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Experimental strain measurement for sheet

metal forming
Strain measurement in formability processes is of extreme importance, allowing quantification of the
deformation and knowing where are the most critical points stress-wise Another very important aspect of
strain measurement is the ability to plot a forming limit curve (FLC) and/or forming limit diagram
(FLD), which is used to characterize the formability of sheet metal that allows to determine the maximum
principal strains that can be sustained by the material before localized necking .FLD shows the graphical
relation between the values major strain ϵ and all the values of minor strain
The material used in this research work was an Aluminum Alloy 1050 with a
thickness of 1,20 mm. AA1050 material is composed mostly by aluminum,
around 99,5% and can be considered almost pure aluminum. The specimens
were obtained from an aluminum sheet cut into circular specimens with an
approximate diameter of 110 mm in order to fit the die used in the forming
processes. The specimens were also tempered by heating at 480 ºC for 2
hours and cooled at room temperature

At least two samples at each direction (0˚,45˚,90˚) with respect to rolling

directions were tested (7,9,11.13)

To perform a strain measurement a pattern on the surface of the sheet metal must be printed or
transferred to work as a reference to measure the strain, the transfer or printing of these patterns is known
as grid marking.
Those Grids can be printed or transferred depending on the type of process or technique and all of them
have their particular advantages and disadvantages
Many different technologies for measurement of grid markings are used that can be both manual and
automated methods
. The patterns on the specimens tend to deform to some extent
depending on the
location where the deformation experienced by the sheet of metal took
place .Such deformations will implicate that the circles will
turn into an ellipse if the deformation is not
purely biaxial when fully stretched. The largest
dimension in the ellipse relates to the major
axis and its perpendicular direction to the minor axis.

Principal strains and their directions can

be determined by the measurement of the axes and
the measurement of diameter of the circles. As the
forming progresses, at some region neck may
occur. The ratio of strains is determined at that
region. This is a point on finite limit diagram or
curve which separates the safe and the unsafe
regions. The region above the lines is the failure
zone and below is safe. The state of strain in
forming must be such that it falls below the curve
for a particular material.

The Factors Affecting FLD:

 Material properties, strain hardening and strain rate
 Thickness of sheet, finite limit diagram for thicker sheet is placed higher than for a thinner sheet with
little or no change in diagram.
 The forming limit curve of softened sheet of same alloy and same thickness is positioned higher to that
of hard sheet.
 Anisotropy in the sheet.
 Type of coating on the sheet.
 Type of pre-straining prior to testing.
The finite limit diagram
may be modified by
altering strain path. It can
be positioned higher by
selecting proper strain
 The orientation of test
specimen with respect to
rolling direction
Plastic Strain Ratio
Plastic strain ratio r is a measure of the ability of a sheet metal to resist thinning or
thickening when subjected to a tensile or compressive force. It is typically advantageous if
the material reduces in area a minimal amount when subject to this force, meaning a good
drawing material has a high r value. Once the material is taken beyond its elastic limit, it
has deformed. If this flows easily in the plane of the sheet it will result in a high r-value.
Alternatively, if it flows from the materials thickness it will thin during drawing, which
may result in weakness. To determine this ratio, assuming constant volume, both the axial
and transverse strain needs to be obtained during a uni-axial tensile test
Because rolled sheet metals develop planar anisotropy (characteristics that are
directional), sample orientation can be significant to the measurement of the plastic strain
ratio. Therefore, you must cut test specimens 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees
respective to the rolling direction, and you must report the cut direction with each result
Plastic Strain Ratio
The plastic strain ratio, r, is considered a direct measure of sheet metal's
drawability and is useful for evaluating materials intended for forming shapes by
deep drawing (see lead photo). The r value
is the ratio of the true strain in the width
direction to the true strain in the thickness
direction when a sheet material is pulled in
uniaxial tension beyond its elastic limit

Figure 1
In this typical test specimen used for measuring the plastic strain ratio, r, the "45"
denotes 45 degrees, which is the angle relative to the rolled direction from which
the specimen was cut. The gauge marks are 2 inches apart from each other before
the test. They are required only for manual calculation of the r value.
(see Figure 1).

Determining the plastic strain ratio is governed by ASTM E517 Standard Test
Method for Plastic Strain Ratio r for Sheet Metal. The plastic strain ratio is
calculated as shown in Equation 1:

r = ew/et Where:

 True width strain ew = ln(wf / wo)

 True thickness strain et = ln (tf / to)
 wf = Final width
 wo = Original width
 tf = Final thickness
 to = Original thickness
Equation 1 shows that the r value is dependent on the ratio of width and thickness
changes as the sample is pulled in tension. The word plasticin the phrase plastic
strain ratioimplies that you have exceeded the specimen's elastic limit and that only
the strain that induces plastic flow is considered in the calculation. Because it is
difficult to measure thickness changes accurately, it is assumed the volume of the
specimen remains constant and the thickness strain is expressed as et =
ln(Lowo/Lfwf). After substituting et into Equation 1 and inverting it to eliminate
negative values, the plastic strain ratio is
given by Equation 2.

