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METALS AND MATERIALS, Vol. 4, No. 4 U998), pp.


Applications of Simulation Techniques to Sheet Metal Forming Processes

Soo-Ik Oh, Jong-Kil Lee*, Jeong-Jin Kang** and Joo-Pyo Hong**

Department of Mechanical Design and Production Engineering, Seoul National University

San 56-1 Shinrim-dong, Kwanak-ku, Seoul 151-742, Korea
*Kia R&D Center, Kia Motors Corporation
781-1 Soha-dong, Kwangmyung-shi, Kyungki 423-701, Korea
**Graduate School, Seoul National University
San 56-1 Shinrim-dong, Kwanak-ku, Seoul 151-742, Korea

Sheet metal forming is one of the most widely used processes in manufacturing. Traditional die design prac-
tice based on trial and error method is time consuming and expensive. For this reason, the simulation tech-
nique based on Finite Element Method (FEM) becomes more popular to develop and optimize die design.
Two FE codes for the analysis of the sheet metal forming processes are presented in this paper. The one is
a two dimensional implicit code named KSHELL, and the other is a three dimensional explicit code, ES-
FORM. Draw bending, tube inversion and spring back processes were simulated by KSHELL. Three point
bending, automot:ive panel stamping and square cup drawing with Tailor Welded Blanks (TWB) were simu-
lated by ESFORM. The simulation results arc discussed by comparing with experimental measurements.
Key words : sheet metal forming, finite element method (FEM), tailor welded blanks (TWB)

1. INTRODUCTION [5-8]. The success of implicit sheet forming codes in-

debted to the developments of efficient shell elements
Sheet metal forming is one of the most widely used by various researchers, such as, to name a few, Hughes,
processes in manufacturing. Without properly designed Liu, Belytschko, and Zacharia [9--12].
die or process parameters, the final products are sub- In order to predict the final dimensions of sheel form-
jected to various types of defects, such as tearing, wrin- ed products accurately, it is essential to consider spring
kles and dimensional inaccuracies. Traditional die design back. It is known that explicit formulation is not suitable
practice based on trial and error method is expensive for spring back predictions due to unreasonably high
and time consuming. For this reason, simulation tech- computational efforts [13]. Therefore, it is customary to
nique based on Finite Element Method (FEM) becomes simulate three dimensional sheet forming operations by
more popular to optimize die design. explicit method and spring back predictions by implicit
There are two types of the time integration method method.
used in FEM. One is implicit method and the other is ex- Many of the new technologies have appeared in sheet
plicit method. The implicit method has been used by metal forming. The forming of' tailor welded blanks,
many researchers since the early stages of the study [1- among them, becomes more popular in the automotive
4]. It is known that the implicit method is more accurate industries. A Tailor Welded Blank (TWB) sheet is com-
and economical for two dimensional quasi-static prob- posed of two or more sheets that have been welded to-
lems where contact formulation is relatively simple and gether in a single plane prior to forming [14]. The sheets,
the required computation time is not so large. For three that are being welded, can be identical, or can have dif-
dimensional sheet forming simulations, explicit method ferent thicknesses, mechanical properties, or surface coat-
is more popular due to ills simpler interface formulation ings. They can be joined by wirious welding processes
and manageable computation time. Many FE codes, such as laser welding or mash seam welding. The con-
such as PAM-STAMP and LS-DYNA, based on the cepts of sheet metal forming using TWB are currently
explicit time integration method have been developed prevailing in the automotive industries worldwide [15,
and used in three dimensional sheet fi)rming simulations 16]. The usage of TWB is activated in the Korean au-
584 Soo-lk Oh et aL

tomotive companies and is expected to become popular "I'he geometry of a shell element can be described by
[17]. Now the challenges in forming of TWB include the summation of the two vectors as shown in Fig. 1.
how to predict and evaluate the performance of TWB in
X(~, /7, ~)= xm(~, T/)"I-~(Oxfib(~, 7) (2)
forming and how to achieve the maximum tbrmability
performance [18]. where x denotes the position vector of a generic point of
In the present paper, two elastic-plastic finite element the shell; x m is the position vector of a corresponding
codes to analyze the sheet metal forming processes are point on the reference surface; x f~b is a unit vector
presented. One is two dimensional implicit code, emanating from the same point in the fiber direction; ~"
KSHELL, and the other is three dimensional explicit (Q is defined as (~/2)h in which h is the thickness of the
code, ESFORM. Plane strain draw bending, three point shell. For ~ fixed, the surface defined by Eq. 2 is called
bending with spring back and tube inversion processes a lamina. And for ~, r/fixed, the line defined by Eq. 2 is
are simulated by using K S H E L L Forming behavior of called fiber. The fibers are not generally perpendicular
three point bending, square cup drawing of TWB and au- to the laminae.
tomotive panel stamping processes are studied by using The velocity field of a shell element can be described
ESFORM. with the assumption of Mindlin-Reissner theory and iso-
parametric hypothesis as
v = vm + ( v f i h (3)

