Demonstration of the Preform Anneal Process to Form a One-Piece Aluminum Door Inner Panel 2006-01-0987
A demonstration of the preform anneal process was conducted to form a one-piece aluminum door inner. In preform annealing, the aluminum panel is partially formed, annealed at 350°C to eliminate the cold work (strain hardening) from the first step, and then formed to the final shape using the same die. This process has the ability to form more complex parts than conventional aluminum stamping. Preform annealing uses non-age hardenable aluminum alloys of the 5xxx series and is suitable for a wide range of interior body panels. A rear door inner panel for a mid-size sports utility vehicle (SUV) was used in this study. This door inner was successfully created in one piece out of AA5182-O sheet with only slight design modifications to the original steel product geometry. The design of the door inner panel was conducted based on finite element analysis and predictions were verified with physical parts using thickness measurements and mechanical testing. Future opportunities for process development will also be discussed.