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FE - Simulation of the Thermal Hydroforming Process

The metal working industry is always searching for new production technologies to produce more complex parts associated with cost reductions. This paper introduces such a new forming technology. Through global or local heating of aluminium alloy the formability of the metal is enhanced. This forming process has some further advantages. It allows to produce difficult and complex part geometries with only a few steps. Thereby, the production of the components will be more economic, the cycle time will be decreased and the part cost will be reduced. In the course of increasing environmental awareness energy saving becomes more and more relevant through the reduction of the cycle time minimizing the energy consumption. The paper indicates the immense potential of thermal metal forming. It is shown that the complexity of the process and the range of parameters found during thermal metal forming is considerable and is a fertile area for further investigation. Due to the complex connections of the process influence parameters the non-linear finite elements (LSDYNA) offers the condition to investigate the process. Therefore a FEA- Model has to be developed in order to reach a accuracy known from the hydroforming at room temperature

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