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METALS AND MATERIALS, Vol. 4, No. 4 (1998), pp.


Application of Computer Aided Upper Bound Method in Forging and Extrusion Processes
G a r y Liu* and S. M. Mahdavian *Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology P.O. Box 71, Bundoora Victoria 3083, Australia This paper presents the development of a Computer Aided Upper Bound software tk~r the plain-strain upset forging, and closed impression die processes. The upper bound method is applied by providing the number of plastic sections (triangles), friction conditions of the tool surfaces, and geometry parameters as inputs to a predefined tool and workpiece configuration. The program calculates the forming pressure and provides the upper bound metal flow field and hodograph as outputs. The forming pressure is calculated by an upper bounding algorithm which can be improved by increasing the number of plastic sections. The differences in tool and workpiece surface fiiction coefficients and variation of die angles can be considered in order to optimize the forming process. Key words : forging, computer aided fi~rging, upper-.bound, plasticity, processes, hodograph, upsetting~ metal forming

I. I N T R O D U C T I O N
The calculation of forming load to initiate plastic flow in most of metal forming operations is often an approximate one. Among different analyses, the lower bound and upper bound method are the most common methods used to estimate forming loads in processes such as forging, extrusion, and piercing. The lower bound method is limited to the deformation rate and its estimate is below the actual value of the forming load. The upper bound that was developed by Johnson [1] is an over estimate of the forming load and is preferable to the lower bound in most cases. Using the upper bound at least it assures a sufficient load to pertorm the operation. Aside from ensuring a sufficient load it enables engineers to select suitable equipment for an operation and allow them to compare various die designs promptly. According to the upper bound theorem, the true rate of work done s not larger than the internal rate ol' energy dissipation and it can be derived from any admissible velocity field. An admissible velocity field is one in which the velocity boundary, conditions are satisfied along with the externally applied velocities. Avitzur [2] ascertained the upper bound loads for plane-strain compression with extensive analysis. His approaches were ba~d on dividing the rectangular workpiece into triangular upper bound tlow field from which velocities were established. Hosford and

Caddell [3] have solved specific problems of plane-strain compression. In fact, a general minimum upper bound SOil,lion was obtained with an odd number of triangles lbr the metal flow filed from Avitzur [12] analysis. The previous works [4-7] show to find a minimum upper bound solulion for a process, which requires extensive analysis and selection of the appropriate metal flow and velocity fields, l h e developments of any metal flow fields by conventional methods are cumbersome and time consuming. This paper aims to develop a computer algorithm written in BASIC to provide a metal flow and velocity fields t~:~r the particular forming process to calculate the forming load by lhe upper bound method. The upper bound field for the workpiece with its corresponding velocity diagram (hodograph) is dis.played graphically by a personal computer. The proximity of the deformation can be divided to any number of zones until to obtain the optimum number of zones without significant changes in the deformation-forming load. The friction conditions can be selected by introducing either equal or different friction coefficients at the interfaces of workpiece and forming tool.





Two forming processes are considered fi:~r applying the computer aided upper bound, these cases are:

Application of Computer Aided Upper Bound Method in Forging and Extrusion Processes


1. Plain strain compression 2. closed die forging The computer algorithm is based on implementation of the conventional upper bound methods to these processes. The upper bound fields for these processes are built initially with certain assumptions and inputs. The velocity diagram is then built for the related field independently. Both the upper bound metal flow field and the hodograph are displayed graphically once the algorithm was applied. The forming load is then computed for the displayed flow and velocity fields.

Fig. 2. (a) Unequal upper bound flow field fi~r N=5, (b) Hodograph. program. This is shown in Fig. 2. The triangle bases for AB and BC were inputted 1/6 of the workpiece width (1/ 6 W) while the central triangle base is 1/3 W. The value of P/2K=].3 was computed for this option. Various conditions of forging or metal flow field can be examined by running this program for different parameters. Any changes in the number of triangles or different construction of the deformation filed, it will result different deformation load. Through comparison of results a minimum load will be found for an optimum condition. So one of the advantages of the program is that the minimum load of the upper bound can be find easily and quickly. Fig. 3 shows the variation of fi3rging force with different sizes and different number of triangles in the deformation area.


