Date: 26 Oct 2013

Trimming of 3D solid finite element meshes: sheet metal forming tests and applications

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Over the last years, the numerical simulation of integrated processes has become the major challenge in virtual try-out of sheet metal components, including trimming operations that may occur between forming steps. Detailed simulation of trimming processes is a challenging task, particularly when integrated with other forming operations such as deep drawing or hemming. A simplified approach can be adopted in which elements outside the trim surface are deleted from the finite element (FE) model adjusting the remaining to the surface. Following this approach, the state variables are mapped from the old FE mesh to the new trimmed mesh to continue the simulation. This paper addresses this simplified approach to the trimming process exploring a previously presented algorithm (Finite Elem Anal Des 42: 1053–1060, Baptista et al. 2006), which allows the treatment of hexahedral finite element meshes. Particularly, it focuses on the performance evaluation of the implemented strategies for correcting the FE mesh to the trimming surface, including the treatment of pentahedral-shaped elements. Different correction and treatment strategies are evaluated on different types of meshes, based on numerical simulation results of simple mechanical tests: uniaxial tensile test and simple bending test. Finally, two practical applications are given where the local effect of the trimming algorithm is highlighted.