. That is, springback results from
the interaction of all components of the Forming System. The importance of springback depends on the
end application, quality requirements, subsequent processing steps, etc. For example, excessive or
variable springback in a channel which is subsequently welded with critical dimensional control is an
important processing parameter. on the other hand, springback in the back corner of a floor pan may be
relatively unimportant and corrective action may be unnecessary.

Two basic approaches are used to correct for springback. The first design of the forming process to
eliminate the springback through control of the stress-strain patterns generated in the stamping during the
forming operation. The second is not to control the springback but to compensate for the springback in
the original design of the tooling – for example overbending – such that the final part will be dimensionally

Each of these approaches requires an understanding of the causes of springback and the factors which
affect its magnitude. With this knowledge, trial and error attempts at springback correction become more
effective. Ideally, a method is required for quantitatively predicting the magnitude and direction of the
springback and/or the residual stress distribution after the forming operation is completed. From this
information exact springback corrections can be calculated. More importantly, the sensitivity of the
springback to the variability within each component of the Forming System can be calculated.

A STATE OF THE ART REVIEW ON SPRINGBACK was completed for the AISI in 1986 by Professor
Gerdeen of Michigan Technological University and Professor Duncan of the University of Auckland, New
Zealand and formerly of McMaster University (G-6). This section will summarize the key segments of that


Springback is the result of elastic recovery of the sheet metal after deformation. This can be easily shown
from the stress-strain curve obtained from a tensile specimen (Figure 8.3-1). In forming operations, the
sheet metal is loaded to a stress exceeding the initial yield stress of the metal (point A). This increment of
deformation contains two components – the elastic strain which will be recovered after unloading and the
plastic strain which will remain as the permanent deformation of the sheet. In Figure 8.3-1 this elastic
component is shown as B-C and the plastic component is C-D.

The elastic strain often is called the recovery strain and is equal to the ratio of the stress at A to the
Young’s modulus for the metal being deformed. Therefore, a 30 ksi (210 MPa) stress would produce a
recovery strain of 0.1 percent for steel with a Young’s modulus of 30 million. The same stress would
produce a recovery strain of 0.3 percent for aluminum with a modulus of 10 million. Keeping the modulus
at 30 million, a 30 ksi (210 MPa) stress for yielding a high strength steel would produce a 0.3 percent
recovery strain. Therefore, a recovery strain could be calculated from the mechanical properties of any
sheet metal being used to make a part and the flow stress to which the sheet metal is being subjected.

Using the above analysis, a 60-inch (1525mm) hood produced from low strength steel would recover
about 1/16 of an inch (1.6mm). This change in dimension due to elastic recovery could easily be
corrected by making the die 1/16 inch (1.6mm) longer. Unfortunately, real world stampings are not formed
like uniaxial tensile specimens and therefore do not produce a uniform linear component of elastic

In most sheet metal stampings, the recovery strain is combined with one of several mechanical
multiplying factors which tend to greatly magnify the shape change (G-6). To illustrate this important
phenomenon, bending is used.

In a typical bending operation, the stress distribution through the sheet thickness while still under the
forming moment (load) is shown in Figure 8.3-2. The inside surface of the bend has a compressive stress,
while the outside of the bend has a tensile stress – each of which must recover in the opposite direction
upon unloading. Although the recovery strain is very small, significant shape changes can be generated
by the mechanical multiplying effect.
This multiplying effect can be illustrated by a simple experiment (G-6). Two strips of thin cards are joined
at the top by a thin piece of tape (Figure 8.3-3). The two cards are held at the bottom; very small
movements between the finger and thumb cause large changes in the curvature.


Spring back can be classified into three major categories and several subcategories:

1. Small radius bends along a straight line

a. Pure bending
b. Tension plus bending
c. Channel bending
2. Small radius bends along curved lines
3. Doubly-curved, shallow, smooth panels

For the automotive industry the first two categories describe the forming of beams, channels brackets and
other structural members. Body panels fall into the third category.

The literature describing each of these categories is reviewed in the next section.

8.3.4 SRING BACK LITERATURE Small Radius Bend Along A Straight Line

This deformation mode describes parts formed by roll forming, V-block forming, and folding. The
springback is dependent on the yield stress, elastic modulus, and bend ratio.

The basic equation describing springback in simple bending is due to Gardner (G-1):

This equation shows that the springback ratio,

is proportional to the ratio of plastic stress to elastic modulus and the bend ratio, R/t. These parameters
are shown in Figure 8.3-4.

