The objective of this collaborative research project is to develop the fundamental understanding necessary to design robust warm forming processes for magnesium (Mg ) alloys, with emphasis on material behavior and process design. Magnesium alloys offer great potential to reduce weight by displacing commonly used materials. A problem that prevents greater exploitation of magnesium alloys' light weight and good properties is their poor low-temperature formability. A possible solution is warm forming, however, both practical and fundamental issues remain. Process optimization relies heavily upon having a good finite element (FE) modeling framework in order to determine how various material and process parameters interact and affect the deformation process. Due to the significant anisotropy and asymmetry in the mechanical behavior of magnesium sheet, no readily available FE modeling framework exists. In this work, the following approach will be employed: a polycrystal plasticity modeling approach will be constrained by experimental data from a relatively small number of mechanical tests to efficiently characterize the material's constitutive behavior; a continuum model will be developed and implemented into an FE-code, which captures the effects of mechanical twinning, in particular; finally, FE-modeling will be used to design and implement warm forming tooling in existing equipment. The design strategy will be subject to experimental validation using a stamped part.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the work, this research combines the microstructure, micromechanics, plasticity, process optimization, finite element simulation, and experimental forming expertise of the three collaborating institutions -- University of Virginia (UVA), Ohio State University (OSU), and University of Florida (UF). Graduate and undergraduate students will benefit from this interaction, as well as the interaction with the Institute of Metal Forming (Hannover, Germany) and several industrial contributors (Sekely Industries and Cyril Bath). Understanding the warm forming of anisotropic materials will benefit numerous industries, by helping to enable the use of numerous hard-to-form materials that have excellent properties in service. Environmental benefits are anticipated through the increased incorporation of lightweight materials into vehicles leading to decreased emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.