The process of stretch forming is used extensively in the aerospace industry to form large sheet panels of mild curvature. This has traditionally been a low precision process requiring considerable hand-working at assembly. However, recent demands for faster, less wasteful production have placed new demands on the accuracy and consistency (quality) of this process. In this paper the various modes of control for this process are examined, from both an analytical and experimental point of view. It is shown clearly that the process is least sensitive to material and machine property variations if controlled to a target level of strain in specific areas of the sheet. This method is compared with the conventional methods of controlling either the force applied to the sheet during stretching or the displacement of the stretch jaws. A series of both lab scale and full production experiments concur with the analytical findings, demonstrating reduced process variation if strain feedback is used. Lab experiments and analysis indicate that far greater reductions are possible if a more precise form of strain control is used. In production trials forming wing leading edges, a manually implemented strain control showed a shape variation reduction of 50 percent over normal factory practice using force control.
In Process Control of Strain in a Stretch Forming Process
Contributed by the Materials Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received by the Materials Division August 10, 2000. Guest Editors: Jian Cao and Cedric Xia.
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Hardt , D. E., Norfleet , W. A., Valentin , V. M., and Parris, A. (August 10, 2000). "In Process Control of Strain in a Stretch Forming Process ." ASME. J. Eng. Mater. Technol. October 2001; 123(4): 496–503. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1397780
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