Like any other industry, the metal forming industry is utilizing the advancement in technology to produce better and finer products. Before the try-out process commonly used in sheet metal formation, simulation is being used for various purposes such as in the evaluation processes and dies performance. For starters, a common simulation method being used for the sheet metal formation is the finite element analysis. With this process, designers can determine whether the sheet metal will come out as designed. This helps eliminate wrinkling as well as fractures. Click on the following link for more information about sheet metal simulation http://stampingsimulation.com/services/
Challenges experienced in sheet metal formation
Explaining sheet metal formation in layman’s term can be termed as the process where blank is formed. This process is also referred to as stamping and involves stretching a piece of metal between a die and punch. While it looks like a simple task, there are many disadvantages associated with this process such as deformation. However, like any other engineering process, there are processes that limit the amount of deformation that can take place during the metal formation process. These processes include tearing, wrinkling as well as buckling. In simpler terms, deformation can be limited by negative characteristics that hinder producing the desired product.
Another challenge facing the sheet formation process is a process called springback. What’s even more disturbing about this process is that even the slightest springback can cause major distortions. This process is common to materials such as magnesium, aluminum, and high strength steel. Regardless of the science applied in the sheet metal forming process, it all comes down to trial and error due to some of the processes involved such as stamping, tooling and even geometry. The aim of the simulation process in sheet metal formation should be to reduce errors and avoid wastage of materials.
Where did it begin?
The process of sheet metal simulation dates back to the 1960s when the finite difference method was introduced. As technology advanced in the 1980s, a new method called finite metal analysis was introduced, and this allowed the process to be used for industrial purposes. In the 1990s, new FEA codes were formulated making things even simpler. When computer hardware and operating systems were developed solely for the purpose of simulation, the process was drastically simplified and memory limitations eliminated. Research is also being conducted into the same to reduce computational inefficiencies and the margin of error.
Applications of sheet metal simulation
As this technology continues to develop, many companies are embracing the technology. Some of these companies include Tata Motors and Nissan Motor Company. Tata Motors engineers used this process to come up with a new design for the oil sump. This project was a success. As for the Nissan Motor Company, the sheet metal simulation process was used to solve the metal stamping problem. Other companies that have embraced this technology include Airbus, General Motors, Land Rover as well as Ford. Jaguar and Toyota are also accepting the technology in the design of new vehicles.