In this paper, some practical guidelines to select the plug or set of plugs more adequate to carry out drawing processes of thin-walled tubes carried out with fixed conical inner plug are presented. For this purpose, the most relevant input parameters have been considered in this study: the tube material, the most important geometrical parameters of the process (die semiangle,
, and cross-sectional area reduction,
) and the friction conditions (Coulomb friction coefficients,
, between the die and the tube outer surface, and
, between the plug and the tube inner surface). Three work-hardening materials are analyzed: the annealed copper UNS C11000, the aluminum UNS A91100, and the stainless steel UNS S34000. The analysis is realized by means of the upper bound method (UBM), modelling the plastic deformation zone by triangular rigid zones (TRZ), under the validated assumption that the process occurs under plane strain conditions. The obtained results allow establishing, for each material, a group of geometrical parameters, friction conditions, a set of plugs that make possible to carry out the process under good conditions, and the optimum plug to carry out the process using the minimum amount of energy. The proposed model is validated by means of an own finite element analysis (FEA) carried out under different conditions and, in addition, by other finite element method (FEM) simulations and real experiments taken from other researchers found in the literature (called literature simulations and literature experimental results, respectively). As a main conclusion, it is possible to affirm that the plug that allows carrying out the process with minimum quantity of energy is cylindrical in most cases.
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