Investigation of Enhanced Superplastic Behaviour of AA5083 Aluminum Sheet for Vehicle Weight Reduction
Large automotive body panels are currently manufactured by heating aluminum sheets and pressurizing them into a die. However, this superplastic forming process requires long cycle times to avoid tearing the sheet. Preliminary work has demonstrated that by applying small pressure oscillations in addition to the increasing base line pressure a significant increase in the formability of superplastic alloys can be achieved. This research will consist of experimentally applying small oscillations to AA5083 sheet specimens pulled in tension. The objective of this investigation is to determine the ranges of amplitude and frequency of the superimposed oscillation that maximize the sheet formability. The conditions that optimize the sheet formability will ultimately be applied to industrial processes in order to reduce process time and improve part quality. It is anticipated that this research will help to further reduce vehicle weight and associated manufacturing costs.