Mechanical Behaviour of Ceramic Beads Used as Medium for Hydroforming at Elevated Temperatures


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The need of light weight construction for high efficient vehicles leads to the use of new materials like aluminium and magnesium alloys or high strength and ultra high strength steels. At elevated temperatures the formability of steel increases as the flow stresses decrease. Forming high complex geometries like chassis components or components of the exhaust system of vehicles can be done by hydroforming. The hydroforming process by oils is limited to temperatures of approximately 300 °C and brings disadvantages of possible leakage and fouling. Using granular material like small ceramic beads as medium could be an approach for hydroforming of ultra high strength steels like MS W1200 and CP W800 at temperatures up to 600 °C. The material properties of granular material are in some points similar to solid bodies, in other points similar to liquids. For understanding and simulation of the behaviour of the medium a basic characterisation of ceramic beads with different ball diameters is necessary. Powder mechanics and soil engineering give ideas for experimental setups. For the conversion of these approaches on the one hand the behaviour of the ceramic beads itself has to be characterized, on the other hand the contact between a blank and the beads have to be investigated. For the tests three different kinds of spheres with a diameter between 63 microns and 850 microns are used. In unidirectional compression test compressibility, pressure distribution in compression direction and transversal compression direction and the effect of bead fracture are investigated. The tests are carried out at different compression velocities and for multiple compressions. For determination of friction coefficients between blank and beads and determination of shear stress in bulk under compression a modified Jenike-Shear-Cell for use in universal testing machines with the possibility of hydraulic compression of the beads is built up. The gained data can be used for material modelling in ABAQUS using Mohr-Coulomb or Drucker-Prager model.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 410-411)

Main Theme:

Edited by:

B. Shirvani, R. Clarke, J. Duflou, M. Merklein, F. Micari and J. Griffiths






M. Merklein and M. Grüner, "Mechanical Behaviour of Ceramic Beads Used as Medium for Hydroforming at Elevated Temperatures", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 410-411, pp. 61-68, 2009

Online since:

March 2009




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