Incremental Forming (IF) is a new type of sheet metal forming method being investigated by many because of its great potential in the manufacturing industry. The IF method forms sheet metal by use of a hemispherically shaped tool which follows a specified path that gradually forms the material as it traverses across the material. No dies are needed for this process, which is where the potential lies.
IF is currently being researched in order to reduce the drawbacks of the process. These drawbacks include a maximum formable wall angle, degraded surface finish, low part accuracy, and local and global springback. This research focuses on the reduction of global springback, which arises from the stresses induced in the workpiece.
This research approaches the problem with the use of electrical paths ran through the residual stress concentrations. The stress concentrations were mapped using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and multiple tests were done to see which path had the greatest effect on springback.
It was concluded that the best paths to apply electrical current through in order to reduce springback in an incrementally formed truncated pyramid are: along the formed corners from top to bottom, across the upper section of the formed corner, and along each side of the inner formed square. In addition, it was found that the path the electricity takes has a greater effect on the amount of springback reduction than the amount of paths applied. It is hypothesized that this is due to the stiffening effects of certain stresses.