Sheet-Metal Forming Processes For Automotive Industry

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Modern Sheet Metal Forming Processes used in Automotive Industry

Modern Sheet Metal Forming Processes used in Automotive Industry


Ever increasing competition in automotive industry demands productivity improvements and unit cost reduction. The manufacturing engineers and production managers of car body panels are changing their strategy of operation. The days of 'a simple washer to a very complicated fender, all in plant stamping facility', are gone. In-house manufacturing facilities preferably produce only limited number of major car panels.


Bending is a manufacturing process that produces a V-shape, U-shape, or channel shape along a straight axis in ductile materials, most commonly sheet metal. Commonly used equipment include box and pan brakes, brake presses, and other specialized machine presses. Typical products that are made like this are boxes such as electrical enclosures and rectangular ductwork. (Charles 2004 96)

Bending is a process by which metal can be deformed by plastically deforming the material and changing its shape. The material is stressed beyond the yield strength but below the ultimate tensile strength. The surface area of the material does not change much. Bending usually refers to deformation about one axis.

Bending is a flexible process by which many different shapes can be produced. Standard die sets are used to produce a wide variety of shapes. The material is placed on the die, and positioned in place with stops and/or gages. It is held in place with hold-downs. The upper part of the press, the ram with the appropriately shaped punch descends and forms the v-shaped bend.

Bending is done using Press Brakes. Press Brakes normally have a capacity of 20 to 200 tons to accommodate stock from 1m to 4.5m (3 feet to 15 feet). Larger and smaller presses are used for specialized applications. Programmable back gages, and multiple die sets available currently can make for a very economical process. (Robert 2004 52)

Air Bending is done with the punch touching the workpiece and the workpiece, not bottoming in the lower cavity. This is called air bending. As the punch is released, the workpiece ends up with less bend than that on the punch (greater included angle). This is called spring-back. The amount of spring back depends on the material, thickness, grain and temper. The spring back usually ranges from 5 to 10 degrees. Usually the same angle is used in both the punch and the die to minimize setup time. The inner radius of the bend is the same as the radius on the punch.

Bottoming or Coining is the bending process where the punch and the workpiece bottom on the die. This makes for a controlled angle with very little spring back. The tonnage required on this type of press is more than in air bending. The inner radius of the workpiece should be a minimum of 1 material thickness in the case of bottoming; and upto 0.75 material thickness, in the case of coining. (Kalpakjian 2001 98)

In press brake forming, a work piece is positioned over the die block ...
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