Metal Forming Simulation: FEA Based Design and Optimization

FEA (Finite Element Analysis) in Metal Forming

Using advanced Metal Forming Simulation methodology and FEA tools such as Ansys, Simufact Forming, Autoform, FTI Forming, Ls-dyna and Abaqus for any bulk material forming deformation, combining with experience and development have made ESimLab the most reliable consultant partner for large material deformation simulation. ESimLab engineers can simulate any manufacturing process for hot, warm, and cold forging, which includes but not limited to:

  • Closed die forging
  • Open die forging processes such as cogging, saddling, and other GFM processes 
  • Rolling for long products
  • Extrusion
  • Ring Rolling
  • Cross Wedge Rolling and Reducer Rolling for pre-forming
  • Cold forming
  • Sheet metal forming
Simultaneous engineering, which is carried out in an early stage of product design, allow us to easily take concepts and results from earlier phases and apply them later on in the product development process. When the feasibility check of a part is completed, we  optimize the part design to achieve manufacturability. Our Simulation procedure include the most comprehensive solution for Heat Treatment simulation including phase transformation and thermal effect and Microstructure analysis.

Phase Transformation and Thermal Effect in Metal Forming

Including phase transformation and thermal effect enables us to realistically simulate the hot forming processes. These processes have become very important for the automotive industry in order to meet specific requirements regarding a higher level of crash safety and a reduction of overall weight. Detailed simulation of forming enable us to engineer components with high strength, challenging geometrical complexity and minimized springback effects. In addition, we can calculate the final part properties, such as strain-stress distributions as well as the distribution and local percentages of different material phases, such as austenite, ferrite, pearlite, bainite and martensite, including the resulting hardness distribution.

Esimlab Simulation Features:
  • Realistic simulation of hot forming and quenching processes
  • Take into account phase transformation during quenching and thermal distortion after cooling.
  • Stamped parts with challenging geometrical complexity and minimized springback effects
  • Stamped parts engineered with targeted local strength properties
  • Improved crash simulation accuracy
  • Hot forming processes of ultra-high strength steels

Advanced Technology

We resolve any type forming with the most detailed and accurate methodology

Reduce Development Cost

ESimLab FEA service enables you to ensure the manufacturability of parts in the design phase

Test Before Manufacturing

Applied from early on in the part design phase, we can investigate the part manufacturability and performance

Real World Metal Forming Simulation Features:

Material Utilization

One of the most important issues in the industry is material utilization. As the price for both steel and aluminum continues to increase and more and more high-strength steels and lightweight materials are being used in the automotive industry, manufacturers continue to search for ways to optimize their use of materials. ESimLab engineering team enable you to predict the potential of blank shape and nesting. We can efficiently calculate the optimal layout of the blank on the coil taking into consideration minimal material utilization.

Process Planning

With special engineering methods, software and customizing ability of CAE software environment, enables us to rapidly generate and evaluate process plans. This feature enable us for increased planning reliability to meet quality and cost targets and enables the direct transfer of process plans to process engineering and validation in a short time.

Springback Compensation

Springback compensation is carried out during the process engineering phase to improve part and tool quality before the real tryout phase begins. As a result, the process layouts realized during the early planning phases are more reliable. Robust springback compensation enables us to minimize the risk of costly changes later on in the process due to the effects of springback.

Tool Cost Estimation

We can help you to calculate tooling costs based on the defined production sequence. we can evaluate alternative production concepts and then rapidly identify the most cost-effective one. Our knowledge in FEA based design enable you to significantly reduce the time required for estimating tooling costs.

metal forming simulation: ansys abaqus simufact forming

Surface Defects Avoidance

Surface defects are small concave imperfections that can develop during forming on outer convex panels of automotive parts like doors. They occur during springback steps, after drawing in the vicinity of bending over a curved line and flanging/hemming in the vicinity of the upper corner of a door. They can alter significantly the final quality of the automobile and it is of primary importance to deal with them as early as possible in the design of the forming tools. As a result, during the product development process, much attention is paid to avoiding defects on surface appearance and the resulting surface quality. ESimLab engineering team can evaluate surface defects in order to take steps to improve the surface quality with FEA based Design and optimization.

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Where Scientific Computing Meets Complicated Industrial Needs

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Metal Forming Processes:

Cold forming

The most important manufacturing processes are cold heading and extrusion processes, but also punching, hobbing, thread rolling, and drawing processes. Cold forming is restricted to easily formable materials, or rather materials which can easily be transferred into a formable microstructural state.

Cold forming results in strain hardening, meaning both the strength and resistance to forming increase with ongoing deformation. Thus, cold formed components can withstand greater operational loads. At the same time, strain hardening results in reduced formability (ductility) of the material. If the component needs to be formed further, the strain hardening of the component has to be removed via recrystallization annealing. Cold forming and annealing are often part of a multi-stage process.  

