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Influence of Aging in the Warm Forming of 6xxx series Aluminum Alloys

Abstract : Heat treatable aluminum alloys present a high strength-to-weight ratio, which replies to the requirements of mass reduction and safety increase in the construction of new vehicles. However, in sheet metal forming operations, these alloys have lower formability and higher springback than traditionally mild steels used. In this context, forming in warm temperature appears as an attractive solution to solve these problems. Nevertheless, there is still a challenge since the temperature range used in warm forming is similar to one used in the heat treatment of these alloys. Thus increasing the temperature can lead to precipitation hardening, which modifies the thermo- mechanical behavior of the material. In addition, these alloys are prone to natural aging that causes variability in forming operations and increases the amount of scrap. The present study addresses the warm forming of two heat-treated Al-Mg-Si alloys (EN AW 6016-T4 and EN AW 6061-T6), in order to propose solutions that can contribute to the increase of robustness of sheet metal forming operations. The influence of natural aging, temperature and exposure time has been studied by using uniaxial tensile tests, cylindrical cup tests and the split ring tests. The main goal is to propose solutions to improve the robustness of the sheet metal forming process. Warm forming proves to be an effective solution for improving formability, reducing the springback and variability caused by natural aging. However, high forming speeds and fast heating are necessary to prevent precipitation hardening during forming operations.
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Vasco Manuel Neto Simoes. Influence of Aging in the Warm Forming of 6xxx series Aluminum Alloys. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Université de Bretagne Sud; Universidade de Coimbra, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LORIS474⟩. ⟨tel-02073914⟩

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