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By: Matthew Cloutier
ME 353 Instructor: Jesse Adams Due Date: 10/8/00
Deep drawing. rubber forming. There are other considerations a designer must decide on besides fabrication process when creating a new part or assembly. Cosmetic appearance. select the material that meets these requirements. Figure 1. and assembly are just some of the factors to be taken into account when a new design is being developed. Material Properties 2 . stamping. and high-energy-rate (HERF) forming are all different methods used for creating desired shapes out of a sheet metal. and select the best fabrication process for the job. hydroforming. Engineering stress versus strain diagram II. It is the responsibility of design engineer to determine the mechanical properties of the material.I. cost. There are many types of sheet metal fabrication for engineers to choose from. manufacturing method. Sheet metal is used to make everything from hinges to automobiles. engineering. Introduction Sheet metal fabrication plays an important role in the manufacturing world.
The most common measure of strength is the yield strength. Thermal conductivity is the rate of heat transfer through a material in a steady state. The ultimate tensile strength is calculated by dividing the maximum load on the material by the initial cross section area. Yield strength is equal to the minimum load which produces permanent deformation (see Figure 1). 3 .5 square inches σ ultimate = 267 psi Ductility is a measure of how much deformation a material can withstand before breaking. ductility. material class and mode of loading are important considerations. all these factors are weighed against the properties of the available materials and it is the job of the design engineer to select the material that best fits the application. three inches wide by half inch thick is subjected to a maximum load of four hundred pounds. This is typically reported as % EI or percent elongation. but reliable data is readily available for most common materials. The most common measure of ductility is the percentage of change in the length after the material has broken. Several factors have to be considered when selecting a material such as. ultimate tensile strength. thermal conductivity. What is the ultimate tensile strength of the beam? Solution: Pmax = 400 lbs. and corrosion resistance.0*0.5 square inches σ ultimate = 400 lbs/1. engineers have to determine the mechanical properties of the material. When designing. Ao = (3. It is not easily measured.5) Ao = 1. σ ultimate = Pmax / Ao σ ultimate – maximum tensile strength Pmax – Maximum force (load) Ao – Original cross sectional area Example: A rectangular beam. Designing for strength. yield strength.Before the material is selected for a design project. wear.
187 inches to 18. Typically sheet metal can be purchased as sheet.Wear and corrosion resistance are properties that must be determined when evaluating the environment and performance of the design. If coil is ordered the coil diameter (ranging from 36.0187 inches to 12. Mirror or polished finishes are used for cosmetic applications.179 inches (7 GA. All of these factors must be considered when selecting and ordering sheet metal from a vendor. Plate stock is a flat rectangular sheet of metal with a thickness between . or numerical control punch and press break. 4 . Sheet stock is a flat rectangular sheet of metal measured in thickness between . mechanical presses.0 inch.0 inches) or total weight (lbs) is required.0187 inches (28 GA. no single material property can describe compatibility between all possible materials. Coil is generally cut to a width between . an application exposed to water requires some form of protection. Material Selection After all engineering parameters have been calculated and established. the next decision that needs to be made is the fabrication process.0 inches in thickness. flat objects with holes and bends are typically formed by hydraulic. plate.0 inches to 72.). the next step is to select the type and size of sheet metal.312 inches to 3. Another type of surface finish is mirror or polished.) and . How is the part going to be made? The shape and the size of the end product will determine how it will be fabricated. IV. III. or coil stock ranging from . Galvanized finish is a corrosion inhibiter used for an application exposed to water. Deep Drawing Fabrication Once the material selection has been established. Objects that have depth to them such as cylinders. Coil stock is made from sheet metal slit or cut to a certain width then rolled up into a coil. Different surface finishes or protective coatings may be required for different applications. For example.0 inches. For example. When ordering coil or sheet stock it is usually ordered by gauge thickness (GA) and width. While proper material selection is crucial to ensuring compatibility between components in a design.