Another description of springback is the shape retention factor give in equation [1]. Here Rs is the radius
after springback.

This equation of Gardner is applicable only for bending of a beam. Crandall, in his discussion of
Gardner’s paper, (C-16), stated that elastic springback of a curved sheet should be treated as a plate
instead of a beam and therefore the plate stiffness should be used instead of the beam thickness. In
addition, bending of a wide plate will involve a term for the elastic Poisson ratio.
This equation is the basis of a portable yield strength tester presented by Granzow (G-31). The
equipment is a hand-held bending device which bends the steel to a 90 degree angle (?) over a fixed
radius R. A scale for a springback ?? is calibrated in strength for each of several common thicknesses of
steel. Because of strain hardening, the yield stress is not measured. Instead a flow is measured which
describes the stress state during the 90 degree bend. Granzow shows a correlation with the average of
the yield and ultimate tensile strengths. This tester probably is the only forming operation which is
accurately described by equation [1].

Work Hardening Effect - The equation of Gardner above [1] assumes no strain hardening, which is not
realistic for most sheet metal forming for the automotive industry. This problem was addressed by
Queener and DeAngelis (Q-1) who derived from plasticity theory an equation which incorporated the n
and K values of the stress strain equation:

for R/t < 30. For n = O and K = σ, equation [3] reduces to equation [2] times a factor of 1.15.

Equation [3] shows that an increase in n and/or K increases the amount of springback. The work
hardening increases the flow stress, which in turn increases the recovery increment. The equation
assumes uniform distribution of the strain around the entire bend. In reality, the work hardening may
change the strain distribution and the fundamental behavior of the forming mode. A comparable example
may be the effect of yield point elongation. The YPE tends to generate discrete bands of deformation –
called kinks. These kinks do not take the radius of the bending tool but tend to assume a much tighter
radius (Figure 8.3-5). This reduction in R reduces the amount of springback.


More important than the work hardening is the effect of a tensile stress component added to the bending
stresses. This deformation mode is common in automotive stampings. As the sheets are formed over
punch and die radii, tensile restrain is introduced. These restraints are generated in the binder surfaces
from draw beads inserted into the binders and from friction developed over the various components of the
die. These tensile forces restrict the draw components within a complex stamping and encourage the
stretch component. This restraint also is used to “set the shape” of the stamping.

During bending the neutral axis shift is dependent upon the relative magnitudes of the bending stresses
and the tensile stresses. It can be shown that this neutral axis shift is extremely important to springback.
More specifically, a neutral axis shift outside of the metal sheet is favorable.

A method of springback analysis was presented by Duncan and Bird (D-23). A bilinear stress-strain curve
was assumed (Figure 8.3-6) with the following mathematical description of each zone.
In these equations, P is the plastic strain hardening modulus for linear hardening and is similar to the n
value for parabolic hardening. When the sheet is fully plastic, the springback equation becomes:

When the sheet is fully plastic, the springback is small; E is usually two or three orders of magnitude
greater than P.

This analysis by Duncan and Bird (D-23) indicates that to obtain good shape control, the tension in the
sheet should slightly exceed the yield stress in order to achieve a small but finite plastic strain throughout
the sheet. This analysis requires that the radius R be large enough so that the assumption of fully plastic
tensile stress across the thickness be met. Finally, this tension must be applied as a post tension – that is,
after the bending but before the unloading.

Some operations can be designed with either a pretension or post tension. An analysis was made by
Wenner (W-17) of the affect of pre-versus post-tension in shallow panels with large R/t ratios (shell
membrane theory is applicable).

His analysis included punch friction, work hardening, and strain rate hardening, but over a range of plastic
strain up to three percent. Wenner verified the analysis of Duncan and Bird for post strain (G-6).

One key result of Wenner’s analysis is shown in Figure 8.3-7 (W-17). He showed that springback was
greater (smaller value of Shape Retention Factor) for pretension than post-tension. However, this result is
overshadowed by the effect of the “Tensile Load/Yield Load Ratio”. As this ratio exceeds unity, (stamping
is everywhere plastic), the Shape Retention Factor climbs rapidly. When the (applied) load is near the
yield load, large differences in springback can occur for small differences in operating conditions. For the
critical region where the tensile load approximates the yield load, the springback is very sensitive to
changes in material properties (yield stress and thickness) and the forming process (restrain, alignment,
fiction, etc.). Wenner concluded that in practice there may be a fine line between draw die settings that
produce satisfactory parts and those that do not (W-17).

