Single-point incremental forming (SPIF) uses one small hemispherically ended tool moving along a predefined toolpath to locally deform a completely peripherally clamped sheet of metal such that the sum total of the local deformations yields the final desired shape of the sheet. While SPIF is characterized by greater formability than conventional forming processes, it suffers from significant geometric inaccuracy. Accumulative double-sided incremental forming (ADSIF) is a substantial improvement over SPIF in which one hemispherically ended tool is used on each side of the sheet metal. The supporting tool moves synchronously with the forming tool, therefore acting as a local but mobile die. ADSIF results in considerably enhanced geometric accuracy and increased formability of the formed part as compared to SPIF. In light of the aforementioned advantages of ADSIF as compared with SPIF, an investigation of the mechanics associated with the ADSIF process, which has yet to be presented in the literature, is warranted. The present study sheds light on the differences in deformation mechanisms between SPIF and ADSIF. Finite element analyses are performed to simulate deformation in the two processes, and a detailed analysis of the deformation history is presented. It is shown that the presence of the supporting tool in ADSIF elicits substantial differences in the plastic strain, hydrostatic pressure, and shear strains as compared to SPIF. The implications of these trends on the prevalent modes of deformation in ADSIF along with possible explanations for increased formability observed in the process arediscussed.
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