r = ln(wo/wf)/ln(Lfwf/Lowo)


 Lf = Final length
 Lo = Original length

Equation 2 enables you to calculate the

plastic strain ratio either manually with a set
of calipers or automatically with the use of Figure 2
two extensometers—one to measure the This axial and averaging transverse
change in axial gauge length and the other extensometer attached to a flat metal
to measure the change in width (see Figure test specimen is a typical
2). If you use the manual approach, it is arrangement for determining the
necessary to measure with calipers the plastic strain ratio. (Photo courtesy of
specimen width and the distance between Epsilon Technology Inc.).
gauge marks before testing. You pull the specimen to a strain less than maximum
force (point D in Figure 3), unload it, and measure the final width and gauge
Stress, plotted on the Y axis, is the force divided
by the original cross-sectional area of the
specimen; strain, plotted on the X axis, is how the
metal deforms under the applied stress. A small
amount of stress induces elastic deformation (the
region from O to A). As the phrase elastic
deformation implies, the deformation is not
permanent; removing the stress allows the
material to return to its original shape. Between
points A and F, the material undergoes plastic
deformation. The material actually flows, and
when the stress is removed, the material may
spring back but will not return to its original shape. F is the point of fracture.
Engineering strain
The Cauchy strain or engineering strain is expressed as the ratio of total deformation to the
initial dimension of the material body in which the forces are being applied. The engineering normal
strain or engineering extensional strain or nominal strain e of a material line element or fiber axially
loaded is expressed as the change in length ΔL per unit of the original length L of the line element
or fibers. The normal strain is positive if the material fibers are stretched and negative if they are
compressed. Thus, we have
where e is the engineering normal strain, L is the original length of the fiber and l is the final
length of the fiber. Measures of strain are often expressed in parts per million or microstrains.
The true shear strain is defined as the change in the angle (in radians) between two material
line elements initially perpendicular to each other in the undeformed or initial configuration.
The engineering shear strain is defined as the tangent of that angle, and is equal to the length
of deformation at its maximum divided by the perpendicular length in the plane of force
application which sometimes makes it easier to

tensile strain hardening

exponent methods for
determining the tensile strain hardening
exponent, commonly called the “n-value”, of
flat metallic materials, typically sheet and
strip. The strain hardening exponent (n) of sheet metal is the material’s
response to cold working (a measure of the increase in strength due to plastic
To calculate the n-value, a test is performed to ISO 6892 and using the axial
extensometer, a stress strain curve is produced. The n-value is calculated over
the whole uniform plastic strain range. This is typically from the beginning of
uniform strain hardening region (after any yield point phenomena) until just
before the point at which tensile strength is calculated, R . These calculations

can be done automatically using Bluehill Universal.

An ISO 10275, ASTM E646, or JIS Z 2253 test is typically performed at the same
times as ISO 10113, ASTM E517, or JIS Z 2254, the plastic strain ratio (r-value).
Sheet metal testing applications require calculations such as yield strength,
yield point elongation, ultimate tensile strength, plastic strain ratio ('r' value)
and the strain hardening exponent ('n' value). These calculations place a high
physical demand on traditional contacting extensometers for measuring axial
and transverse strain to allow for enough travel to test the specimens through
break, but small enough gauge lengths to ensure high accuracy in
measurements. Additionally, relevant ASTM and ISO testing standards have
accuracy requirements that must be achieved.
The Japanese Standards Association promotes JIS test standards for sheet
metal testing applications which require calculations such as yield strength,
yield point elongation, ultimate tensile strength, plastic strain ratio ('r' value)
and the strain hardening exponent ('n' value). These calculations place a high
physical demand on traditional contacting extensometers for measuring axial
and transverse strain to allow for enough travel to test the specimens through
break, but small enough gauge lengths to ensure high accuracy in
measurements. Additionally, relevant JIS, ASTM and ISO testing standards have
accuracy requirements that must be achieved.
The strain rate sensitivity index,
m-value, is being applied as a common tool to evaluate the impact of the strain rate on the viscoplastic
behaviour of materials. The m-value, as a constant number, has been frequently taken into consideration for
modeling material behaviour in the numerical simulation of superplastic forming processes. However, the
impact of the testing variables on the measured m-values has not been investigated comprehensively. In this
study, the m-value for a superplastic grade of an aluminum alloy (i.e., AA5083) has been investigated. The
conditions and the parameters that influence the strain rate sensitivity for the material are compared with three
different testing methods, i.e., monotonic uniaxial tension test, strain rate jump test and stress relaxation test.
All tests were conducted at elevated temperature (470°C) and at strain rates up to 0.1 s⁻¹. The results show
that the m-value is not constant and is highly dependent on the applied strain rate, strain level and testing