Wenner continued the analysis to show that since the amount of springback was dependent on the
amount of tension that could be developed over a punch with various amounts of friction, it was important
to know if sufficient tension could be developed for particular steels (W-17) He showed that the tensile
force developed depended on the ratio of the ultimate to yield strengths. He also showed that was very
difficult to produce sufficient loads for dual-phase steel and HSLA-80 steel except for small angles of draw
and/or low coefficients of friction. The AK steel, on the other hand, exhibited the lowest springback since a
load greater than the yield value could be developed over a wide range of die angles and frictional values.

Several studies have been conducted on the effect of a tensile load added to the channel bending
operation. The combination has been characterized as a stretch-bending operation. The study by Neda
and Veno treated the channel as a beam and calculated springback for a work hardening material (N-9).
They showed that springback can be greatly reduced by applying tension. The tension was applied during
and after the bending. One method of stabilizing springback in channel forming of materials with different
yield stresses is to apply an optimum initial tension calculated from the initial yield stress often is
unknown, a “Fixes Initial Elongation” method is used in which a constant elongation (such as one percent)
is imparted to the material. This automatically compensates for the differences in yield stress.

Springback in trapezoidal shaped corrugations and Z-shaped purling is discussed by Ingvarsson (I02).
Again, the importance of stretch forming in reducing springback is cited.
SIDEWALL CURL – Sidewall curl is a problem in channel forming which is superimposed on the
traditional springback of sidewall opening (Figure 8.3-8). Sidewall curl is caused by friction. The friction
between the sheet and the punch/die causes the tension to vary from surface to surface and along any
given surface (Figure 8.3-9). Relaxation of these different tensions causes the curling action.

A number of studies have dealt with sidewall curl and several press shop programs are designed to
eliminate this sidewall curl (H-11). One such study by Vecchio provides side wall curl and tangent wall
angles for 26 U-shaped automobile underbody rail specimens produced from mild steel, HSLA steel, and
dual-phase steels formed with both flat punches and beaded punches (V-3). Two analyses have been
completed by Wang (W-9). One analysis shows in Figure 8.3-10 that side wall curl can be reduced
(eliminated) if enough side wall loading can be applied to cause sufficient stretching (W-9).

This analysis by Wang (W-9) has enabled GM Research to develop a two-step process to eliminate
sidewall curl. If the necessary tension is applied during forming in a single stage, a sever shock line and
breakage would develop. Therefore, in the process called “SHAPESET”, the steel is the first bent to ahpe
without draw beads and without tension; this creates severe sidewall curl (G-3, A-32). This sidewall curl is
then removed in a second or stretch operation with draw beads (Figure 8.3-11). Other papers discussing
sidewall curl include V-1, L-8, L-15, D-4, H-13.

SHAPESET is an excellent example of where theory and experimentation have been used in tandem to
provide a solution to a production forming problem. Small Radius Bends Along Curved Lines

Springback in parts with contoured flanges and channels with sweep (for example frame rails and other
structural parts) causes changes in both the bend angle (viewed in the cross-section) and elastic
curvature of adjacent surfaces causing twist and sweep changes. At the present time, a comprehensive
model for this problem does not exist (G-6). The problem with such flange or channel forming is that both
the bend radius and the flange (or channel wall) are plastically deformed (Figure 8.3-12). A complex
interaction of the recovery strains now results. A strong mechanical multiplying factor is present. A slight
change in line length A-B can cause a large change in radius R and therefore cause a camber in the
vertical surface. Doubly-Curved, Shallow Smooth Panels

Springback in outer body panels and other “doubly-curved, shallow, smooth” panels depends on the
distribution of both strain and residual stresses. Here again a complete model is lacking, but the problem
can be easily illustrated (G-6). While the origin of springback in these shallow panels is different from
small radius bends, a mechanical multiplying factor is involved. Small in-plane movement can cause a
large deflection as illustrated in Figure 8.3-13. In some panels, a circular or hoop stress is created during
the forming operation which causes a crown of height, h, to develop (Figure 8.3-14).

The springback problem in shallow, outer body panels is best controlled by the introduction of a finite and
uniform plastic strain; this is accomplished by controlled stretching of the sheet as shown in Figure 8.3-15.
This stretching must introduce a tension in the sheet somewhat greater than the yield stress times
thickness (G-6).

