Overview of Forming and Formability Issues for High Volume Aluminium Car Body Panels
Cost-efficient designs of aluminum autobody structures consist mainly of stampings using conventional technology. Progress in metallurgy and forming processes has enabled aluminum body panels to achieve significant market share, particularly for hoods. Fast bake hardening alloys with better hemming performance were developed for improved outer panel sheet products. Specific guidelines for handling and press working were established to form aluminum panels using similar schedules and production lines as steel parts. Stamping productivity was improved by optimization of the trimming process to reduce sliver/particle generation and resulting end-of-line manual rework. Both hemming formability and trimming quality not only depend on tooling setup but also on microstructural features, which govern intrinsic alloy ductility. Targets for the next high volume aluminum car body applications, such as roof panels and doors, require higher strength and/or better formability. The challenges of complex stampings can be met with optimized alloys and lubricants, with improved numerical simulation to fine-tune stamping process parameters, and with the introduction of new technologies. Warm forming was examined as a potential breakthrough technology for high volume stamping of complex geometries.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
D. Daniel et al., "Overview of Forming and Formability Issues for High Volume Aluminium Car Body Panels ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 795-802, 2006