The existence and consequence of hydrodynamic lubrication in sheet metal forming is demonstrated using a model problem of hemispherical punch stretch forming. The problem is solved by incorporating a lubrication analysis into an incremental plasticity analysis. The sheet material is assumed to be elastic plastic with strain hardening, and the lubricant is assumed isoviscous. The study identifies two dimensionless parameters controlling the condition of lubrication. The resulting variable friction at the punch-sheet interface is found to affect significantly the distribution of strains in the sheet metal and its formability.

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