The State of the Art Review by Gerdeen and Duncan contains a review of a number of papers which have
some relationship to springback doubly-curved, shallow, smooth panels (G-6). Unfortunately, the results
discussed often are contradictory to each other and, at best, bear only a slight relationship to real world
panels. The problem seems to be that simple analyses are being applied to very complex stampings; the
simplifying assumptions overwhelm the analysis so much that the analysis has no hope of describing
panel behavior. Accurately predicting quantitative corrective action is even further beyond analysis. For
this reason no review of these studies will be included here.

The problem with springback can be summarized with the aid of Figure 8.3-16. This figure has been
developed by a number of authors (G-6, J-5) and is similar to Figure 8.3-7.

Most stampings – simple bends or doubly-curved, shallow, smooth panels – are formed such that the
stretch level is in zone A. In this zone, the springback is sensitive to the type of metal (Young’s modulus),
the thickness of the metal, the strength of the metal (yield stress), the strain imparted to the sheet, the
uniformity of the strain, the residual stresses, the friction, and all other variables in the Forming System
(K-23). When operating in this zone, the press operator correctly deduces the need for uniformity of
thickness and mechanical properties of the sheet metal being used. He can not directly observe the
variability in the other components of the Forming System.

The evidence is clear – both theoretical and experimental – that imposing a stretch component to the
stamping will either eliminate most of the springback or at least bring it to a constant value independent of
material and process variables (zone B in Figure 8.3-16). What is needed are some well documented
case histories which will illustrate this conclusion and provide guidelines for part designers and die
designers alike.

Figure 8.3-1 Unloaing from a plastic forming stress (A) results in springback or recovery strain (B-

Figure 8.3-3 Diagram showing how a small movement is mechanically magnified into a large
transverse movement in two cards joined only at one end (G-6). This experiment simulates a sheet
of metal during elastic recovery from a bending strain.

Figure 8.3-4 Springback defined as ∆ θ/θ for a bend ratio of R/t.

Figure 8.3-5 A sheet of metal may "kink" while being bend around radius R, thereby greatly
reducing the bend radius Rs. One common cause of kinking is yield point elongation.

Figure 8.3-6. A bilinear stress (σ-strain (ε) curve.

Figure 8.3-7 Springback under pretension and post-tension as a function of the ratio of tensile
load to yield load (W-17).

Figure 8.3-8 Schematic showing sidewall opening and sidewall curl.

Figure 8.3-9 Different tensil stresses are developed at points C and D due to friction between the
sheet and the punch/die. Elastic recovery of these different stresses causes sidewall curl.
Figure 8.3-10 Prediction of sidewall curl by the matematical model of Wang (W-09).

Figure 8.3-11 Schematic showing the two-stage "SHAPESET" process for elimination of sidewall
curl (G-3).
Figure 8.3-12 A contour flange (stretch-flange) of radius R1 formed from a flat sheet.

Figure 8.3-13 Demonstration in a flat sheet that small in -plane movements are mechanically
magnified and can cause large transverse deflections (G-6).

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Sheet Metal Forming Definitions

This glossary, compiled by members of the North American Deep Drawing Research Group, presents
terminology associated with the press forming of sheet steel and other metals. The definitions represent
the consensus of a range of opinions concerning terms which previously contained much ambiguity and,
more often than not, subjective attachment to either a particular metalworking process or application.
Using the detailed experience of press shop workers, suppliers, and researchers in the ferrous and
nonferrous industries, the NADDRG Nomenclature Subcommittee collated definitions to reflects today’s
usage. The glossary should prove to be a worthwhile reference resource.

The North American Deep Drawing Research Group is an affiliate of ASM International, Metals Park, Ohio
44073. (A-6).

A change in material property or properties with time. (See Quench Aging and Strain Aging)
Variations in one or more physical or mechanical properties with direction. (See Normal Anisotropy,
Planar Anisotropy, and Plastic Strain Ratio)

Bend (Longitudinal):
A forming operation in which the axis is perpendicular to the rolling direction of the sheet.

The ability of a material to be bent around a specified radius without fracture.

Bending Under Tension:

A forming operation in which a sheet is bent with the simultaneous application of a tensile stress
perpendicular to the bend axis.

Bend Radius:
The radius measured on the inside of a bend which corresponds to the curvature of a bent specimen or
the bent area in a formed part.