and high-energy rate forming (HERF). hydrofroming.pans. A mechanical press uses a crankshaft and a ram (piston) to create the force required to draw the part. or domes typically are fabricated with a deep draw forming method. Figure 2. The process is accomplished with the use of a hydraulic or mechanical press. The material is formed to produce a desired shape. Hydraulic presses are preferred because of the better control of the rate of punch travel. The press operator manually controls the action of the punch by varying the flow of hydraulic fluid through a flow control valve to the piston controlling the punch. and lower tooling cost. This is done with the use of foot pedals or hand levers on the press. Various shapes produced by deep draw forming Deep Drawing of sheet metal is used to form containers or objects with depth (see Figure 2). which is accomplished by straining it beyond the yield point so that it will take a permanent set and retain the new shape. These techniques are used to give greater depth of draw. These usually consist of rubber forming. The process of deep drawing begins with a flat sheet metal blank held on the upper surface of 5 . Other methods that may be used for sheet metal forming are considered special forming process. A hydraulic press uses incompressible fluid and a piston to create the force required to draw the part. more complex shapes.
In some cases.) Part is complete and removed from the press. 6 . This process requires a double action force.the die (see Figure 3). D. (B) Punch and knock out meet to begin forming process. (D. all holes or cutouts are punched prior to forming (see Figure 4). Sheet metal blank A. The center portion of the sheet is pressed into the die opening to draw the metal into the desired shape without folding or collapsing the corners. The tooling required to produce the part consists of a male punch and a female die. A sheet metal blank is a flat piece of sheet metal used to form the finished product. C. The die and the punch have sufficient radii or relief to allow for the metal to be formed without tearing the material. B. Clearance between these parts is closely controlled to minimize movement of the part therefore preventing the sidewalls from wrinkling. Typically. the cup shape is ejected through the bottom opening of the die. the part has a solid bottom to form a container and a retaining flange that is trimmed later in the processing. Deep draw fabrication process (A) Sheet metal blank set in the press. Figure 3. In most deep-drawing operations. One force holds the sheet metal blank in position and another force punches or draws the material into the desired shape. (C) Part is being formed to desired shape.
percent elongation. and plastic deformation are also important for the process. This requires a minimum amount of inclusions or impurities in the material. Material quality is important to prevent failure or defects during production. The first parameter is the drawing force. Solution: Fd = π*(100 mm)*(2 mm)*(320 Mpa)*[(200 mm/100 mm)-0. Properties such as dimensional constraints and modulus of elasticity must be considered so that the part will maintain the desired shape after forming is complete.7] Fd = 261 kN The second parameter is expressed in terms of the limiting drawing ratio (LDR).7] Fd – Drawing force Dp – Diameter of the punch h – Material thickness of blank TS – Tensile strength do – Diameter of the blank Example 1: Estimate the press force for a low-carbon steel blank of 200 mm diameter and 2 mm thickness that is to be drawn into a cylindrical cup of 100 mm internal diameter. For example. These are all key properties that need to be considered when using the deep-drawing fabrication process. LDR = do / Dp do – Diameter of the blank Dp – Diameter of the punch 7 .There are certain properties that are considered to be important in sheet metal products designed for deep drawing. the force required to draw a cup shaped object (refer to Figure 3) can be approximated with the following equation: Fd = π*Dp*h*(TS)*[(do/Dp)-0. Mechanical properties such as yield strength. LDR is the ratio of the diameter of the largest blank that can be successfully drawn to the diameter of the punch without failure. ductility. This is the force required to form the desired shape. TS from chart is 320 Mpa. The ability to draw a material is based on two important parameters.
The blank was checked against the blueprints and inspected prior to the next phase in the fabrication process. Next. hydroforming. Because of the complex shape of the part. the part is set in the hydraulic press ready to be formed. and electromagnetic forming are alternative sheet metal fabrication processes. The following figures were taken while touring the facilities of Southwest Fabricators.0 V. The urethane forces the sheet metal to form around the aluminum punch which creates the flanges on the part. the operator had to come back and rework the front radius with a smaller 8 . Rubber – Pad Forming There are other alternatives to forming complex shapes besides deep drawing. The form block height is usually less than four inches. This method only requires one solid tool half.Example 2: Estimate the limiting draw ratio for a low-carbon steel blank of 200 mm diameter and 2 mm thickness that is to be drawn into a cylindrical cup of 100 mm internal diameter. Figure 4 is a picture of the pre-punched flat pattern for a button panel prior to forming. The rubber-pad is used to distribute equal pressure on all workpiece surfaces as it is pressed around the form block. Rubber-pad forming is designed for the use of fabricating parts with relatively complex shapes and configurations. Although it is difficult to see in the picture. Rubber-pad forming. Figure 6 shows that rubber removed and the front and side flanges formed. Solution: LDR = 200mm / 100mm LDR = 2. The blank was punched using a numerical controlled punch press and shear. The rubber forming process was used to prototype a button panel used on a slot machine. The operator places two pieces of rubber (urethane) between the part and the die. After the operator applies the required force.040" thick piece of sheet metal. explosive forming. the punch is backed away from the part and the rubber pads are removed. Two pieces of rubber are used to create the required force distribution to form the part (see Figure 5). which is usually the punch. also know as flexibledie forming. uses a rubber diaphragm as one tool half. TS from chart is 320 Mpa. The part is a semi-flat blank . Rubber-pad forming.
