In most forming processes based on tailored blanks, the tool material remains the same as that of sheet metal blanks without tailored properties. A novel concept of lightweight construction for deep drawing tools is presented in this work to improve the forming behavior of tailored blanks. The investigations presented here deal with the forming of tailored blanks of dissimilar strengths using tailored dies made of two different materials. In the area of the steel blank with higher strength, typical tool steel is used. In the area of the low-strength steel, a hybrid tool made out of a polymer and a fiber-reinforced surface replaces the steel half. Cylindrical cups of DP600/HX300LAD are formed and analyzed regarding their formability. The use of two different halves of tool materials shows improved blank thickness distribution, weld-line movement and pressure distribution compared to the use of two steel halves. An improvement in strain distribution is also observed by the inclusion of springs in the polymer side of tools, which is implemented to control the material flow in the die. Furthermore, a reduction in tool weight of approximately 75%
can be achieved by using this technique. An accurate finite element modeling strategy is developed to analyze the problem numerically and is verified experimentally for the cylindrical cup. This strategy is then applied to investigate the thickness distribution and weld-line movement for a complex geometry, and its transferability is validated. The inclusion of springs in the hybrid tool leads to better material flow, which results in reduction of weld-line movement by around 60%, leading to more uniform thickness distribution.
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