Bend Test:
Evaluation of a sheet metal’s response to a bending operation, such as around a fixed radius tool.

Biaxial Stretchability:
The ability of sheet material to undergo deformation by loading in tension in two directions in the plane of
the sheet.

The piece of sheet metal, produced in cutting dies, that is to be subjected to further press operations. A
blank may have a specific shape developed to facilitate forming or to eliminate a trimming operation
subsequent to forming. (See Blank Development)

Blank Development:
The process of determining the optimum size and shape of a blank for a specific part.

Blank Gridding:
Imprinting a metal blank with a pattern on the sheet surface, such pattern to be used for subsequent
strain measurement. (See also Gridding)

Blank Holder:
That part of a forming die which holds the blank by pressure against a mating surface of the die to control
metal flow and prevent wrinkling. The blank holder is sometimes referred to as “Holddown” or binder area.
Pressure applied by mechanical means, springs, air, or fluid cushions.

< b>
The pressure exerted by the blank holder against the blank. This is normally adjustable to control metal
flow during the drawing.

The act of cutting a blank.

Brake Forming:
A forming process in which the principal mode of deformation is bending. The equipment used for this
operation is commonly referred to as a press brake.
Brake Press:
A form of open frame, single action press comparatively wide between the housings with bed designed for
holding long narrow forming edges or dies. It is used for bending and forming strips and plates.

Breaking Load:
The load acting on a specimen at the moment of fracture.

Breaking Stress:
The stress at which a material separates into two pieces, measured by a suitable device and usually
reported in pounds per square inch of minimum cross section, or other equivalent. (See also: Fracture

A tendency to fracture without appreciable plastic deformation.

Brittle Fracture:
A fracture which occurs without appreciable plastic deformation.

Bulge Test: A test wherein the blank is clamped securely around the periphery and by means of
hydrostatic pressure the blank is expanded. The blank is usually gridded so that the resulting strains can
be measured. This test is usually performed on large blanks of 8-12 inches diameter.

Clamping Pressure:
Pressure applied to a limited area of the sheet surface, usually at the periphery, to control or limit metal
flow during forming.

Coil Weld:
A welded joint connecting the ends of two coils to form a continuous strip.

A process of cold forming metals, in which the metal is shaped between two dies in such a manner as to
fill the depression of both sides in relief by displacement of the material.

Cold Working:
The deformation of metal significantly below its recrystallization temperature such that work hardening

A press forming operation in which a cup-shaped part is produced from sheet metal. Cupping is often the
first operation in the production of a complex deep-drawn part.

Cup Test:
A formability test in which a sheet blank is drawn or stretched into a hemispherical or cylindrical shape.
Variations in blank diameter, cup height or forming load are utilized to evaluate sheet formability. (See
also: Swift Cup Test, Fukui Cup Test)

Cut-Off Die:
Sometimes called a trimming die. The cut-off die can be the last die in a set of transfer dies which cuts the
part loose from the scrap, or it can be a die which cuts straight sided blanks from a coil for later use in a
draw die.

Deep Drawing:
A drawing operation where a part is produced from a blank by the action of a punch in which the sheet is
pulled into a die cavity and the flange of the blank is compressed in the circumferential direction. The area
directly under the punch remains undeformed.

Developed Blank:
A flat blank with a shape that will produce a finished part with the desired configuration with a minimum of
trimming operations.

(a) A complete tool used in a press for any operation or series of operations such as forming, impressing,
piercing, and cutting. The upper member or members are attached to the slide (or slides) of the press and
the lower member is clamped or bolted to the bed or bolster with the die members being so shaped as to
cut or form the material placed between them when the press makes a stroke.
(b) The female part of a complete die assembly as described in (a).

Die Clearance:
The space, on each side, between punch and die.

Die Coating:
Hard metal incorporated into the working surface of a die to protect the working surface or to separate the
sheet metal surface from direct contact with the basic die material. Hard chromium plating is an example.

Die Entry Radius:

The radius at the edge of the die over which the work is drawn.

The ability of a sheet to form cup-shaped parts by the action of a punch under conditions that cause the
flange or a portion of the flange to be drawn into the die cavity.

Draw Bead:
A ridge constructed around a portion of a die cavity to partially restrain metal flow. A groove in the mating
blankholder allows die closing. Sometimes called Die Bead.