Figure 8 shows the finished part (left) after the forming process and the sheet metal blank (right) prior to the forming process. Form block Urethane rubber form pads Platen – Bottom surface of hydraulic press 9 Bolster – Top surface of hydraulic press . Semi-flat blank punched and ready to be formed Sheet metal blank Cutout Figure 5. the part was inspected for surface defects from the forming process and dimensional requirements. This was done until the finished part met the required dimensions specified by the drawing. Figure 4. Tooling and blank installed the hydraulic press.piece of urethane. This was done to finish the front radius of the button panel (see Figure 7). Once the forming process was complete.
Urethane pad Figure 8. Initial forming of part completed and rubber pad removed. Initial sheet metal blank and finished part 10 .Figure 6. Formed part in the press Figure 7. Operator is using urethane rubber pad to finish the front radius and complete the final form.
One disadvantage is the pad or diaphragm has a limited life cycle. thickness. which make this process suitable mostly for prototyping and low-volume production runs. A single rubber pad can take the shape of many different die shapes. This depends on the severity of the forming combined with the pressure level. 11 . Another advantage is that tooling cost is reduced due to single the form block. The rubber pad has the ability to return to its original shape and can be used over and over again. This may cause added steps to rework the product to its correct shape and dimensioning. Another disadvantage is that production is relatively slow. Lack of sufficient forming pressure results in parts with less sharpness or with wrinkles. These advantages can greatly expedite prototypes and initial production cost which allows the product to reach the market faster. A forth advantage is that set up time is considerably shorter as there are no die clearance or alignment checks that need to be made.Finished part (after forming) Flat blank (prior to forming) One advantage of the rubber-pad forming process compared to conventional processes is that only part of the tooling has to be solid to form a part. Parts made with different metals. Although the process has several advantages. and special surface finishes can be formed with the same tooling and without damage to the finish. there are some disadvantages as well.
An example of this is shown in Figure 11. the blankholder removes the part from the form and the part is complete. Fluid Forming Fluid forming otherwise known as hydroforming incorporates a fluid filled rubber diaphragm (see Figure 9 and 10). the pressure in the chamber increases. Hydraulic pressure is applied through a pump in the hydraulic supply line. Once a certain pressure has been reached. Hydraulic presses are used because the pressure and speed of operation can be varied and controlled. The blank to be formed is placed on the blankholder. At the end of the stroke. 12 . The pressure dome is filled with hydraulic fluid and covered by a rubber diaphragm lowered over the blank. Shows a cylinder filled with hydraulic fluid Compressed against a rubber diaphragm.Rubber-pad forming is typically done with a hydraulic press just like deep drawing. Figure 10. The punch is raised and pushed into the bottom surface of the blank. Figure 9. a pressure relief valve opens causing the punch to retract. The pressure in the chamber can reach as high as 103 MPa (15ksi). Shows a pressure dome filled with an incompressible liquid between the diaphragm and the ram. As the form in the blank rises into the hydraulic chamber. VI.
