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Modern Sheet Material Forming INSIDE THE Automotive Industry Executive Essay

In this statement I will discuss the present day sheet metal forming processes being found in the current automotive industry. I will compare numerous kinds of sheet material forming processes on how they are being used and also how the traditional method have modernised to suit the current demand in the motor vehicle industry. I am also heading to go over which materials are best suited that forming process.

Sheet Metal is simply thin metal which have a thickness between 0. 4mm to 6mm. any thickness above that is recognized as dish and below the range is actually a leaf. Sheet material is one main materials found in metalworking because of its ability to be lower and shaped. Sheet metallic parts are generally characterised by high power, good dimensional accuracy, and good surface end and relatively low cost. Parts produced from Sheet Metal can be found in cars, office buildings, airplanes, construction equipment plus more. Historical uses of sheet metallic used to be for armour plates and horses.

Metalworking is the process of a metal being converted to a component. Metalworking has existed since the traditional times, with information that even pharaoh in Egypt did some sort than it. General metalworking functions are sand casting, perish casting, extrusion and etc.

Automotive Industry

Despite the entrance of carbon fibre, Sheet metallic forming continues to be of great importance to the automotive industry. Most high volume level production cars are produced from sheet metal. Metals remain the primary materials found in the automotive industry. This is scheduled to Metals being able to undergo clear plastic deformation. This implies the metals can be made into most shapes.

Plastic deformation of metal act as the essential to all or any the sheet metallic forming operations, without this property, material will not be allowed to be molded into all sorts of objects because they'll break.

In the motor vehicle industry the procedure of deformation starts off with a blank. Blank is a metallic in its basic form that will experience the process. Within the motor vehicle industry the blank will likely be made of the sheet of metallic which then will minimize, stamped or bent into shape.


Sheet metal building has existed for most generations. Nowadays both traditional and newer ways of sheet metal creating are being used in the motor vehicle industry. Most material forming processes which are now done by machines which are managed by Computer. This allow vehicle parts to be create in an easy and reliable way. There are various ways of sheet metal being deformed.


This process is one of the oldest kinds of Sheet Metalworking. The original approach to forging is merely a material being hammered against a surface usually done by the blacksmith. Nowadays the majority of the stuff is performed by machines like Drop-Hammer which works in the exact same way like blacksmith performed before. The process was usually done by pre-heating to certain temperature before being worked on. In today's times forging can be carried out in warm or cold condition to achieve right balance of push, ductility and the properties of last product. Manufacturers can nowadays determine the temperature they might need, due to superior materials knowledge and more control in temp condition

Forging parts are normally used as component parts in a assembly. Parts made from forging are commonly within the automotive and aerospace industry. They may be particular interest to those industries due to great strength, trustworthiness and relatively low priced. Moreover parts made from forging have around 20% better strength to weight ratio in comparison to machined parts. Things which are exposed to great shock and stress are usually from forging like, torsion bars, ruler pins or steering wheel spindles. Normal materials for forging are carbon and alloy material, in recent years there has been increased use of lightweight aluminum and micro alloyed steel. Forging makes good use of material and requires less machining

There are two main types of forging found in the Automotive:

Open die forging- the easiest exemplory case of the open die forging is a cylindrical condition metal being formed by two die on the opposite side to compress the metallic directly into desired shape. Start die forging is very good in creating shaft, disk or saddle bands. The features of this method are good component strength and wide selection of size. However this type of forging requires high degree of skills and it is difficult to hold close tolerances. Furthermore it is not your best option for mass creation due to decrease development rate.

Impression/closed expire forging- several dies are helped bring together as material sheet undergoes cheap deformation. The metal flow is restricted by the pass away contours, this allow more difficult patterns to be created. The benefit of impression forging is that makes good use of materials and has better strength compared to available die forging. It is useful in the automotive industry as a consequence to good production rates and good correctness. Nevertheless the startup cost is relatively high and machining might be required for the finish product.

Table 1. Process Comparisons









Poor to Good


Forming Loads




Forming Rate




Dimensional Precision



Moderate to Good

Surface Finish




Material Conservation




Die Cost




Die Life




Cold forging tend to have better surface finish compared hot forging. However stuff created from hot forging have better ductility. The decision to make use of which forging will rely upon the materials, the required properties and cost-effective benefits.


Stamping is a variety of sheet metal developing process which are done mechanical and hydraulic presses with respect to the end product. Punching, blanking, bending, coining and attracting are types of stamping. Despite high equipment and tooling cost, stamping is still very popular Inside the automotive industry thanks to large amount development and low labour cost. The most common type stamping used in the automotive is deep-drawing

Deep drawing is one of the most popular metal forming methods in the motor vehicle industry. Deep drawing is principally used to make cup-shaped or box designed parts. Usually the empty be kept down flat from the die with a empty holder. This form of steel forming is popular in the motor vehicle industry due good power against weight proportion. In addition, it has good creation time and cost. When appropriate, deep pulling has been used with metal rotating process to enhance the grade of the end product.