In this paper, we review the formulations used in the Recently, further improvements over Belytschko's if)r-
two sheet forming programs, KSHELL and ESFORM, mulation has been proposed by Belytschko et al. [21,22]
briefly. and Zhu et al. [12]. These formulations are currently im-
In order to analyze a large deformation problem tak- plemented in ESFORM and it is being tested.
ing into account the geometrical nonlinearity, the up- The constitutive equations used in KSHELL and ES-
dated Lagrangian formulation was used. The variational FORM are the rate type. In order to maintain the ob-
form of the equations of motion, which is derived from jectivity, co-rotational coordinate system was used. The
the equilibrium equation by using the divergence stress rate, ~j is expressed by
theorem, is expressed as follows.
ai j = C u~l "~i - C #kt( Skl
_ E " " t'
; 6 J GdV + f3vZpvdV - ~ r t d S =t) (1)
V V St

where ~"is strain rate tensor; cr is Cauchy stress tensor; v

is velocity vector; p is material density; t is external sur- and ~E is the elastic strain rate; ~P is the plastic strain
face traction vector per unit surface area; V is volume; S, rate. The plastic strain rate was determined by the as-
is a surface on which external tractions are applied. In sociated flow rule. The anisotropic yield fimctions used
Eq. 1, the terms imply internal virtual work rate, inertia
virtual work rate, and external virtual work rate, respec-
tively. Body forces were neglected. In the two-di-
mensional implicit code, KSHELL, the term of inertia
virtual work rate was not taken into account.
Degenerated shell element with bilinear shape func-
tion is widely used in sheet metal fi~rming simulation be-
cause of its effectiveness and simplicity of formulation.
It was derived from three dimensional solid element for
the first time by Ahmad et al. [19] and it was applied to
nonlinear problem by Hughes et al. [9]. It was sim-
plified with the assumption of no warping and using
corotational formulation, and implemented to explicit fin-
ite element method by Belytschko et al. 120]. The for-
mulation by Belytschko's was used in ESFORM and
that by Hughes' in KSHELL. Fig. 1. Geometry of shell element.
Applications of Simulation Techniques to Sheet Metal Forming Proccs:ges 585

in the formulations are the ones by Hill and Barlat [23, tively. Coulomb friction law is assumed with friction
24]. coefficient of 0.144. Two cases of simulations were per-
In KSHELL, interface contact between two different formed with two different blank holding forces, 2.54 kN
objects is treated by applying the kinematic constraints and 19.6 kN at each side blank holder.
and it is implemented in the stiffness matrix. In three di- Solutions were obtained by using different integration
mensional applications using ESFORM, penalty method strategies in thickness direction. Fig. 3 shows predicted
was used to calculate the contact force vector. In contact thickness distributions with two different integration
searching procedure, the POsition Code Algorithm schemes. One is two-point Gauss quadrature and the oth-
(POCA) [25] is used as a trivial-rejection scheme. The er is 7-point trapezoidal rule. Prediction shows that the
spatial domain is divided into subdomains which are two-point Gauss quadrature predicts stiff behavior in
given unique position codes. Every node is given the po- bending and unbending process, which result in overly
sition code of the subdomain which it belongs to, and thinning in the vertical wall. This result suggests that
contact search is conducted only between the nodes of higher order integration is needed to accommodate the
the same position code to reduce the global searching non-linear stress distribution in thickness direction.
time. Spring back was calculated based on the simulation
results. Fig. 4 shows the predicted spring back together
3. A P P L I C A T I O N S

