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Technical Paper

Optimal Forming of Aluminum 2008-T4 Conical Cups Using Force Trajectory Control

In this paper we investigate the optimal forming of conical cups of AL 2008-T4 through the use of real-time process control. We consider a flat, frictional binder the force of which can be determined precisely through closed-loop control. Initially the force is held constant throughout the forming of the cup, and various levels of force are tested experimentally and with numerical simulation. Excellent agreement between experiment and simulation is observed. The effects of binder force on cup shape, thickness distribution, failure mode and cup failure height are investigated, and an “optimal” constant binder force is determined. For this optimal case, the corresponding punch force is recorded as a function of punch displacement and is used in subsequent closed-loop control experiments. In addition to the constant force test, a trial variable binder force test was performed to extend the failure height beyond that obtained using the “optimal” constant force level.