Deformation characteristics in hydro-mechanical forming process of thin-walled hollow component with large deformation: experimentation and finite element modeling
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The automobile exhaust manifold regularly has a multi-valved shape that used to be formed by the combination of stamping and welding. The current study intended to investigate and develop a tube hydro-mechanical forming (THMF) process to form an integral automobile exhaust manifold that has the characters of large deformation and small corner. It included three stages such as pre-forming stage, die-forming stage, and calibration stage. In addition, the non-feasibility of one-step hydroforming process was proved by FE modeling and experimental for the target component. An optimal loading path was obtained through the principle of dichotomy for pre-forming stage and die-forming stage, corresponding to the maximum thinning ratio of 19.7% and 13.27% respectively. The variation of stress and strain states were analyzed for the whole process. As a consequent, the thickness distribution exhibited a V-shaped along axial direction at each stage, while a fluctuated distribution after die-forming was presented along radial direction in the multi-valved area. For the final component, a maximum thinning ratio of 28.53% and the large deformation above 60% obtained from FE modeling kept a reasonable agreement with that achieved from experiments. It showed that THMF has advantages of not only decreasing the internal pressure but also improving the formability of tube.
KeywordsTube hydro-mechanical forming Thin-walled hollow component Large deformation Hydroforming FE modeling
The authors extend sincere thanks and appreciation to Professor Asnafi Nader of ÖREBRO University (Sweden) for sustained advice and the language proofread.
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grand No. 51875548) and Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province of China (Grand No. 20180550851).
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