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Prototyping of automotive components with variable width and depth
conference contributionposted on 2017-09-27, 00:00 authored by Buddhika AbeyrathnaBuddhika Abeyrathna, Bernard RolfeBernard Rolfe, J Harrasser, A Sedlmaier, R Ge, L Pan, Matthias WeissMatthias Weiss
Roll forming enables the manufacturing of longitudinal components from materials that combine high strength with limited formability and is increasingly used in the automotive industry for the manufacture of structural and crash components. An extension of conventional roll forming is the Flexible Roll Forming (FRF) process where the rolls are no longer fixed in space but are free to move which enables the forming of components with variable cross section over the length of the part. Even though FRF components have high weight saving potential the technology has found only limited application in the automotive industry. A new flexible forming facility has recently been developed that enables proof of concept studies and the production of FRF prototypes before a full FRF line is built; this may lead to a wider uptake of the FRF technology in the automotive industry. In this process, the pre-cut blank is placed between two clamps and the whole set up moves back and forth; a forming roll that is mounted on a servo-controlled platform with six degrees of freedom forms the pre-cut blank to the desired shape. In this study an initial forming concept for the flexible roll forming of an automotive component with variable height is developed using COPRA® FEA RF. This is followed by performing experimental prototyping studies on the new concept forming facility. Using the optical strain measurement system Autogrid Compact, material deformation, part shape and wrinkling severity are analysed for some forming passes and compared with the numerical results. The results show that the numerical model gives a good representation of material behaviour and that with increasing forming severity wrinkling issues need to be overcome in the process.