An investigation into the production of a large-scale automotive part included small features using hydraulic sequential forming method

  • Quanda ZhangEmail author
  • Lihui Lang
  • Ehsan Sherkatghanad
  • Yanfeng Zhang
Technical Paper


Aiming at the requirement of the formability and the surface quality of the large-scale aluminum alloy such as AA6016-T4, utilized in the automotive component with complicated structures, a sequential forming process is proposed. This method consists of sheet hydroforming technology and local shaping with rigid tools. Firstly, according to the hydroforming process, the small curvature surfaces with excellent surface quality and the partial deformation of the local small features are obtained. After that, the method of local shaping with rigid tools is adopted and causes to reduce the equipment tonnage. In this research, the sequential forming process is studied on the basis of numerical simulations and experiments. At the same time, substituting the conventional mechanical test, the influences of different loading modes on the mechanical properties of the material are studied further from the viewpoint of the microstructure analysis. So when the different forming process is finished, the material in different areas is sampled and the microstructure evolution law is observed. The research results are illustrated that the excellent agreement is found through the analysis and the comparison of the wall thickness values on different measuring sections in the experiments and simulations results and the part with excellent quality is obtained. Meanwhile, it is found that the change degree of the microstructure of the small local features in the local shaping is more intense than the hydroforming process, and the grain sizes in the local shaping are smaller than the hydroforming process, and it is illustrated that the sequential forming is essential to the production of the aluminum alloy part with excellent surface quality and accurate structure size.


Hydroforming Local shaping Sequential forming Microstructural evolution AA6061-T4 alloy 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Science and Technology Major Project with Grant No. 2014ZX04002-071.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Hayashi H, Nakagawa T (1994) Recent trends in sheet metals and their formability in manufacturing automotive panels. J Mater Process Technol 46:455–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wang ZJ, Li Y (2008) Formability of 6k21-T4 car panel sheet for viscoelastic-plastic flexible-die forming. J Mater Process Technol 201(1–3):408–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sun ZY, Lang LH (2017) Study on hydroforming process and springback control of large sheet with weak rigidity. Int J Precis Eng Manuf 18(6):903–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Toros S, Ozturk F, Kacar I (2008) Review of warm forming of aluminum-magnesium. J Mater Process Technol 207(1–3):1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Palumbo G (2012) Hydroforming a small scale aluminum automotive component using a layered die. Mater Des 44:365–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang RJ, Lang LH, Zafar R, Li K, Wu L (2016) Effect of gap generator blank thickness on formability in multilayer stamp forming process. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc China 26(9):2442–2448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parsa MH, Darbandi P (2007) Experimental and numerical analyses of sheet hydroforming process for production an automobile body part. J Mater Process Technol 198(1–3):381–390Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lang LH, Wang ZR, Kang DC, Yuan SJ, Zhang SH, Danckert J, Nielsen B (2004) Hydroforming highlights: sheet hydroforming and tube hydroforming. J Mater Process Technol 151(1–3):165–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zhang SH, Zhou LX, Wang ZT, Yi Xu (2003) Technology of sheet hydroforming with a movable female die. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 43(8):781–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Oh SI, Jeon BH, Kim HY, Yang JB (2006) Applications of hydroforming processes to automobile parts. J Mater Process Technol 174:42–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Thiruvarudchelvan S, Travis FW (2003) Hydraulic-pressure-enhanced cup-drawing processes-an appraisal. J Mater Process Technol 140(SI):70–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ahmetoglu M, Hua J, Kulukuru S, Altan T (2004) Hydroforming of sheet metal using a viscous pressure medium. J Mater Process Technol 146(1):97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sun ZY, Lang LH, Wang Y, Zhang QD (2016) Study on the mechanism and the suppression method of wrinkling in side wall using hydroforming of the fairing. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 90(9–12):2527–2535Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kang SJ, Kim HK, Kang BS (2005) Tube size effect on hydroforming formability. J Mater Process Technol 160:24–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Trana K (2002) Finite element simulation of the tube hydroforming process-bending, preforming and hydroforming. J Mater Process Technol 127(3):401–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kim J, Lei LP, Kang BS (2003) Preform design in hydroforming of automobile lower arm by FEM. J Mater Process Technol 138(1–3):58–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee WS, Tang ZC (2014) Relationship between mechanical properties and microstructural response of 6016-T6 aluminum alloy impacted at elevated temperatures. Mater Des 58:116–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bin L, Wu XD, Yan CJ, Liu Z, Ji YL, Cao LF, Huang GJ, Liu Q (2017) Microstructure characterization of Al-cladded Al–Zn–Mg–Cu sheet in different hot deformation conditions. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc China 27(8):1689–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yuan SJ (2009) Modern hydroforming Technology. National Defence Industry Press, Beijing, pp 30–31Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quanda Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lihui Lang
    • 1
  • Ehsan Sherkatghanad
    • 1
  • Yanfeng Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mechanical Engineering and AutomationBeihang UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Tianduan Aviation Technology CO., LTDTianjinChina

Personalised recommendations