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Title: Tube hydroforming of steel for automotive applications
Author: Darlington, R. A.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2003
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Internal high-pressure tube hydroforming utilises forming fluid to stretch a tube blank into the shape of a die cavity. The application of the internal pressure may be accompanied by axial feeding of the tube ends to push additional tube material into the cavity. Close control of hydroforming process parameters and die design is essential to produce successful, defect-free components. However, the behaviour and response of steel and the influence of friction under these forming conditions are unknown entities. Tube hydroforming technology has the potential to produce large structural automotive components and could be utilised for weight reduction in future generation automotive vehicles, replacing traditional stamped and spot-welded component assemblies. On the basis of a critical review of literature, a research programme was initiated to engage some of the key forming issues inhibiting wide-scale implementation of steel tube hydroforming for BIW automotive applications. The principal aims of the project were to identify the fundamental influences of steel properties on the tube hydroforming process and to develop a mathematical model of the process for steel tube. The research programme entailed small-scale formability tests and large-scale experimental trials, accompanied by the development of analytical and finite element (FE) models of the tube hydroforming process for various steel grades. This research project identified significant change to strip steel, in terms of mechanical properties and surface characteristics, as a direct result of the Electric Resistance Welding (ERW) tube manufacturing process. This in turn had a significant impact upon the hydroforming behaviour of the steel tubes. The analytical and FE models reviewed and developed in this thesis illustrated that these techniques could be used as valuable design aids in the development of automotive BIW hydroformed components. This thesis also indicates further areas of tube hydroforming research and development for wider-scale implementation of tube hydroforming technology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available