A sheet metal deformation process in which plastic flow results in a positive strain (e1) in one direction in
the plane of the sheet surface and a negative strain (e2) at 90° to (e1) in the sheet surface. Drawing can
only occur when sheet metal flow under the blankholder is permitted. The term drawing is sometimes
loosely used to describe a wide variety of press forming operations.

Drawing Ratio:
The ratio of the blank diameter to the punch diameter.

Draw Ring:
A ring-shaped part of the die, integral or separate, over the inner edge of which the metal is drawn by the
punch. (Also called Die Ring)

Elastic Limit:
The maximum stress to which a material may be subjected without any permanent strain remaining upon
complete release of stress.

Displacing of metal a minor amount without noticeable reduction in sheet metal thickness.
Engineering Strain:
Preferably called Nominal Strain. The unit elongation given by the change in length divided by the original

Engineering Stress: Preferably called Nominal Stress. The unit force obtained when the applied load is
divided by the original cross-sectional area.

Erichsen Test:
A test in which a piece of sheet metal, restrained except at the center, is deformed by a spherical ended
plunger until fracture occurs. The height of the cup in millimeters at fracture is a measure of the ductility.

Production of designs, including grids, on metal surface by a corrosive reagent or electrolytic action.

Extruded Hole:
A hole formed by a punch which first cleanly cuts a hole and then is pushed farther through to form a
flange with an enlargement of the original hole. This may be a two-step operation.

First Draw:
The first drawing operation in a series which is usually performed on a flat blank.

A bending operation in which a narrow strip at the edge of a sheet is bent down (up) along a straight or
curved line. It is used for edge strengthening, appearance, rigidity and the removal of sheared edges. A
flange is often used as a fastening surface.

Flow Curve:
A graphical representation of the relationship between load and deformation during plastic deformation.

The ability of sheet metal to be changed into a useful shape. (See Bendability, Stretchability, Drawability.)

Formability Parameters:
Material parameters that can be used to predict the ability of sheet metal to be formed into a useful

Forming Limit Diagram:

An empirical curve showing the biaxial strain levels beyond which failure may occur in sheet metal
forming. The strains are given in terms of major and minor strains measured from deformed circles,
previously imprinted into the undeformed sheet.

Fracture Load:
The load at which splitting occurs.

Fracture Strain ( ε f ):
The true strain at fracture defined by the relationship:

(initial cross-section
ε =In
f area)
(final cross-section area)
Fracture Strength:
The engineering stress at fracture defined as the load at fracture divided by the original cross-section
area. The fracture strength is synonymous with the breaking strength.

Fracture Stress:
The true stress at fracture which is the load for fracture divided by the final cross-section area.

Free Bending:
A bending operation in which the sheet metal is clamped at one end and wrapped around a radius pin. No
tensile force is exerted on the ends of the sheet.

Fukui Cup Test:

A cupping test combining stretchability and drawability in which a round-nosed punch draws a circular
blank into a conical shaped die until fracture occurs at the nose. Various parameters from the test are
used as the criterion of formability.

Imprinting an array of repetitive geometrical patterns on a sheet prior to forming for subsequent
determination of deformation. Imprinting techniques include:
1. Electrochemical marking (also called electro-chemcial or electrolytic etching) – a grid imprinting
technique utilizing electrical current, an electrolyte, and an electrical stencil to etch the grid pattern into
the blank surface. A contrasting oxide usually is redeposited simultaneously into the grid.
2. Photoprinting – a technique in which a proprietary photosensitive emulsion is applied to the blank
surface, a negative of the grid pattern is placed in contact with the blank and the pattern is transferred to
the sheet by a standard photographic printing practice.
3. Ink stamping.
4. Lithographing.

Mating depression for the drawbead.

Guided Bend Test:

A test in which the specimen is bent to a definite inside radius of a jig.

Hardness Test:
A test to measure the resistance to indentation of a material. Test for sheet metal include Rockwell,
Rockwell Superficial, Tukon and Vickers.

Hole Expansion:
Forcing the circumference of a punch hole to expand in a stretching mode.

Hole Expansion Test:

A formability test in which a tapered punch is forced through a punched or a drilled and reamed hole
forcing the metal in the periphery of the hole to expand in a stretching mode until fracture occurs.

Increase in Area:
An indicator of sheet metal forming severity based upon percentage increase in surface area measured
after forming.