Explosives such as. pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). D.Figure 11. A. (b) Punch and rubber diaphragm contact. (c) Part begins to take shape of punch. (d) Part formed and released from punch. (c) workpiece deformed. Explosive Forming Another method of forming sheet metal is called explosive forming. (b) detonation occurs producing pressure pulse and bubble. VII. Sequence of underwater explosive forming operations: (a) explosive charge is set in position. An explosive charge is used to replace the punch or diaphragm typically used in forming sheet metal. The type of explosive used depends on the thickness and yield strength of the material to be formed. trinitrotoluene (TNT) are commonly used as the explosive charge. and (d) gas bubble vents at the surface of the water. cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX). 13 . B. Figure 12. C. Fabrication process – Hydroforming (a) Blank set in press ready to be formed.
The contact method uses an explosive charge directly in contact with the workpiece while detonation occurs. When an electrical current is rapidly introduced through a conductor (wire). One disadvantage of this process is that the energy wave produced by the explosion travels through the material. water is used as a way to ensure the even transfer of energy to the workpiece and to reduce noise caused by the explosion. In this process. When the pressure wave (fluid force) expands against the workpiece. strength of material being formed. and an explosive charge. and sheet metal. This process is highly dangerous and difficult to engineer. and even possible fracture. electrical energy is converted to mechanical energy with the use of a magnetic field. Generally. The sudden introduction of a magnetic field creates eddy currents that 14 .There are two methods used when forming with explosives. Parts have also been successfully formed using dies made of fiberglass or cast epoxies. The detonation can produce extremely high pressures on the surface up to several million psi. causing the metal to be displaced. and tolerances needed in the final part. Electromagnetic Forming Electromagnetic forming has only been around since the 1960s. Dies are typically made from plastics. Resources such as Tool and Manufacturing Engineers Handbook and Die Design Handbook are available to help in the design process. concrete. The standoff method of explosive forming has the charge located some distance from the workpiece (see Figure 12). The equipment required for explosive forming consists of either a male or female die. but it is the most common method of high-energy rate forming (HERF). VIII. Tooling materials are determined by several factors including part quality. the standoff method and the contact method. the metal is compressed against the form die causing the desired shape to be formed. Most of the final products produced by this fabrication process have been by trial and error. deformed. a magnetic field is created around the wire.
The repelling force is then used as a means of forming sheet metal into different shapes. The advantage of electromagnetic forming is that the magnitude of the fields can be controlled with extreme accuracy. Schematic Diagram for electromagnetic forming Figure 14. The process has a high repetition rate with exact consistency. These coils are capable of withstanding up to 60. This is the process used to create the first magnetic field.000 psi respectively (see Figure 15). and a compression coil.000 psi and 15. When the capacitor is charged by the power supply. the second switch is closed causing the capacitor to discharge and send a sudden surge of current through the conductor. The two types of coils used in this process are called compression and expansion coils. A magnetic field between the conductor and part produces magnetic pressure that deforms the part to the desired shape. Forming dies are relatively inexpensive and most applications only require a single die because the magnetic force replaces the punch portion of a die. The magnetic field creates eddy currents in the nearby conductor which creates an opposing magnetic field as well. two magnetic fields. Figure 13. 15 . The eddy currents develop their own magnetic field and cause a repelling force. Figure 13 is a schematic showing an electrical circuit. The part to be formed is then placed between the two magnetic fields where it will be forced to take shape due to the repulsive force from the two opposing magnetic fields (see Figure 14).flow in opposite direction in any conductor nearby.
and (c) flat coil The tooling quality is extremely important for this process. Only one side of the tooling is used to fabricate parts.Electrical Conductor Magnetic Field Formed Part Figure 15. induced current can create electrical arcing between the die halves. When a die is made up of metal. which causes tooling marks to show up on one side of the part. Three basic electromagnetic forming coils: (a) compression coil. 16 . (b) expansion coil. Using dies made from nonconductive and impact-resistant plastics can eliminate electrical arcing.
rubber-pad forming. and cost are just some of the items that have to be determined. Design engineers have many types of sheet metal fabrication to choose from. Many factors such as material strength. Deep drawing. hydroforming and high-energy-rate forming are all different methods used for creating desired shapes from sheet metal. It is used to make everything from kitchen appliances to aircraft. It's impossible to memorize every characteristic of all the materials and fabrication processes. but a good engineer will continue to research new fabrication techniques and know how to find the key information to complete the job on time and on budget.VIIII. Conclusion Sheet metal fabrication is extremely common is today’s industry. stamping. 17 . product environment.
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