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Technical Paper

Deformation, Strain and Stress in Expansion of Tubes in Hydroforming

A simple problem of tube expansion to fill the die corners in the hydroforming process is studied. Based on a two-dimensional plane stress model the tube is simulated numerically using a static implicit finite element analysis, particularly, the commercial finite element code ABAQUS. Similar to the development and application of two-dimensional finite element codes for sheet metal forming, this two-dimensional model provides insight of the detailed deformation and stress/strain development otherwise lost in a more complex three-dimensional model. To facilitate discussions, high friction is assumed such that the tube does not slide on the die surface after contact. The calculated results predict the requirement to form sharp corners and demonstrate the development of the deformation, strain and stress states in the tube.