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Incremental Sheet Metal Forming

Mechanical Engineering

About the Project

Sheet metal forming is nowadays a well-developed technology which is traditionally used for the automotive industry in particular and for industries that require the use of lightweight structures in general. The challenges for the traditional sheet metal forming technology still exist and they are essentially the wrinkling of the blank sheet, the thinning, the necking and the accurate prediction of springback. The tool design for sheet metal forming is a very difficult and expensive process which is based mostly on trial and error procedures. Tools have to be modified many times, for example for the compensation of springback, and that can cost millions of pounds. So, the tool design based on trial and error can be very expensive and it can add substantial costs to the final sheet metal formed product. One of the greatest advantages of incremental sheet metal forming is the design of the tools with very low costs associated.
The incremental sheet forming is a new sheet metal forming technology where the part can be formed by a punch with a small diameter which is performing a tool path and during this travelling the tool performs localised sheet forming. This tool path can be controlled by CNC but the design of the tool path and the forming conditions need to be addressed through numerical modelling and by using advanced numerical sheet metal forming techniques.
The candidate will have to have some experience with the finite element method and will have to be willing to learn the modelling of sheet metal forming processes. There is also the aim of building a robot-type machine for incremental sheet metal forming for the experimental validation of the numerical models developed.

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: View Website. Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.)

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