Issues and Trends in Automotive Aluminum Sheet Forming
Aluminum sheet forming is entering an era where rapid advances in technology are likely. Combining increased understanding of material behavior, increased understanding of metalworking tribology and improved control of sheet forming processes will result in improved distribution of strain, allowing more complex components to be formed and greater design flexibility. New process control techniques will be developed and implemented to result in improved press actions, control of strain path to effect increased formability and reduced sensitivity to process variables. Improved techniques for assessing producibility and for generating effective tool designs will be developed, perhaps eliminating the need for soft tool tryouts to substantially reduce the total die development time and cost. In this review paper, each of these issues will be discussed.