The high yield stress and strain hardening result in very high press forces in the manufacturing process, and shift the focus to the used forming dies and die materials. The die life essential for cold forming is often only achievable through prestressed dies, which means that the simulation of cold forming has to consider the effect of the stress rings in addition to the material flow. The realistic mapping of forces in the forming processes, and the consideration of the effects of spring back, while taking into account the elastic-plastic material law, are indispensable for a high precision simulation of cold forming processes.

sheet metal forming

Sheet metal components are highly suited to lightweight constructions. Different methods of sheet metal forming can be used depending on the geometry of the desired part. Based on the characteristics of each deformation process, the forming engineer can choose between: Deep drawing, ironing, punching, bending, stamping, and a variety of other manufacturing processes. Due to the geometric complexity of the parts being manufactured, additional multistage forming that combines different processes is frequently required within a phase of production. Therefore, production is usually achieved by automated transfer or stage pressing, or by progressive tools.

Using advanced FEA tools for sheet metal forming design and simulation, the feasibility of the project at hand is evaluated including predictions of the geometrical accuracy, cracking behavior, risk of cracking, and formability. The simulation results show the product’s characteristics such as wall thickness distribution, edge curvature, and the hardness distribution in forming steps.

Rolling

Rolling is a continuous or non-continuous pressure forming process with one or more rotating rollers. Additional tools can be used, such as plugs, mandrels etc. Molding occurs either through motorized rollers or by pulling rollers .

Rolling is one of the most diverse forming processe in the forming technology. It is used for the production of semi-finished as well as finished products. Rolling processes are used in all areas of forming technology, both in hot forging and cold forming, and of course in sheet metal forming. There is a multitude of rolling processes. Some are named here: flat rolling, profile rolling, tube rolling, roll forming, forge rolling, cross-wedge rolling, wire rolling, and cross-row rolling.

Open Die Forging

Open die forging is used for large and critical products which cannot be forged by basic forging processes due to high deformation load or massive dimensions. Technological processes of open die forging are applied to produce individual, low-volume parts for die blocks, rings for further rolling, blanks of crankshafts for marine engines and other large parts requiring the characteristics and durability of a forging.

The shape of the workpiece does not result from the shape of the dies used, but from repeated local forming with geometrically simple dies that are typically moved relative to the workpiece. The shape of the workpiece is created incrementally, i.e. step by step. Usually, this is done when hot forging very large components for the machine and plant building industries, or for the densification of casted ingots. Open die forging is also used where shaping dies cannot be used for economic reasons. For special component shapes, techniques such as rotary swaging processes are used during cold forming of large production volumes.

When designing open die forging processes, the pass schedule, including possible intermediate heating, must be planned in such a way as to reach the required final geometry and the required material properties with as little effort as possible. High performance materials such as titanium and nickel based alloys can only be forged within a narrow temperature range.

Heat Treatment

Most of the technologies for the production of forged parts are required heat treatment after deformation to obtain the desired properties, both on the surface and through the entire volume of the detail. Heat treatment is a process or a combination of processes to treat metallic components. The components, commonly made of steel(s), are temporarily heated to specific temperatures.

Taking into account the rate of heating and cooling, the material properties of a component can be altered and improved. The presence of certain agents can lead to changes in the carbon or nitrogen content of the component. In all heat treatment processes, there are several decisive and important factors: Time (heating and holding time), temperature, atmosphere, and quenching or cooling conditions.

In principle, there are two kinds of heat treatment processes: processes resulting in a thorough change of the microstructure and processes that result in merely changing regions close to the surface of the component. Examples of the former would be thermal processes, such as annealing and hardening. Examples of the latter, thermochemical processes, would be diffusion and coating processes, such as carburization, case hardening, nitrating, boriding.

Simulating the process reduces the amount of experimentation required during process design and process optimization. It also helps to smooth trial runs and the prototyping process. Through simulation, typical mistakes such as too much or too little hardening, cracks from residual stress or too much distortion can be discovered before they are made.

Simulation Features:

  • Prediction of phase transformations, phase composition of the workpiece, both at the deformation and heat treatment processes.
  • Diffusion and martensitic phase transformations at cooling and heating of material while accounting the latent heat of phase transitions and volume changes in the transformation process.
  • The heat treatment for simulation of different production processes: quenching, tempering, annealing etc.

 

Hot Forging

Hot forging comprises all forming processes that occur above the recrystallization temperature of a metal. The characteristic effect of hot forming, is the significant material strength reduction (yield stress). Hot forging is used when the goal is to achieve complex 3D geometries via forming. In addition, it enables the processing of difficult-to-form materials, which can be formed only with limitations when cold. Due to the strength reduction under hot forging conditions, the force and work demand of the processes can be lowered in comparison to cold forming.

The recrystallization is responsible, through the complete reformation of the microstructure, possibly multiple times, for the formation of a relatively fine-grained microstructure. It exhibits the optimal combination of strength and ductility. This circumstance qualifies hot forging as one of the most important manufacturing processes for the production of highly stressed safety components.