Forming between dies whose side-wall clearance is less than the sheet metal thickness such that a
thinning action occurs. This usually takes place in the side walls of deep-drawn parts where the inflow of
metal from the flange tends to thicken or wrinkle; subsequent ironing produces a more uniform wall

A term indicating equal physical or mechanical properties in all directions.

Keeler-Goodwin Diagram:
The formability limit diagram for low-carbon steel commonly used for sheet metal forming.

Limiting Drawing Ratio:

An expression of drawability given by the highest drawing ratio attained in a series of tests such as the
Swift Cupping Test.

Lock Bead:
A ridge constructed around a die cavity to completely restrict metal flow into the die.

Any substance interposed between two surfaces in relative motion for the purpose of reducing the friction
and/or wear between them.

Lüder’s Lines or Lüder’s Bands:

The surface strain markings associated with discontinuous yielding that occur as a result of deformation
operations such as press forming. Lüder’s lines or bands are also referred to as stretcher strains.

Lüder’s Strain:
Surface markings, usually of a wedge-shaped pattern, which appear in early stages of plastic elongation
of soft, annealed-last steel or other steels where the interstitial elements carbon and nitrogen have not
been stabilized.

Major Strain:
Largest principal strain in the sheet surface. Often measured from the major axis of the ellipse resulting
from deformation of a circular grid.

Michrohardenss Test:
An indentation test using diamond indentors at very low loads usually in the range of 1 to 1000 grams.

Minimum Bend Radius:

The smallest radius about which a metal can be bent without exhibiting fracture. It is often described in
terms of multiples of sheet thickness.

Minor Strain:
The principal strain in the sheet surface in a direction perpendicular to the major strain. Often measured
from the minor axis of the ellipse resulting from deformation of a circular grid.

Localized thinning that occurs during sheet metal forming prior to fracture. The onset of localized necking
is dependent upon the stress state which is affected by geometrical factors.

Nominal Strain:
The unit elongation given by the change in length divided by the original length. Also called Engineering
Nominal Stress:
The unit force obtained when the applied load is divided by the original cross-sectional area. Also called
Engineering Stress.

"n" Value:
A term commonly referred to as work-hardening exponent derived from the relationship between true
stress σ and true strain ε given by σ = Kεn. Often called work strengthening exponent and in Mechanical
Engineering nomenclature may be called “m”.

Normal Anisotropy:
A condition in which a property or properties in the sheet thickness direction differ in magnitude from the
same property or properties in the plane of the sheet.

Sheet metal section trimmed or removed from the sheet during the production of shaped blanks or the
formed part. Offal is frequently used as stock for the production of small parts.

Olsen Test:
A formability test in which a piece of sheet metal, restrained except at the center, is deformed by a
standard steel ball until fracture occurs. The height of the cup in thousandths of an inch at time of failure
is a measure of the ductility.

Forming a hole in a sheet metal with a pointed punch with no metal slug fallout.

Planar Anisotropy:
A term indicating variation in one or more physical or mechanical properties with direction in the plane of
the sheet. The planar variation in plastic strain ratio is commonly designated as >r, given by:

>r = (ro + r90 – 2r45)/2

The earing tendency of a sheet is related to ∆r. As ∆r increases so the tendency to form ears increases.

Plastic Instability:
The deformation stage during which plastic flow is nonuniform and necking occurs.

Plastic Strain Ratio, (r):

A measure of normal plastic anisotropy is defined by the ratio of the true width strain to the true thickness
strain in a tensile test. The average plastic strain ratio rm is determined from tensile samples taken in at
least three directions from the sheet rolling direction, usually at 0, 45, and 90°. rm is calculated as follows:
rm = (ro + 2r45 + r90)/4

Principal Strain:
The normal strain on any of three mutually perpendicular planes on which no shear strains are present.

Progressive Die:
A die planned to accomplish a sequence of operations as the strip or sheet of material is advanced from
station to station, manually or mechanically.

Progressive Forming:
Sequential metalworking at consecutive stations either with a single die or with separate dies.
Proportional Limit:
The stress above which stress is no longer proportional to strain, i.e., Hooke’s Law ceases to apply (see
Elastic Limit).

The member of a tool that forces the metal into the die during blanking, coining, drawing, embossing,
forging, stretching, or similar operations.

Punch Nose radius:

The shape of the punch end, contacting the material being formed to allow proper material flow or

Quench Aging:
Hardening by precipitation which results after the rapid cooling from solid solution to a temperature below
which the elements of a second phase become supersaturated. Precipitation occurs after the application
of higher temperatures and/or times and causes increases in yield strength, tensile strength, and

“r” Value:
The ratio of true width strain to true thickness strain. Often called Plastic Strain Ratio.

