An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Steady State Forces in Single Incremental Sheet Forming
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Incremental sheet forming process is a relatively new method of forming which is increasingly being used in the industry. Complex shapes can be manufactured using this method and the forming operation doesn't require any dies. High strains of over 300 % can also be achieved. Incremental sheet forming method is used to manufacture many different components presently. Prototype examples include car headlights, tubs, train body panels and medical products. The work done in the thesis deals with the prediction of the steady state forces acting on the tool during forming. Prediction of forces generated would help to design the machine against excessive vibrations. It would help the user to protect the tool and the material blank from failure. An efficient design ensures that the tool would not get deflected out of its path while forming, improving the accuracy of the finished part. To study the forces, experiments were conducted by forming pyramid and cone shapes. An experimental arrangement was set up and experimental data was collected using a data acquisition system. The effect that the various process parameters, like the thickness of the sheet, wall angle of the part and tool diameter had on the steady state force were studied. A three dimensional model was developed using commercial finite element software ABAQUS using a new modeling technique to simulate the deformation of the sheet metal blank during incremental sheet forming. The steady state forces generated for any shape, with any set of parameters used, could be predicted using the numerical model. The advantage of having a numerical model is that the forces can be predicted without doing experiments. The model was used to predict the steady state forces developed during forming of pyramid and cone shapes. The results were compared and were seen to be reasonably close to the experimental results. Later, the numerical model was validated by forming arbitrary shapes and comparing the value obtained from simulations to the value of the measured steady state forces. The results obtained from the numerical model were seen to match very well with the experimental forces for the new shapes. The numerical model developed using the new technique was seen to predict forces to a reasonable extent with less computational time as compared to the models currently available.