Figure 2


Compared to forging or sand casting thing made from drawing have better roughness value. That is one benefits the pulling and that's the reason it is so commonly used in the automotive industry.

One of the problems of deep pulling is obtaining high drawing limit ratio without the occurrence of wrinkling or fracture.


Extrusion can be used to produce long material things, such as rods and pipes. The steel sheet workpiece is pressured into a pass away with a gap in the opposite end. The metal is extruded through the hole to form the shape.

Cold extrusion is popular than hot extrusion credited to less oxidisation, higher power and better surface surface finish. More materials are fitted to chilly working like aluminium, lead or tin than for hot working. Extrusion may be used to manufacture important elements of a car's drive train or the anchors that maintain seatbelts in place or automotive pistons.

In modern times due to aluminium updating steel as the primary steel, aluminium extrusion has become popular in the motor vehicle industry. Chassis structure of the Lotus Elise has been manufactured from extruded aluminium. Extruded aluminium has found more in the structural applications because of its slim weight. Extrusion is likely to find more used in the returning years, due to its good use of aluminium which is been updating the utilization of metal in the motor vehicle industry. Furthermore it is expected to assist and be implanted into a hydroforming process.


This process metal forming process is done normally on a lathe. In this process an axially symmetric part is little by little shaped over a mandrel or form through a round tool or roller. Rotating process normally shapes like mugs, cones and tubes. Automotive parts included wheel discs, rims, hubcaps, hydraulic cylinders and engine motor inlet parts.

Spinning has a whole lot of benefits such as low energy costs, short set up time and relatively quick process. Additionally Most sheet metallic material can be utilized for spinning such as, aluminium, steel and titanium.

Spinning has moved from a manual with lot of skill had a need to an easier and better plus more automated form. Due to greater technological improvements, rotating has gained increased accuracy scheduled to automation and are mainly performed on CNC lathe.


Shearing is a sheet metallic cutting operation along a right collection between two lowering edges. Shearing is normally used to slice large sheets into smaller parts, those sections will be utilized pressworking operation. It really is normally performed on machines like power shears.

It is a good process to make upright line slices on toned sheet metal. Additionally it is very competent to cut really small pieces of sheet metallic. Aluminium, brass and stainless steel are commonly used with this technique.

Laser Cutting

There has been better use of lasers in the recent years. Despite lasers being in use because the 1960, in those times the laser slicing method was sophisticated and difficult to achieve the desired result because of this mechanical trimming was more preferred before.

Nowadays Lasers lowering functions by directing the result of an high-power laser beam at the materials, the laser beam will be controlled by computer. The material then will melt or burn off currently they are being used to trim, form slots. The advantages of using laser reducing are exactness and great consistency in the merchandise being made. It is also seen to be faster and safer solution to the more traditional method like mechanical and plasma trimming. However still laser cutting machine consume a great deal of power and its own efficiency is not very good so far. Electricity ingestion and efficiency will vary greatly depending on materials, thickness and slicing rate.

In the automotive industry has been in use because the 1980's, in those times used to weld cylindrical part. Alternatively, nowadays lasers are used to complete vehicle bodies, airbags. Additionally it is commonly used in combination with hydroformed parts.

However in the future the technology in laser beam cutting should improve and be more of typical in trimming sheet metal scheduled to, newer laser beam machine being able to consume less ability with better efficiency.

Superplastic forming

Superplastic forming is when the material is heated up to a certain temps within a die. Gas pressure is then applied forcing the materials to adopt the form of the pass away. The superplastic material can be extended at high temperature ranges by many times their initial length without breaking. The materials most likely would be an alloy which includes the superplasticity property which allows the materials to endure extreme elongation. The process has to be closely managed for heat range and strain rates.

Superplastic forming has been regularly found in the aerospace industry, only lately has this technique found greater used in the motor vehicle industry. Up to now the motor vehicle industry used this type of creating for low volume level production. That is due to decrease cycle time and cost in creating sheet metal alloy. Superplastic forming has great advantages enjoy it being a one step process and its ability to make complicated parts.

The automotive industry is expected to continue to do research on the superplastic forming and also the material behaviour. To create it more suitable high-volume production, especially research on aluminium alloys will be significant.

Stretch forming

In this process the sheet steel is stretched and together bent in to achieve the form. This process is not performed on presses. This method is one of the most accurate and specific method of forming sheet metal. The great accuracy allows this type of building to make small and detailed parts. Normally the styles created from this typed of creating are circles and parabolas. One of stretch developing great advantage is the fact it can reduce the amount of operations.

