Numerical Simulation on the Laser Bending of Thin Wall Tubes
Laser tube bending is a spring-back-free noncontact forming method that has received considerable attention in recent years. Compared to mechanical bending, no hard tooling, dies, or external force is used in laser bending, thus the cost is greatly reduced for small-batch production and prototyping. Some quality issues, such as cross sectional distortion and intrados protrusion exist in laser bending and have growing tendency when the tube’s wall being thinner. This paper investigates the effects of process parameters on the deformation of thin wall tube through numerical simulations and experiments. The dimensions of the tube analyzed are 32 mm in outer diameter and 0.48mm in wall thickness. A three-dimensional transient thermo-mechanical analysis using the finite element method is carried out to simulate the laser bending process with some results validated by experiments. The effects of process parameters on the deformation of thin wall tubes are discussed in detail.
N. H. Hao and Y. L. Gai, "Numerical Simulation on the Laser Bending of Thin Wall Tubes", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 460-461, pp. 798-801, 2011