3.1. Plane strain draw bending

In plane strain draw bending operation, workpiece un-
dergoes complicated deformation modes, such as bend-
ing, unbending, and stretching processes. Due to the
complex deformation modes, the prediction of spring
back needs more caution to achieve the desired accuracy.
The two dimensional draw bending process was selected
as a benchmark problem in NUMISHEET '93 [26]. The
spring back prediction of the same process is presented
Fig. 2 shows the draw bending process schematically.
The dimensions of the blank sheet are 35(I ram, 35 ram,
and 0.78 mm in length, width, and thickness, respec-
tively. The width of the sheet is large compared to its
thickness, and the process may be assumed to be a plane
strain deformation. The material of the sheet is mild Fig. 3. Predicted thickness strain distribution of draw
steel and its stress-strain curve can be represented by bending part.
565(0.007t17+eP) '':~s'' in MPa. The Young's modulus
and the Poisson's ratio are 206 GPa and 0.3, respec-

Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of two dimensional draw

bending. Fig. 4. Predicted spring back of draw bending part.
586 Soo-lk Oh et al.

simulation results vary over considerable range. It is also

noted that experimental measurements by various in-
vestigators show similar scattering. It seems that more
study has to be done on spring back predictions.

3.2. Tube inversion

Tube inversion process was simulated by the two di-
mensional implicit code, KSHELL In tube inversion pro-
cess, bending, unbending and expansion in circum-
ferential direction take place simultaneously. The im-
portant process parameters arc', the inner radius, tube
thickness and die comer radius. Tube inversion can be
done in two ways, one is inside-out inversion and the
other is outside-in inversion depending upon the guide
Fig. 5. Definition of spring back of draw bending pro-
at die comer. Improper design ,of this process can cause
buckling and tearing during the process.
In tube inversion process, bending radius is usually
with the other predictions published in NUMISHEET very sharp compared to tube thickness and bending and
'93. The definition of the spring back angles, 01 and 4, expansion occur simultaneously. Such complex deforma-
are given in Fig. 5. It can be seen from Fig. 4 that the tion mode causes difficulties in simulation.

Fig. 6. Predicted deformations of tube inversion at punch displacement of (a) 0.00 inch, (b) 0.24 inch, (c) 0.47 inch,
(d) 0.94 inch, (e) 1.42 inches and (t) 1.89 inches.
Applications of Sbnulation Techniques to Sheet Metal Forming Processes 587

Fig. 7. Experimentally measured cross section of in-

verted tube wall [27].

A1-Hassani et al. [27] examined the characteristics of

the tube inversion process experimentally. In this study,
inside-out tube inversion process from AI-Hassani was
simulated and the simulation results are compared to AI-
Hassanfs experimental results.
The simulation was performed under axisymmetric
condition. The inner diameter of the tube and thickness
are 49.2 mm and 1.6 mm, respectively. The die corner Fig. 8. Schematic diagram of three point bending test.
radius is 4.0 ram. The material of the tube was alu-
minum and the flow stress equation is given by
also seen that the accuracy of the strain solution does
~ = 220.64 x (0.123+gP) ~13~ MPa (6)
not improve with increasing integration order. This is be-
The Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio are 96 GPa cause that the magnitude of the bending strain is almost
and 0.3, respectively. Coulomb's friction law was used linear along the thickness.
and the friction coefficient between the die and the tube Fig. 10 shows the predicted and measured bending
is 0.1. Fig. 6 shows the deformed geometries at different load as a function of punch displacement. It is seen from
punch displacements predicted by the simulation and Fig. the figure that three-point Gauss integration predicts low-
7 shows the deformed geometry measured by ex- er bending load compared to the measured one. As in-
periment [27]. tegration order increases, predicted bending load ap-
proaches to the measured value.
3.3. Three point bending The stress is usually a non-integer exponent function
It is well known that the accuracy of a bending dom- of the strain. So higher order integration is needed to get
inant solution depends strongly on the number of in- accurate solution. Fig. 11 shows the predicted and
tegration points in through-thickness direction. To es- measured effective stress distributions along the thick-
timate the dependency of the solution on integration ord-
er, we simulated three point bending problem by using
ESFORM. Schematic diagram of the three point bending
process is given in Fig:. 8. This geometry is identical to
that used by Cho et al. [128]. Three cases of the simu-
lation were done with 3, 5 and 7 points Gauss in-
tegration. The FE mesh of the workpiece consists of 700
quadrilateral 4 node shell elements. The :flow stress of
the sheet is given by
= 879.5(0.00111 +~-p)0.2 MPa (7)
and the Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio are 87
GPa and 0.33, respectively.
Fig. 9 shows the measured and predicted bending
strain distribution through the thickness at the 5.5 mm
off from the punch tip at the punch displacement of 35.0 Fig. 9. Bending strain distribution through the thickness
mm. It can be seen from Fig. 9 that the predicted strains in three point bending at 5.5 mm off from punch tip
are in excellent agreement with the measurement, lit is when punch displacement of 35.0 mm.
588 Soo-lk Oh et aL

Fig. 12. Spring back angle.

