In order to realize the potential of sheet metal forming and take advantage of new process control capabilities, innovative modifications to the traditional sheet metal forming process must be developed. These modifications are particularly important with respect to Tailor Welded Blank (TWB) forming, which offers an excellent opportunity to reduce manufacturing costs, decrease part weight, and improve the quality of sheet metal stampings. However, tearing near the weld seam and wrinkling in the formed wall area and die addendum of the part often occurs when a traditional forming process is used to form a TWB. Research and industrial experience has shown that these forming concerns can be alleviated through advanced forming techniques, for example using a segmented die process or a non-uniform binder force. The difficulty then becomes determining the key process parameters associated with these forming methods. In this paper, a methodology is presented to effectively and easily determine both the location of a segmented die and a non-uniform binder force by evaluating nodal reaction forces provided from FEA simulations. Also, using FEA simulations to determine the process parameters for another advanced forming process, strain path control tooling, is discussed. The advanced forming processes presented in this paper and the use of FEA to determine key process parameters are critical components to the continued evolution of sheet metal forming processes.

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