Mostly ductile materials are used for this process like aluminium, metallic and titanium. Additionally it is suitable for high volume development of large parts created from aluminium; this is due to its quick and productive way. Within the motor vehicle industry the stretch forming is utilized to generate body and door sections.


Hydroforming is relatively not used to the automotive industry, with increased significance directed at this type of forming lately. In the beginning of the 21th hundred years hydroforming was mainly used for prototyping and low volume level production.

In the previous few years hydroforming has been in high end activities cars due to its ability to build strong, lighter and even more rigid structures for vehicle. Parts normally created from hydroforming are light-weight which helps it power market and performance. In automotive industry, this process provides hollow parts such as radiator casings, engine unit cradles, exhaust manifolds, roof top and shape rails and instrument-panel holds. Parts made through sheet hydroforming, currently a low-volume area of expertise process, include automotive deep-drawn fuel-tank trays and body sections as well as kitchen appliance parts such as sections and sink basins. The procedure also works well with smaller parts such as fixtures and petrol filler necks

Hydroforming has began to replace the more traditional method like stamping and welding. As hydroforming uses pressure to makes the metal in to the form of the pass away, due compared to that it works more effectively in expense and time through the production level. Overall the industry is still continuing to change to hydroforming with major car produces starting to use this method than the more traditional method, Due to better strain syndication, reducing pass away cost and better surface finish. Nowadays parts made from hydroforming in the automotive industry are, casings, exterior body sections and also suspension system. Before hydroforming is employed on a material, Computer aided design (CAD) programs will be utilized to simulate if the materials is ideal for hydroforming. Just lately, technology has allowed inclusion of functions such as piercing during hydroforming.

In many conditions, one-piece hydroformed parts can replace assemblies, thus increasing structural integrity while keeping on materials costs and reducing scrap. Hydroforming is way better appropriate in producing parts from high-strength material and aluminium than contending processes. High-strength metallic and aluminium are the materials of choice in hydroforming parts for automotive use. But any sheet materials that can be cold produced is a applicant for hydroforming.

Hydroforming is usually taken by hydraulic press than the more traditional mechanical press. The mechanised presses aren't capable to undertaking the hydroforming operation, as they do not have the acceleration control and also the provision to remain on the bottom for undertaking the ruthless forming functions.

However hydroforming continues to be seen by many car manufacturers to be expensive. Certain material will definitely cost more because of this form of control than a lot more traditional method. THE GEAR required to produce hydroforming continues to be very costly and maintenance of it could be complicating and not financially viable.

High Velocity Forming

High velocity forming or also known as high energy rate forming, this technique uses large amount of energy which in turn will be applied in a very short time on the materials, this results the materials to undergo plastic material deformation. High Speed forming has been around since the early 20th hundred years but it has been mainly utilized in the aerospace industry. You can find three main types of forming that happen to be explosive forming, electrohydraulic forming and electromagnetic forming.

High velocity developing can create highly complex parts in one process which reduces the number of techniques required using the greater traditional method. This method of developing can create similar parts which are produced from extrusion or forging. The strain distribution is much more even in high speed forming to a lot more traditional forming methods. Materials popular high speed forming are magnesium, aluminium and stainless steel.

Generally electromagnetic creating greatest advantage is formability. Most materials can be developed and also at a lower life expectancy processing. Development and research are continuing in the application form high velocity creating in forming great deal aluminium sheet for body panels in autos.

Explosive forming

Explosive forming is one of the latest forms sheet metallic working. It is also already commonly used in the aerospace industry and expected to gain more importance in the motor vehicle industry. Explosive creating can be utilized on various types of metals such as aluminium and high durability alloys.

There are two types of Explosive forming that are standoff method and contact method.

Standoff method- in this technique the explosive demand is placed at a pre determined distance form the sheet metal. When the explosion occurs the vitality released is sent using mediums like air, oil or water.

Contact method- the explosive is positioned with the sheet metal. Once the explosion occurs, the pressure released makes the metal deforms.

The benefits of explosive forming are it has good tolerance level and even smoothness. Explosive developing is very good solution to create complicated figures. Additionally it is very good and employed in creating prototypes credited to how quickly the metallic is established. The tooling costs are low but it can entail high labour cost. It isn't suitable for high quantity production due to long pattern times which is more costly to the conventional methods. This type of forming is generally done by specialist companies because experience and high level skills are required to do that kind of forming.

Electrohydraulic Forming

In this process, " a distress wave to deform the task into a pass away cavity is made by the discharge of electrical energy between two electrodes submerged in a transmitting fluid".

The difference between eletrohydraulic forming and explosive forming is the energy source and also less energy is released. This makes electrohydraulic only well suited for small parts.

For a larger parts, large capacitor are required to make it, this makes the process very capital rigorous. However this method is more desirable high volume production credited to it being better suited for automation.

