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Development of a hydroforming setup for deep drawing of square cups with variable blank holding force technique

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Sheet hydroforming is a process that uses fluid pressure for deformation of a blank into a die cavity of desired shape. This process has high potential to manufacture complex auto body and other sheet metal parts. Successful production of parts using hydroforming mainly depends on design aspects of tooling as well as control of important process parameters such as closing force or blank holding force (BHF) and variation of fluid pressure with time. An experimental setup has been designed and developed for hydroforming of square cups from thin sheet materials. Square cups have been deep drawn using constant and variable BHF techniques. A methodology has been established to determine the variable BHF path for successful hydroforming of the cups with the assistance of programmable logic controller and data acquisition system. Finite element (FE) simulations have also been carried out to predict formability with both of these techniques. It has been found that it is possible to achieve better formability in terms of minimum corner radius and thinning in the case of variable BHF technique than in the case of constant BHF technique (constant force during forming and calibration). The results of FE analysis have been found to be in good agreement with experimental data.

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Correspondence to Bharatkumar Modi.

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Modi, B., Kumar, D.R. Development of a hydroforming setup for deep drawing of square cups with variable blank holding force technique. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 66, 1159–1169 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-012-4397-4

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  • Hydroforming
  • Variable BHF technique
  • Formability
  • FE analysis