Formability Evaluation of Recycle-Friendly Automotive Aluminum Alloys 2008-01-1095
Aluminum consumption in automotive applications has maintained consistent growth in the past 30 years and is expected to continue to climb to meet the growing demand for more energy-efficient vehicles. Recycling post-consumer aluminum to build new vehicles will further reduce manufacturing life-cycle energy consumption and emissions leading to significantly lower production costs. To take full advantage of recycling automotive aluminum alloys, a guideline for the recycling practice and design of recycle-friendly alloys such as cost benefits is needed, while meeting the property requirements. Formability is one of critical properties for aluminum vehicle body panels and strongly depends on alloy composition and processing. The forming limit curve (FLC) offers the opportunity to determine process limitations in sheet metal forming and is used in the estimation of the stamping characteristics of sheet metal materials. The comparison of deformations on stamped metal sheets with the FLC leads to a security estimation of the stamping process. Numerical analysis has also been applied to simulate the forming process of automotive parts and to predict the forming behavior of aluminum alloys. A combination of numerical analysis and the FLC comparison can serve as a good guideline to optimize the recycling process and alloy compositions of automotive aluminum alloys.