A typical triangular upper bound metal flow field and hodograph for the plain strain compression, which is constructed by the computer algorithm, are shown in Fig. 1. Prior to the construction of the field, the number of triangles and their relative sizes are entered via the keyboard as inputs to the program. Other required inputs that are entered next are the geometry (width and height and angle) of the workpiece and friction coefficients of the upper and lower workpiece interfaces of the die and workpiece. The program with the inputted information from the keyboard constructs a velocity field (hodograph). In order to maintain the plain strain condition, the ratio of the workpiece width to its height requires to be greater than or equal to one. The die approaches the workpiece with the unit velocity and the friction coefficient across the interfaces of the die and workpiece are constant. In Fig. l the forging process of a rectangular workpiece block with width to height ratio of three (W/h =3) was chosen. The block width was divided into three equal triangle zones (N=3). The friction coefficients of ~t=0.2 for upper and lower die and workpiece interfaces were chosen. The output of the program was the ratio of the die pressure to the shear stress of material. For this configuration P/2K= 1.133. The other option for the above plain strain compression was to construct the upper bound field with triangles of unequal bases. In this case the base of each triangle (for all triangles) requires entering as inputs to the


The computeraided upper bound can be also implemented to the closed die forging process. As shown in Fig.4, the closed die is divided into central and side regions. The central region has the pattern of a rectangle workpiece block and each region at the two sides is inclined with an angle a. In this particular case, the width over the height of the torging block is W/h=2 with the side angle c~=50 degrees. The vertical compression of the upper and lower dies causes a sideways expulsion of the metal, so called, flash. A system of tangential velocity discontinuities is created and the corre,;ponding hodograph is shown in Fig. 4b. The angle a can be'varied between 0-90 degrees for different die shape~,;. The minimum forging force was fond by running the program for different die angles. Fig. 5 shows the variation of the non-dimensional forging pressure versus the ratio of W/h for different die angles. As the angle is increased, the forging die is decreased. For ~=70 degree the minimum force is required for lorging. This gives the metal flow minimum distortion and consequently Ibrming energy.

Fig. 1. (a) Constructed upper bound flow field with equal triangle bases for N=3, (b) Hodogragh.


Gary Liu and S. M. Mahdavian

Fig. 3. Variation of forging force with W,,q' and number of triangles from upper-bound analysis.

Fig. 4. (a) Closed die forging upper bound field, (b) hodograph. Fig. 6. Johnson's closed die forging upper-bound pattern conducted by computer,

This program has been designed to calculate the forging load for our proposed flow pattern shown in Fig. 4, and compare it with the Johnson's upper bound pattern [1] for the closed die forging as shown in. Fig. 6. The forging of a block of metal of rectangular section is considered by both cases. If the new upper bound field pattern used to solve the problem, the results between these two upper bound fields are in good agreement as shown in Fig. 7. However, one of the advantages of the new upper bound field is that the different shaped angle of

workpiece can be calculated. And Johnson's method can be used only for rectangular section. The experimental results show a good agreement with the upper bound analysis (Fig. 8). Another variable, which effects the forging force most: significantly, is the thickness of the flash. Fig. 9 shows the variation of the non-dimensional forging pressure

Fig. 5. Variation of forging force with block-widtlh/thickness and die-angle.

Application of Computer Aided Upper Bound Method in Forging and Extrusion Processes


Fig. 7. Comparison between flexible die and rectangle die.

Fig. 8. Comparison of experimental result and compute output.

Fig. 9. Variation of forging force with flash-thickness.


GaD, Liu and S. M. Mahdavian

with the non-dimensional flash thickness. It indicates if the flash thickness/block height smaller than 0.006 the nondimensional close-die forging force will increase sharply.

Thanks are due to Advanced Engineering Centre for Manufacturing (AECM) for supporting this project with providing research scholarship.

A computer algorithm based on upper-bound method has been developed for forging and extrusion process. The number of triangles in the flow field can be increased until a minimum upper bound forming load to obtain. The algorithm not only provides the upperbound method graphically but it can be used to optimize the process to utilize a minimum deformation load. In closed die forging, the effect of flash thickness and die angle at different stage of forming can be observed. It also provides numerous forming configuration of the same group that can be analyTed and estimate the forming load in a more reliable fashion with simplicity.

I. Johnson, W. and Mellor P. B., Engineering Plasticity, p. 415, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, London (1973). 2. Avitzur, B., Metal Forming: Processes and Analysis, p. 1212, R. E. Krieger Publishing Co. (1979). 3. Hosford, W. F. and Caddell, R. M., Int..L Mech. Eng. 8, I (1980). 4. Rowe, G. W., Principles of Industrial Metalworking Processes, p. 94; p. 268, Edward Arnold Publishing I,td t1977). 5. Chert, P. C. T., Trans. ASME, J. Eng. for Industry, Ser.B 92, 158 (1970). 6. Lee, R. S. and Kwan, C. T., J. Eng. Manufiw.(B) 210, 353. 7. Yeh, W. C. and Yang, Y. S., Trans. ASME, .1. Manufac. Sci. Eng. 118, 301.