The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan have established a multi-university Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Precision Forming. The mission of the I/UCRC is to serve as a center of excellence for the creation and dissemination of a systematic body of knowledge in precision forming and fabrication of lightweight-high strength materials of interest in this century, and ultimately to impact the next-generation products and production systems with precision, responsiveness and near-zero waste. The objectives of this I/UCRC are to explore, conduct research and to bring about innovation and practical solutions by focusing on industrially relevant research needs; foster collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects between industrial and academic engineers and scientists; and promote intra-university research activities and prepare the next generation of engineering graduates for the metal forming industry.

Project Report

The CPF has strived to bring value to its company members, students and faculty by validating innovative manufacturing process technologies, predictive computational tools, advanced measurements and quality control methods as well as by harnessing business alliances through strategic testbeds. The overall objectives of the CPF have been to: (a) Conduct scientifically challenging and industrially relevant research to bring about advances in materials forming, science and technology and innovations in predictability, productivity, producibility; (b) Foster collaborative research projects between industrial and academic scientists that will make positive technological and economical impacts on Center membership in the near-future; (c) Promote interdisciplinary and intra-university research activities and nurture students, engineers and scientists through industrial testbeds and collaborative projects. CPF contributed to the sustainable development and transportation by developing novel manufacturing processes for lightweight structures and clean energy generation systems. Some of the research topics that CPF involved in are follows: Novel manufacturing processes for sheet, tubular, bulk and particulate materials Tribological analysis and tests: friction, wear, coating, lubrication Warm forming of lightweight materials such as Aluminum, Magnesium, Advanced High Strength Steels and Titanium Micro-manufacturing for fuel cell, biomedical device and heat/mass transfer applications, Computational tools and algorithms for accurate and rapid validation/prediction of complex manufacturing processes and material behavior, Testing and validation of alternative tool/die materials, making and processing (rapid tooling, coatings, hardening, etc.) Surface characterization of tools/dies and parts for accurate characterization of process conditions and quality control, CPF conducted its research with support of its members including: Boeing, ESI, EWI, General Motors, Honda, Interlaken, IMRA America, Johnson Control (JCI), POSCO, SFTC, Thixomat, Luvata. In addition to research as evidenced by more than 100 technical publications, CPF has excelled in providing training for undergraduate, graduate and visiting students and scholars. It shared state-of-the art information and knowledge with all of its stakeholders (faculty, students, member companies). It disseminated knowledge to undergraduate and graduate student through manufacturing, metal forming and design courses at OSU (ISE 350, ISE 694, ME 694, ME 890) and VCU (EGRM 426, EGRM 627, ENGR 591), as well as at K-12 institutes, professional organizations/chapters, through its outreach and information activities. CPF contributions within the field of manufacturing can be summarized as follows: - Understanding forming characteristics of lightweight & high strength sheet materials (Al, Mg and AHSS), - Characterization of friction & wear behavior in sheet metal forming at room temperature and at elevated temperature conditions, - Forming characteristics and micro-mechanical behavior in micro-manufacturing of micro-channels for fuel cell applications, - Project results are being introduced into educational modules for students, researchers as well as industry. CPF contributions to education and human resources - Non-proprietary aspects of the project results are included in manufacturing seminar courses taught by faculty leaders and presented in various conferences and meetings. CPF contributions to resources for science and technology - The results of this project are already being used at the CPF in a) conducting other research projects and b) updating of metal forming and machining courses for undergraduate and graduate students as well as in the dissemination of the research results to industry. - Technical reports and data on research results are provided to member companies for their internal use. - Several journal papers were submitted as a result of research through CPF. CPF accomplishments and products can be summarized as follows: Knowledge products. CPF scientists collectively produced more than 100 Center-based articles in refereed journals, and 100+ conference articles. Technology transfer. The CPF operated a website for members ( with a password-protected section presenting quarterly project reports, plus two other websites,, and, CPF conducted several workshop on manufacturing, forming and tribology issues. Educational impacts. CPF research projects provided support for more than 30 MS students and 10 PhD students, and to more than 20 undergraduate students. Some of the specific and technological accomplishments can be listed as follows on stemming from different company sponsored projects: 1- Development of an Automated, Rapid, Cost-effective Die Wear Testing Method and Apparatus: Testing of different die materials as prepared and provided by member companies IM Steel, DAIDO and GM. Investigations on the effect of different (a) coating, (b) die material, (c) blank material were completed. 2- Micro/nano-engineered Functional Surfaces for Fuel Cell, Heat & Mass Transfer Applications: Fabrication of PEMFC metallic bipolar plates with micro-channel arrays using stamping and hydroforming processes was completed. Corrosion and contact resistance characteristics of fabricated PEMFC metallic bipolar plates is characterized. 3- Warm Hydroforming of Engineered Blanks Al, Mg, Ti & AHSS: Mechanical behavior of ultrasonically assisted manufacturing/layered Al-Ti LMC blanks, as provided by member company Solidica, were completed, and forming behavior of composite blanks is chartacterized. 4- Determination of Flow Stress of Sheet Materials at Elevated Temperatures: Plastic deformation behavior of several sheet materials (Al, Mg, Ti) is characterized and modeled using hydraulic bulge and tensile tests.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
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Lawrence A. Hornak
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Virginia Commonwealth University
United States
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