DIE SHEET HYDROFORMING OF A COMPLEX-SHAPED AA2024-W AIRCRAFT SKIN PANEL — FROM CONCEPT TO FINAL COMPONENT
Keywords:Die Sheet Hydroforming, Simulation Metrology, PAM-STAMP, Fluid Cell Press, Flexforming, Forming Simulation, Rubber-To-Metal Friction
Product design in the early stages requires a more quantitative process to ensure that the simulation study's outcome will meet expectations. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a manufacturing simulation software package could effectively evaluate and validate the conceptualised blank and tooling to manufacture a sizeable complex- shaped aluminium alloy aircraft panel using die sheet hydroforming. Blank and tool concepts were conceptualised, evaluated, and validated digitally using the forming process conceptualisation cycle. Without the need to trial several blank and tool concepts physically, a significant saving was achieved using a resource-efficient development process. Even without modelling the hyperelastic rubber elements, a successful die sheet hydroformed simulation result was conducted. However, the study showed that a rubber-to-metal friction coefficient must be incorporated appropriately. The study further showed the lack of standard metrology methods in commercial simulation packages to evaluate a simulation result accurately. Simulation metrology is a new area of interest that requires further development. This research contributes to improving the sheet metal forming simulation process and, specifically, die sheet hydroforming process simulation. The study will benefit the aerospace and automotive industry and promote the adoption of digital manufacturing processes.
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