Common part failures in tube hydroforming include wrinkling, premature fracture, and unacceptable part surface quality. Some of these failures are attributed to the inability to optimize tribological conditions. There has been an increasing demand for the development of effective lubricants for tube hydroforming, due to widespread application of this process. This paper presents an analytical model of the guiding zone tribotest commonly used to evaluate lubricant performance for tube hydroforming. Through a mechanistic approach, a closed-form solution for the field variables contact pressure, effective stress/strain, longitudinal stress/strain, and hoop stress can be computed. The analytical model was validated by the finite element method. In addition to determining friction coefficient, the expression for local state of stress and strain on the tube provides an opportunity for in-depth study of the behavior of lubricant and associated lubrication mechanisms. The model can aid as a quick tool for iterating geometric variables in the design of a guiding zone, which is an integral part of tube hydroforming tooling.

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