Conventional precision forming of sheet metal requires the use of mechanical tools. During product development, different tools may be required to form various shapes. If the required shapes can be formed without tools, the potential reduction in product development cost and lead time will be quite significant. To explore the potentials of flexible forming without tools, various researchers have used lasers as a heat source to form sheet metals. Promising results have been obtained. To investigate more economical and potentially safer heat sources, the authors recently established an experimental system to investigate the feasibility of forming sheet metals using plasma arc as the energy beam and CO2 as the cooling jet. Several samples have been formed using the developed experimental system. Experiments showed that the forming direction, either toward or away from the plasma arc beam, can be completely controlled to allow the formation of complex shapes.
- Sheet metal
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ceramics and Composites
- Computer Science Applications
- Metals and Alloys
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering