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Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

4th International Conference on Materials Processing and Characterization

Influence of blank holding force on stretch flange forming of


aluminum alloy
Yogesh Dewanga*, M.S. Horab, S.K. Panthic*
a

Research Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering,Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal,462051, India
b
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering,Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, 462051, India
c
Scientist,Computer Simulation & Design Centre,Advanced Materials Processes and Research Institute,Bhopal,462064, India

Abstract
The effect of blank holding force on the stretch flanging process was investigated using finite element simulation and
experimental analysis. Finite element model was used to study the effect of blank holding forces on punch load and forming
kinematics. An aluminum alloy 5052 sheet of 0.5 mm thickness was employed for this work. Blank holding force has a great
effect on punch load and significant influence on forming kinematics. Validation of FEM results were obtained by conducting
experiments. A very good agreement was obtained between FEM simulation results in terms of punch load and final shape which
shows the accuracy of present finite element model.

2014Elsevier
The Authors.
Ltd. All rights reserved.
2015
Ltd. AllElsevier
rights reserved.
Selection
andpeer-review
peer-review
under
responsibility
the conference
committee
the 4th International
Selection and
under
responsibility
of theofconference
committee
membersmembers
of the 4thofInternational
conference conference
on Materialson
and Characterization.
Materials
Processing Processing
and Characterization.
Keywords: Stretch flanging; blank holding force; finite element simulation; punch load; aluminum alloy.

1. Introduction
Aluminum alloys find automotive and air craft applications due to their high specific strength, high fatigue
strength and excessive corrosion resistance. Automotive components are usually manufactured of aluminum alloys
by using sheet metal forming processes. Flanging is one of the important sheet metal forming processes which is
* Corresponding author. Tel.:+91-0755-2457105; fax: +91-0755-2457042.
E-mail address:yogesh_dewang@yahoo.co.in

2214-7853 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the conference committee members of the 4th International conference on Materials Processing
and Characterization.
doi:10.1016/j.matpr.2015.07.157

1935

Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

widely applied in automobile industry. Many researchers in past have utilized the aluminum alloys in stretch
flanging process and studied different aspects of the process. Asnafi [1] studied vertical stretch flanging process
and found that fracture limit has increased with increase in parameters such as plastic strain ratio, strain hardening
exponent, uniform strain.Worswick and Finn [2] have carried out finite element simulation of stretch flanging
process using AA 5182O sheet of 1.2 mm in order to examine the effect of different yield criterion on the
predicted strains within stretch flange and determined the appropriate formability criteria for use in modelling
stretch flanges. Chen et al. [3] have employed a multiscale finite element (FE) damage percolation model (GTN
model) in order to simulate stretch flange forming of aluminum alloys AA 5182 and AA 5754 and studied the
effect of void nucleation strain on formability prediction through parametric study. Butcher et al.[4] carried out
finite element simulation of stretch flange forming of AA5182 of 1.6 mm using upper and lower bound damage
based material models for prediction of formability and effect of void damage during forming operations. Simha et
al.[5] have utilized an extended stress based forming limit curve in order to predict necking in stretch flange
forming of 1.6 mm thick AA 5754 and 1 mm thick AA 5182 aluminum alloy.Bhoyar et al. [6] carried finite
element analysis of superplastic forming process for front fender car panel ,which also an application of stretch
flanging process, for prediction of formability of commercial AA 5182 sheets .Dewang et al.[7] have predicted the
location of edge crack occurred in stretch flange of AA 5052 in the stretch flange using finite element simulation.
The objective of the present study is to investigate the influence of blank holding force on punch load variation
and maximum load during stretch flange forming of 0.5 mm thick AA 5052 using finite element simulation.
Nomenclature
c
D
E
F
R
Rd
L
l
t
U
w

punch-die clearance
ductile damage parameter
youngs modulus
blank holding force
flange radius
die profile radius
initial flange length
length of straight portion
flange thickness/ sheet thickness
punch displacement
flange width
mass density
poissons ratio

2. Materials behavior
In order to determine the mechanical properties of the workpiece material AA 5052, the tensile samples
were prepared as per standard methods of tensile testing method E8/E8M-11 ASTM.Fig. 1 shows the tensile
samples (along rolling direction) for uniaxial tensile testing, which are prepared by CNC wire cutting machine. The
tests were carried out under a displacement control at a constant rate of 0.16667 per second. The chemical
composition of aluminum alloy 5052 sheet of 0.5 mm thickness is given in Table 1. For FE analysis a non-linear
stress strain curve was considered as shown in fig.2[7] .It was assumed that aluminum alloy sheet follows elastoplastic behavior with isotropic hardening rule.
Table 1 Chemical composition of AA 5052[7]
Element
Wt.%

Si
0.1224

Fe
0.1964

Mg
2.418

Mn
0.07688

Cu
0.03618

Cr
0.1688

Ni
0.00398

Zn
0.04454

Al
95.70

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Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941


350

True stress (MPa)

300

-0.05

250
200
150
100
50
0
-50

-100
Fig. 1 AA 5052 H-32 0 degree tensile samples

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

True Strain

Fig.2. True stress-strain curve for AA 5052[7]

3. Experimental tool and techniques


The experimental tool set up used in the study is shown in Fig. 3. The tool setup comprises of punch, die
and blank-holder as shown in fig.3. Experiments were carried out only for case (C1) by clamping the work piece
between blank-holder and die by using four bolts of M10 size. The bolts were slightly tightened in such a way to
prevent upward motion of the blank-holder and the workpiece. Experiments of stretch flanging process were
performed on a hydraulic press equipped with a load cell of 2 KN [1, 7]. A constant rate of displacement i.e. 10
mm/min was given to punch for formation of flange over the die. The outputs of punch displacements and punch
load were continuously recorded in a data acquisition system. The experiments were conducted to compare the
results of finite element simulation in terms of load displacement curve and final deformed shape of flange.
4. Finite element modelling
The explicit finite element code ABAQUS /Explicit [7] is used to simulate the stretch flanging process in
this study. Fig.4 indicates the FEM model of the stretch flanging process. Three dimensional C3D8R element type is
used for modelling the sheet metal blank. Punch, die and blank-holder are the tool components were treated as rigid
bodies and are modelled with using 4-noded bilinear quadrilateral discrete rigid 3D (R3D4) elements.

Fig. 3. Experimental tool and workpiece

Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

Punch

Blank-holder

1937

Die

Sheet metal blank


Fig.4.FEM simulation model of stretch flanging

The blank material is assumed to be an elastoplastic material with isotropic hardening. The material
properties of the blank used in the simulation are as follows: = 2680 kg/m3, E = 70.3 GPa, = 0.33. [7].Friction is
modelled between the blank and the tool interfaces by using the Coulomb assumption in all cases as = 0.1[7]. The
damage initiation criteria (D) are defined as function of equivalent plastic strain for prediction of failure in flange.
The geometrical dimensions of punch, die, holder and sheet metal blanks are taken similar as that of experiments.
In the present study there are three different cases of blank holding conditions which are considered. In all
three cases die remains fixed and punch travels along vertical downward direction for formation of stretch flange.
First of all the case (C1) is considered which consists of rigidly clamping the workpiece between die and blank
holder .The model of case (C1) was obtained by restricting the upward motion of the blank holder along punch
travel direction which in turn also restricts the motion of workpiece. The model of case (C2) was made by applying
a blank holding force of zero intensity on the blank holder and now by allowing the displacement of blank holder
along punch travel direction. Finally, the model of case (C3) was obtained by applying various constant blank
holding forces on blank holder in order to obtained change in thickness without restriction of displacement of blankholder along punch travel direction.
5. Results & discussion
5.1 Load and forming kinematics
5.1.1 stretch-flanging with rigid blank holder
Case (C1) is considered to analyze the forming kinematics during stretch flanging process in the first
condition. The evolution of the punch loadpunch travel relationship consists of three different stages. The whole
punch loadpunch displacement relationship is shown in fig.5. In the first stage (1) the punch load starts to increase
more or less in linear manner which shows that for bending of sheet requires higher load from unbent position with
increase in punch displacement. It can be seen through figure that punch load arrives at maximum value at a punch
displacement between 2 to 3 mm. The occurrence of the maximum load signifies that crack has initiated in the
workpiece .The second stage (II) involves the further displacement of punch with fall in punch load gradually and

1938

Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

500

II

III

450
PUNCH LOAD (N)

400

C1

350

WITHOUT BHF (FEM)

300

RIDIGLY FIXED BLANK-HOLDER(FEM)

250
200

C2

150
100
50
0

10

15

20

25

PUNCH DISPLACEMENT (mm)

Fig.5. Punch load versus punch displacement for cases (C1) and (C2)

non-linearly which may be due to crack initiation or slipping of punch over the sheet. It is observed that punch load
decreases up to 5-6 mm of punch displacement. After stage (II), the punch load further decreases may due to
complete crack propagation of crack or sliding of punch over the flange in stage (III).
5.1.2 Stretch-flanging without blank holding force
One of the other cases which are extreme case of the blank holding condition was also analyzed. The
relationship between punch load and punch travel for this case is shown in fig.5.It is observed from the
superimposition of the case (C1) and case (C2) shows the reduction of the first stage of case (C1) by approximately
53 % in terms of punch travel. The peak load in case (C1) arrives at 53 % before case (C2) in terms of punch
displacement and peak load decreases by 71 %.In the stage 2 of case (C2) the load decreases gradually and
diminishes to nearly zero values and in the third stage punch load continues to remain constant at lowest values.
This shows a significant effect of the blank holding force upon punch load as well as on forming kinematics.
450

80 N (FEM)
100 N (FEM)
120 N (FEM)
140 N (FEM)
160 N (FEM)

PUNCH LOAD (N)

400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0

10

15

PUNCH DISPLACMENT (mm)

Fig.6 Punch load versus punch displacement for case (C3)

20

25

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Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

MAXIMUM PUNCH LOAD (N)

6.000E+02
5.000E+02
4.000E+02
3.000E+02
L= 20 mm
L= 30 mm
L = 40 mm

2.000E+02
1.000E+02
0.000E+00
60

80

100

120

140

160

BLANK-HOLDING FORCE (N)


