Simulation of stretch forming with intermediate heat treatments of aircraft skins - A physically based modeling approach

S. Kurukuri, Alexis Miroux, H.H. Wisselink, Antonius H. van den Boogaard

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In the aerospace industry stretch forming is often used to produce skin parts. During stretch forming a sheet is clamped at two sides and stretched over a die, such that the sheet gets the shape of the die. However for complex shapes it is necessary to use expensive intermediate heat-treatments in between, in order to avoid Lüders lines and still achieve large deformations. To optimize this process FEM simulations are performed. The accuracy of finite element analysis depends largely on the material models that describe the work hardening during stretching and residual stresses and work hardening reduction during heat treatments due to recovery and particle coarsening. In this paper, a physically based material modeling approach used to simulate the stretch forming with intermediate heat treatments and its predictive capabilities is verified. The work hardening effect during stretching is calculated using the dislocation density based Nes model and the particle coarsening and static recovery effects are modeled with simple expressions based on physical observations. For comparison the simulations are also performed with a phenomenological approach of work hardening using a power law. The Vegter yield function is used to account for the anisotropic and biaxial behavior of the aluminum sheet. A leading edge skin part, made of AA 2024 has been chosen for the study. The strains in the part have been measured and are used for validation of the simulations. From the used FEM model and the experimental results, satisfactory results are obtained for the simulation of stretching of aircraft skins with intermediate heat treatments and it is concluded that the physics based material modeling gives better results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
JournalInternational journal of material forming
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Stretch forming – Heat treatment – Material model – Aluminum sheet – FEM simulation
  • IR-77821
  • METIS-277814


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