The comparison shows that the predicted values are in

excellent agreements with the measured ones.

Fig. 11. Effective stress distribution in three point bend- 3,4. Square cup drawing with TWB
ing at 5.5 mm off from punch tip when punch dis- Square cup drawing process is investigated to study
placement of 35.0 mm. the weld line movement in TWB forming. Square cup
drawing process is shown schematically in Fig. 13. The
dimensions of the tools are the same as those used in
ness. It can be seen that the three-point Gauss in- MUMISHEET '93. Sheets of the same material but with
tegration results in very poor solution. On the other different thicknesses, 0.7 and 1.4 mm, were welded to-
hand 7-point integration gives excellent result compared gether to make initial blank. The initial blank of 150
to the measured effective stress distribution. mm square was prepared by cutting the welded blank
The simulation results suggest that we need the 7-
point integration for the simulations ol! bending dom-
inant processes. It is noted, however, that higher order in-
tegration results in large amount of computation time.
It has been shown that spring back analysis by ex-
plicit method may be possible but it is not practical due
to large computation time [13]. Therefore it is customary
to carry out loading analysis by explicit method and
then spring back analysis by implicit method. In order to
study spring back behavior, plastic loading and elastic
unloading were simulated by KSHELL. Also the predict-
ed spring back angle at various punch displacements are
compared to those measured by experiments in Fig. 12. Fig. 13. Schematic diagram of square cup drawing.
Applications of Simulation Techniques to Sheet Metal Forming Processes 589

Table 1. Simulation conditions for TWB square cup

Weld line BHF BHF BHF
location (kN) type ratio
Case I center 19.2 uniform 5:5
Case II center 19.2 non-uniform 4:6
10 mm off
from center
Case III 19.2 uniform 5:5
toward thick-
er sheet

with weld line located vertically at the center and at 10

mm off from the center line toward the thicker sheet. In
order to study the possibility of controlling the weld line
movements, blank holding force is applied by four dif-
ferent hydraulic cylinders. The pressure of the hydraulic
cylinder can be controlled independently. The total blank
holding force is 19 kN. The three different simulation
conditions are summarized in terms of weld line lo-
cations, and blank holding force distributions in Table 1.
The Coulomb friction law is assumed and friction
coefficient of 0.144 is used in simulations. Tensile tests
show that the flow behavior of base sheet and welded
portion is considerably different. However, numerical
tests show that material properties of welded portion can
be neglected in the simulation. The thickness difference
of the welded sheet was accounted by using the node
constraint method as shown in Fig. 14. As it can be seen
from Fig. 14, the nodes along the weld line are con-
straint in such a way that they can transmit the in-plane
force and moment across the weld line.
Figs. 15 and 16 show the predicted and measured de-

Fig. 15. TWB square cup forming with weld line lo-
cated vertically at center (case I). (a) experiment, and (b)

formed shapes for cases I and II1 at the punch dis-

placement of 40 mm. The predicted thickness dis-
tributions are also shown in Figs. 15 and 16. It appears
that the predictions are in good agreements with ex-
periments. The predicted and measured weld line move-
ments are summarized in Table ;2. Here again, the pred-
ictions are in excellent agreements. It may be men-
tioned that small crack appeared parallel to weld line in
Fig. 14 Weld part modeling with nodal constraint. case HI.
590 Soo-lk Oh et al.

Fig. 16. TWB cup with weld line located 10 mm off

from the center toward thicker sheet (case Ill). (a)
experiment, and (b) simulation.

Table 2. Maximum weld line displacement after form-

ing (mm)
Experiment Sire ulation
Case I 3 4
Case II 2 3
Case III 8.5 9

Fig. 17. Forming simulation of automotive front fender.

3.5. Automotive front fender (a) thickness strain distribution and shape at 1.0 mm up
The forming of the automotive front tender that was from the bottom, (b) dangerous region, and (c) FLD at
used as a benchmark problem in NUMISHEET '93 was region A.
Applications of Simulation Techniques to Sheet Metal Forming Processes 591

simulated by ESFORM. All the input data used for the ports are gratefully acknowledged.
simulation, such as material properties, the geometries of
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