Know thy Steel

For a long time now, I have been sounding like a broken record about how important it is to test steel samples for use in simulation, and how “generic” properties or “mill certs” are hardly worth the paper they are written on. Also, I am always strongly suggesting that our customer do not “guess” material properties for use in simulation, and if they do, they must assume responsibility if reality does not match simulation.

Furthermore, there are more and more examples of parts we simulate, when the MATERIAL will make or break the part. It can sometimes be tough to hear that you have to “change the material” or hear “this product shape cannot be formed in this steel”, but these problems will become more and more frequent as the industry switches to AHSS (Advanced High Strength Steels) and other light weight, high strength alloys.

We have saved customers thousands of dollars and months of work, by identifying very quickly a material selection problem for a given part geometry. It’s unfortunate that sometimes this is seen as a “bad” result and people sometimes argue until their death that “the material cannot be changed, the part shape cannot be changed”. Ultimately, you can not argue with the results you get in the press (the press does not lie), and learning the hard way can be a hard pill to swallow, but for many companies, this may be the difference between being a viable business or not.

Fortunately, this is not just the view of one determined sheet metal forming simulation engineer, from (aka me): the industry’s leading experts have been preaching about these issues for as long as sheet metal forming has been around. But is anyone listening?

image001-1(1) Sheet metal properties should never be brushed over or guessed, when implementing forming simulation. makes collecting actual tensile test data from actual material samples cheap and fast, when using SimulateLite or SimulateComplete simulation services. Those who skip “the lab test” often pay dearly in the end.

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