Effect of pin arrangement on formed shape with sparse multi-point flexible tool for creep age forming

Yong Li, Zhusheng Shi (Lead / Corresponding author), Qi Rong, Wenbin Zhou, Jianguo Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


The effect of forming pin arrangement on formed shape accuracy with sparse multi-point flexible (SMPF) tool has been experimentally and numerically investigated for creep age forming (CAF) process. An analytical method has been introduced to predict shape, stress and strain distributions of blanks loaded by SMPF tool with different pin configurations. Experiments and FE simulations of loading and CAF processes by SMPF tool with various pin number/interval conditions have been performed and the formed shapes after loading and CAF have been quantitatively analysed. The results show that increasing pin numbers in SMPF tool decreases shape errors and stress variations in the loaded blank, leading to lower deflections of the formed blank after CAF. With increasing pin numbers, the formed shape approaches the shape formed with corresponding surface tool. The shape error percentage in loaded blanks is significantly enlarged after CAF with SMPF tool, from 3% to more than 20% for singly-curved tool shapes with aluminium alloy 6082, and detailed value varies with tool shapes. Stresses in loaded blanks directly affect CAFed shapes and it has been found for the first time that there is a same stress discrepancy level between loaded blanks with SMPF tool and corresponding surface tool to achieve a particular shape accuracy after CAF with different tool shapes. It is proposed that the stress discrepancy parameter in loaded blanks can be used as a new and more efficient design criterion for pin arrangement in SMPF tool for CAF process. In addition, an asymmetric pin pattern, which reduces half of pins in SMPF tool and increases efficiency, has been proposed and its effectiveness for CAF process has been tested and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-61
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture
Early online date8 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Aluminium alloy
  • Creep age forming
  • Flexible tool
  • Pin arrangement
  • Shape accuracy
  • Sparse multi-point forming tool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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