Reverse Redrawing:
An operation after the first drawing operation in which the part is turned inside out by inverting and
redrawing, usually in another die, to a smaller diameter.

Shear Burr:
A raised edge resulting from metal flow induced by blanking, cutting, or punching.

A cutting operation in which the work metal is placed between a stationary lower blade and movable
upper blade and severed by bringing the blades together. Cutting occurs by a combination of metal
penetration and actual fracture of the metal.

The cutting of lengths of sheet material into narrower lengths by means of one or more pairs of circular

Elastic recovery of a portion of the deformation produced during forming. It results in a difference in shape
between the part and the die.

A general term to denote all pressworking. In a more specific sense stamping is used to imprint letters,
numerals, and trademarks in sheet metal, machined parts, forgings, and castings. A tool called a “Stamp”
with the letter or number raised on its surface, is hammered or forced into the metal leaving a depression
on the surface in the form of the letter or number.

Resistance to elastic deformation.

Strain Aging:
A phenomenon that occurs in some materials following plastic deformation. In low-carbon steel sheet,
strain aging results in a return of discontinuous yielding, an increase in yield strength and hardness, and a
decrease in ductility without a substantial change in tensile strength.

Strain Lines:
Surface defects in the form of shallow line type depressions appearing in sheet metals after stretching the
surface a few percent of unit area or length. (See also Lüder’s Lines.)

Strain Rate Sensitivity:

The degree to which mechanical properties are affected by changes in deformation rate.

The ability of a material to withstand an applied force.

Strength Coefficient (K):

A constant related to the tensile strength used in the power law equation σ = Kεn. In Mechanical
engineering nomenclature it is called σo and the power law equation is given σ = σoεn. See also n value.

The ability of a material to undergo stretch-type deformation.

Stretcher Strains:
Strain lines developed by a stretching operation in a sheet metal. See also Lüder’ Strain, Lüder’s Lines,
Strain Lines and Yield Point Elongation.

Stretch Forming:
A process in which a sheet section is formed over a block of the required shape while the blank is held in

A mode of deformation in which a positive strain is generated on the sheet surface by the application of a
tensile stress.

Surface Hardness:
The hardness of that portion of the material very near the surface as measured by micro-hardness or
superficial hardness testers.

Surface Roughness:
The fine irregularities in the surface texture which result from the production process. Considered as
vertical deviations from the nominal or average plane of the surface.

Surface Texture:
Repetitive or random deviations from the nominal surface which form the pattern of the surface. Includes
roughness, waviness, and flaws.

Swift Cup Test:

A test for deep drawability using circular blanks of various diameters which are drawn into a flat or
hemispherical bottomed cup. Drawability is assessed by the Limiting Drawing Ratio.

Failure and localized separation of a sheet metal.

Tensile Ratio:
The ratio of the tensile strength to yield strength. It is the inverse of the yield ratio.
Tensile Strength or Ultimate Tensile Strength:
The strength calculated at the maximum load, in a tensile test, by dividing the maximum load by the
original cross-sectional area.

Total Elongation (et):

A parameter measured in a tensile test used as a measure of ductility defined by:

Final gage length – original gage length

x 100
original gage length

Work Hardening:
An increase in hardness and strength caused by plastic deformation at temperatures lower than the
recrystallization temperature. Sometimes referred to as strain hardening.

Work Hardening Exponent (n):

The exponent in the relationship σ = K ε n where σ is the true stress and ε is the true strain and K is the
constant commonly called the Strength Coefficient. In some Mechanical Engineering nomenclature the
strain hardening exponent is defined from Myers equation where L = Adn L is the applied load in an
indentation test and d is the diameter of the indentation.

Yield Point Elongation:

The extension associated with discontinuous yielding which occurs at approximately constant load
following the onset of plastic flow. It is associated with the propagation of Lüder’s lines or bands.

Yield Stress:
A stress at which a steel exhibits the first measurable permanent plastic deformation.

Yield Ratio:
The ratio of the yield strength to the tensile strength. It is the inverse of the tensile ratio.

Young’s Modulus or Elastic Modulus:

A measure of the rigidity of a metal. It is the ratio of stress, within the proportional limit, to corresponding
strain. Young’s Modulus specifically is the modulus obtained in tension or compression.