 
 

Ring Rolling

Ring rolling is a forming process for the production of rings. The ring rolling processes enable the production of rings with diameters ranging from ten centimeters to ten meters. Because of very high demands in accuracy and reliability required for production of ring and wheel rolling, efficient simulation is needed for detail investigation and verification in extremely high-performance finite element (FEA) simulation software.

Sheet Metal Forming: Advanced Method for Industry Leading Simulation

Transfer Die Stamping

In transfer die stamping, a strip of metal is fed into the first station of a mechanical transport system, where the blank for the component is cut from the strip. The blank is then transferred mechanically through various forming stations until a finished part is produced. These different forming stations are necessary for the various forming operations such as deep drawing, trimming, piercing and flanging.

Using special purpose FEA software such as Deform, Simufact Forming, Ls-dyna, Abaqus and Autoform enables us to rapidly and accurately simulate the entire stamping process including drawing and secondary operations as well as springback. The simulation and results evaluation provided with all the necessary information to design the stamping process.

Progressive Die Stamping

Thanks to experience and deep knowledge in Finite Element Method (FEM) solvers and our ability to customize software with advanced programming, ESimLab Engineering team can use and customize Simufact Forming, FTI Forming and Autoform to simulate the progressive die stamping process.

Hot Forming

For the automotive industry hot forming has become increasingly important in meeting specific requirements for lower overall weight and higher crash safety. Parts produced by hot forming are characterized by high strength, complex shapes and reduced springback effects.

Deep experience in Simufact Forming, FTI Forming, Autoform and Ls-dyna enables us to simulate thermal effects in sheet metal forming. When the We can consider general thermal effects in cold, warm and hot forming simulations.

Tube Hydroforming

Tube hydroforming is used in the production of various tubular parts, which are highly resistant and light. Hydroforming is particularly interesting for the automotive industry as it offers important advantages from various perspectives. It allows for greater freedom in designing parts and at the same time makes the parts highly resistant and light. Hydroforming also allows for savings in material usage.

Our FEA Solution based on special purpose software and their customization with programming, enables us to carry out a complete virtual tryout of the hydroforming process involving all process steps, such as bending, preforming, hydroforming, annealing, calibration and cutting. In addition, we can generate and evaluate alternative tool designs and process layouts as well as find the best forming process for hydroformed parts.

Hemming

Accurate hemming is very important since it affects surface appearance and surface quality, two important aspects which attract the attention of potential customers. Material deformations, which occur during the hemming process, can lead to dimensional deviations and other typical hemming defects, including splits and wrinkles in the flange, material overlaps in the corner areas and material roll-in.

Simulation driven design with FEA software and their customization ability enables us to efficiently plan the hemming process and supports you in roll and table top hemming. Our simulation include prediction of full assembly springback after hemming also.

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Considering complexity and needs to have new procedure and constitutive equation, we must try to develop new FEA and CFD based software to overcome engineering challenges.

FEA and CFD based Programming needs experience and deep knowledge in both Solid or fluid mechanics and programming language such as Matlab, Fortran, C++ and Python.

Esimlab’s engineering team use advanced methodology and procedure in programming and correct constitutive equation in solid, fluid and multiphysics environment based on our clients needs.

We use subroutine’s with programming languages such as Fortan, C and Python in CFD and FEA sofware such as Abaqus, Ansys, Fluent and Star-ccm+ to add new capability and Constitutive equation.

ESimLab use Mathematical Methods and Models for Engineering Simulation. We, focuses on numerical modelling and algorithms development for the solution of challenging problems in several engineering sectors specialized in the development of software for the numerical discretization of partial differential equations, linear algebra, optimization, data analysis, High Performance Computing for several engineering applications.

Together, we enable customers to reduce R&D costs and bring products to market faster, with confidence.

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Our Software team is made up of developers, industry experts and technical consultants ensuring we can respond to each client’s individual needs

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Real world Simulation: Combination of experience and advanced analysis tools

Calling upon our wide base of in-house capabilities covering strategic and technical consulting, engineering, manufacturing ( Casting, Forming  and Welding) and analytical software development – we offer each of our clients the individual level of support they are looking for, providing transparency, time savings and cost efficiencies.
ESimLab engineers participate in method development, advanced simulation work, software training and support. Over experiences in engineering consulting and design development, enables ESimLab’s engineering team to display strong/enormous client focus and engineering experience. The ESimLab team supports engineering communities to leverage CFD-FEA simulation softwares and methodologies. It leads to the creation of tailored solutions, aligned with the overall product development process of ESimLab clients.

CAE Simulation: CFD, FEA, System Modeling, 1D-3D coupling

Integrated expertise covering every Equipment component analysis. From concept through to manufacture and product launch, and for new designs or Equipment modifications, we provide engineering simulation expertise across projects of all sizes. Simulation has become a key enabling factor in the development of highly competitive and advanced Equipment systems. CAE methods play a vital role in defining new Equipment concepts.

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