Electromagnetic Forming

Electromagnetic forming is the most recognised and used kind of high speed forming. "an electrical current is quickly imposed within an electrical conductor, it will develop a magnetic field. This change in magnetic field will stimulate eddy currents in any local conductor that generally run in a direction opposite to the primary current (like in a transformer). These eddy currents develop their own magnetic field and result in a mutual repulsion between the workpiece and actuator"

Electromagnetic forming is well suited for automation as it's very controllable. Electromagnetic forming has better tolerance level and springback within an object is significantly less than in a mechanised formed thing. Current problems of the strategy are that large sheet metallic components can't be made due to design limitations.

Equipment and Material

Most form of metalworking uses the traditional pass away and press. Sheet metal working can be categorized into two types functions performed on presses rather than performed on presses. Stretches, spinning and High Speed forming are process which will not use presses. Whereas, stamping, pulling and shearing use presses. Press can be classified as a machine which changes of shape of any workpiece.

The first presses were mechanised presses. "Mechanical presses use a mechanised flywheel to store the power, copy it to the punch and to the work piece. Mechanised presses are mainly used for blanking, sketching and for making accuracy parts".

The more prevalent presses nowadays are Hydraulic presses specifically in a production line". A machine where a large make is exerted on the bigger of two pistons in a set of hydraulically combined cylinders by means of a comparatively small force put on small piston". Hydraulic presses are versatile and possible for both punching and hydroforming procedures.

The greater developments of technology make hydraulic presses more viable and better. The advantages of using hydraulics press than the mechanical press is that there is more control in quickness and force. Furthermore the improvements in liquid management, provides user greater handles. Additionally the end product is better and greater reliability is achieved.

Probably the most important improvements in the automotive production have been the development in use of Pcs. Nowadays most car vegetation depend on Computer systems along the way of metal building. They have two major jobs in the forming process.

Guide the process- Your computer run machine will make it a whole lot simpler to create complex forms. Furthermore it can control the circulation of the task piece through the production point out.

Simulate the process- Computer systems are used to simulate the procedure of the metallic creating before it is done actually due to highly sophisticated software nowadays available. This helps reduce waste, time and moreover money.

Materials also have evolved over the in the industry. The motor vehicle industry has migrated from being metal depending to a more aluminium favoring industry. Aluminium better power to weight percentage and better forming methods has managed to get more ideal for the industry. Materials which show superplastic properties also have found increased use in the industry as higher researched is conducted on them.


In the existing automotive industry, a lot more traditional metal building methods are still used at a larger level than the present day method. The original methods have been updated to match their more current needs. The great advances in computer technology and equipment have helped the original method to become more current to current circumstances. These advancements have allowed those methods to become suitable for high volume production in the automotive industry. For instance stamping has changed from blacksmith job, to a more computer controlled computerized process in a car plant to complement the industry need.

The newer approach to sheet metal creating are attaining more importance on the market but are still less in use set alongside the traditional method. The high cost and being unsuitable for high quantity production anticipated to slow life circuit in most of the forming method outweigh the huge benefits they have in the current circumstances.

Aluminium sheet steel is definitely the most crucial type of material in the motor vehicle industry due to great durability to weight proportion. The modern sheet metal developing technologies are favouring the production of aluminium items than the more traditional materials like steel.

At as soon as the automotive industry uses all sorts of sheet metal creating procedures. Each kind of forming process earns own advantages and disadvantage with regards to the object requirement and viability the processes are chosen on the market.


The future of sheet steel in the automotive industry will essentially depend on the near future needs of the industry. With current trend on lean production and cost trimming, the sheet steel forming process which suit that the most would be the most valuable to the industry.

The traditional method like forging, extrusion and bending will still be active but probably at lower rate. Nevertheless the traditional method will need to be updated to match the future problems. Inside the returning years there will increased use of more modern sheet metal developing processes. Hydroforming and High Velocity forming are anticipated to gain higher acknowledgement and importance in the motor vehicle industry with more research being carried out to make these processes more feasible for high volume development. Superplastic developing might end up being the biggest type of forming in the future years, with technology already available and greater research being transported around metal conducts, with one major breakthrough only required. As a result of this more car parts will be made from super clear plastic forming.

Greater advancements in technology will permit more sophisticated simulation programs. Furthermore better and even more accurate equipment will be accessible to the manufacturers. For instance laser cutter can be more appropriate and better. A lot more new method are being tested to see if they can become suitable in the foreseeable future like vibrostamping or a press free metal stamping. Only time will inform if these newer method will succeed.

Carbon fibre has been great use within the last few years and is also expected to gain more importance in the industry as it is becoming more commercially practical. The industry will continue researching carbon fibre, This can have great significance on use of sheet metal in the automotive industry. If Carbon fibre becomes more commercially practical, you will see less consumption of sheet metal. However, research has been conducted on steel alloys that will significantly impact the operations of sheet metallic being found in the automotive industry.

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