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Finite element simulation for superplastic forming using a non-Newtonian viscous thick section element

Keavey, M. A.; Tao, J.


M. A. Keavey

J. Tao


Superplastic forming (SPF) is becoming an increasingly important manufacturing process in the aerospace and automotive industries. Finite element simulation is an essential tool for the specification of process parameters. Initially applied only to thin sheet materials, SPF is now increasingly used to form thick section components. In this paper, a curved thick shell element, including membrane, bending and transverse shear stiffness, is combined with a non-Newtonian viscous flow material model to facilitate the modelling of thick sheet problems. The element is suitable for both thick and thin sheet down to all thicknesses used in practice. Good agreement is achieved when experimental results from industry and numerical results from the literature are compared with results obtained using the new formulation. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Keavey, M. A., & Tao, J. (2004). Finite element simulation for superplastic forming using a non-Newtonian viscous thick section element. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 147(1), 111-120.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 30, 2004
Journal Journal of Materials Processing Technology
Print ISSN 0924-0136
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 147
Issue 1
Pages 111-120
Keywords superplastic forming, finite elements, shell elements, simulation, viscous flow
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Develops a special purpose finite element for thick section forming where previously either thin shell or 3-dimensional representations had been used. Motivated by consultancy and PhD support from Airbus UK, Bristol, contact Mr P Ball Conducted in parallel with EPSRC project on Generic Ceramic Tooling. Complements ongoing SPF research at UWE in collaboration with University of Central Florida, contact Prof A Kar, that aims to reduce the financial and environmental costs of producing light-weight, high-integrity aerospace components.

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