Superplastic forming


Also found in: Acronyms.

Superplastic forming

A process for shaping super-plastic materials, a unique class of crystalline materials that exhibit exceptionally high tensile ductility. Superplastic materials may be stretched in tension to elongations typically in excess of 200% and more commonly in the range of 400–2000%. There are rare reports of higher tensile elongations reaching as much as 8000%. The high ductility is obtained only for superplastic materials and requires both the temperature and rate of deformation (strain rate) to be within a limited range. The temperature and strain rate required depend on the specific material. A variety of forming processes can be used to shape these materials; most of the processes involve the use of gas pressure to induce the deformation under isothermal conditions at the suitable elevated temperature. The tools and dies used, as well as the superplastic material, are usually heated to the forming temperature. The forming capability and complexity of configurations producible by the processing methods of superplastic forming greatly exceed those possible with conventional sheet forming methods, in which the materials typically exhibit 10–50% tensile elongation. See Superplasticity

There are a number of commercial applications of super-plastic forming and combined superplastic forming and diffusion bonding, including aerospace, architectural, and ground transportation uses. Examples are wing access panels in the Airbus A310 and A320, bathroom sinks in the Boeing 737, turbo-fan-engine cooling-duct components, external window frames in the space shuttle, front covers of slot machines, and architectural siding for buildings. See Metal forming

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Industrial know-how has historically been the tool of choice to define the superplastic forming process but, by using the most up-to-date material testing, finite element modelling and process methods, the research centre is able to achieve optimal output.
Giuliano, Superplastic Forming of Advanced Metallic Materials: Methods and Applications, Elsevier, 2011.
[10] performed a series of experimental trials to validate the processing conditions predicted by ABAQUS FE simulations for optimizing the sheet thickness distribution in superplastic forming processes.
The process is called superplastic forming because the normally exceptionally strong titanium alloy behaves as though it were plastic when formed at high temperature and at the correct strain rate.
QPF has its roots in Superplastic Forming, a high-cost, low-volume aluminum-forming process used primarily by the aerospace industry.
Superplastic forming, which involves both heat (up to 500[degrees]C) and pressure, was used to produce the internal components and the hinge reinforcements.
* Superplastic forming process -- provides a cost-effective technology for forming aluminum sheet materials.
Murdock, which specializes in superplastic forming (SPF), designs and manufactures SPF hydraulic and composite-curing presses for manufacturers, particularly those in the aerospace industry.
Included are investigations for adapting autoclaving, thermoforming, superplastic forming, and tape-placement techniques to the particular higher temperature requirements of the thermoplastic materials.
Like the Rafale, the EFA will incorporate a large number of carbon fibre composite elements and will make extensive use of superplastic forming and diffusion bonding techniques.
Their topics include friction stir microstructure for superplasticity, an example of superplasticity of a cast alloy, cavitation during superplasticity, the potential of extending superplasticity to thick sections, superplastic punch forming and forging, and friction stir welding and superplastic forming for multisheet structures.