A process to improve formability and spring-back was developed for AA5xxx-H temper sheets based on the surface friction stir (SFS) method. In the SFS method, a rotating probe stirs the sheet surface so that material flow and heat, which result from plastic deformation and friction, change the microstructure and macroscopic mechanical properties of the stirred zone and therefore, ultimately, the formability and spring-back performances of the whole sheet. When applied to AA5052-H32 sheets, the process improved formability and spring-back, as experimentally and numerically confirmed in the limit dome height and unconstrained bending tests.

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