Prediction of forming limit diagram (FLD) for aluminum alloy sheet using finite element analysis without implementing pre-defined geometrical imperfections or material imperfections was studied. The limit strains of the FLD were determined by applying a new proposed localization criterion in the dome stretching test. The elements just outside the necking area, where their major and minor principal strains have no simultaneous change after localized necking happens, were chosen as the reference elements for measurement of limit strains. Simulations were carried out for various strain paths ranging from balanced biaxial stretching to uniaxial stretching. The effects of material properties, sheet thickness, anisotropic parameter and friction coefficient at the sheet punch interface on the locus of FLD were investigated. It was found that the material yield stress and average anisotropic parameter value has almost no effect on forming limits; larger strain-hardening exponent and higher sheet thickness result in higher level of forming limit strains; the friction coefficient has little influence on the locus of FLD but does affect the strain path taken during the deformation. The predicted FLD of AA 5182-O was compared with an experimentally determined FLD and very good agreement has been achieved. It was demonstrated that forming limit diagrams can be predicted by the finite element method without requiring any assumed geometric or material imperfections in the numerical model.

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