Fig.7. Effect of blank holding force on maximum punch load(c = 1 mm)

5.1.3 Stretch-flanging with constant BHF


For case (C3) in which five different constant blank holding forces are applied on the blank holder [1-7]. It
is observed from fig.6 that for all five cases of constant blank holding forces the punch load increases in order to
start bending the sheet from unbent position and reaches to a maximum value at the end of stage (I), which is similar
of case (C1).In stage (II) ,the load decreases due to crack initiation and further crack length decreases and finally in
the stage (III) punch load decreases to attain a constant lowest values at the end of stage III. It is important to note
that punch load increases by approximately 14 % with increase in blank holding force from 80 N to 160 N .
5.2 Maximum Punch Load Variation
Maximum punch load is evaluated through numerical simulation of stretch flanging process under
influence of blank holding forces in combination with initial flange length and punch die clearance.Fig.7 shows the
variation of maximum punch load achieved during stretch flanging which increases with increase in blank holding
force and increase in initial flange length. The maximum punch load is obtained for maximum blank holding force
and at highest initial flange length. In this context, maximum punch load found to be dependent up on variation of
blank holding force with punch die clearance. Fig.8 shows the variation of punch load found to increase non-linearly
with increment in blank holding force and decrement in punch die clearance. The maximum punch load is obtained
for the highest blank holding force and for least punch die clearance.

PUNCH LOAD

4.500E+02
4.000E+02

C= 1 mm

3.500E+02

C= 1.5 mm

3.000E+02

C = 2 mm

2.500E+02

C= 2.5 mm
C= 3 mm

2.000E+02
1.500E+02
1.000E+02
5.000E+01
0.000E+00
0

50

100

150

200

BLANK HOLDING FORCE (N)


Fig.8. Effect of blank holding force on maximum punch load (L= 20 mm)

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Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

500
450

RIGID FIX BLANK HOLDER- EXPERIMENTAL


RIGID FIXED BH (FEM)

pUNCH LOAD (N)

400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0

10

15

20

25

PUNCH DISPLACEMENT (mm)


Fig.9. Punch load versus punch displacement for case (C1) (FEM & experiment)

5.3. Experimental validation


5.3.1. Punch load
On comparison of the punch load variation with punch displacement for case (C1) with rigid blank holder
both by FEM and experiments as shown in fig.9.It can be seen through figure that punch load varies in three
different stages in actual experimental condition. In experiment punch load first increases for initial bending of sheet
and then decreases to a small value may be due to slipping of punch over the sheet or crack initiation and after
further as punch displaces punch load again regains to achieve a peak punch load during stretch flange forming.
After that punch load decreases gradually to arrive at a constant minimum punch load value. It is important to note
that maximum punch load predicted by finite element simulation and experiments matches quite well which proves
the accuracy of present FEM model.
5.3.2. Final shape
The final shape predicted by FEM and experiments is shown in fig.10 (a-b) for the case (C1).It can be
clarified from the figure that final deformed shape after stretch flanging matches quite well in terms of edge
cracking. It is also observed that crack propagates towards center from both ends and matches quite well in a similar
manner through FEM and experiments [7].

Fig.10. Final shape (a) Experiment (b) FEM

Yogesh Dewang et al. / Materials Today: Proceedings 2 (2015) 1934 1941

1941

6. Conclusions
Finite element simulations had been carried to investigate the effect of blank holding force in the stretch
flanging process. The following are the conclusions drawn from the study.
i.
ii.

Blank holding force has a significant effect upon maximum load as well as on forming kinematics. The
punch load increases with increase in blank holding force for each blank holding condition.
Validation of simulation results with experimental one are done for the rigid blank holder condition. A very
good agreement is obtained between results of FEM simulation and experiments in terms of maximum
punch load and final deformed shape.

References
[1] Asnafi N.On stretch and shrink flanging of sheet aluminium by fluid forming.J. of Mater ProcTechnol 1999;96:198- 214.
[2] Worswick M J,Finn M J.The numerical simulation of stretch flange forming. Int J Plast 2000; 16:701-720.
[3] Chen Z, Worswick M J, Pilkey A K, Lloyd D J. Damage percolation during stretch flange forming of aluminum alloy sheet. J Mech Phy
Solids 2005; 53:2692-2717.
[4] Butcher C, Chen Z, Worswick W.A lower bound damage-based finite element simulation of stretch flange forming of Al-Mg alloys. Int J
Frac 2006; 142:289-298.
[5] Simha CHM,Grantab R ,Worswick M J .Application of an extended stress-based forming limit curve to predict necking in stretch flange
forming. J Manuf Sci Eng 2008;130: 1-11.
[6] Bhoyar PK, Sedani CM, Agrawal MK.FEA of superplastically formed front fender car panel.Adv Matr Manuf Charac 2013;3:237-242.
[7] Dewang Y, Hora M S, Panthi SK .Finite element analysis of non-axisymmetric stretch flanging process for prediction of location of failure.
Proc Matr Sci 2014;5:2054-2062.