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Process and loading path design for hydraulic compound forming of rectangular tubes

Abstract

Tubes with various cross-sectional shapes are widely used in automotive and bicycle manufacture for lightweight considerations. This study proposes a compound forming process for hydroforming a rectangular cross-sectional tube of aluminum alloys AA6061-O. The compound forming process is divided into crushing, hydroforming, and calibration. The finite element simulation software DEFORM was used to analyze the plastic deformation pattern of the tube during the compound forming processes and determine feasible loading paths that can generate a uniform thickness distribution, a lower internal pressure, and a smaller clamping force. The effects of varied internal pressures on the product shapes, thickness distributions, and forming loads are discussed. A self-designed hydroforming test machine with an internal pressure capacity of 30 MPa and axial feeding force of 40 tons was used to conduct hydroforming experiments. The experimental results of the product thickness distributions and dimensions were compared with simulation results, and the validity of the FE modeling is confirmed. Sound products with the required shape and dimensions can be obtained using the proposed hydraulic compound forming process with a low internal pressure of 8 MPa.

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Correspondence to Yeong-Maw Hwang.

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Hwang, Y., Wu, R. Process and loading path design for hydraulic compound forming of rectangular tubes. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 91, 2135–2142 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-016-9919-z

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Keywords

  • Tube hydroforming
  • Compound forming
  • Rectangular tube
  • Loading path