The production of metal parts manufactured through the hydroforming process is strongly affected by the difficulty in predicting the elastic recovery (springback) of the material. In addition, the formation of wrinkles and crack growth should be avoided. Manual cold work is widely employed in industry to obtain the final shape of the manufactured parts. Therefore, an accurate springback estimation is of high interest to reduce the overall time of manufacturing and also to decrease the manual rectification stage. A working procedure based on finite element simulations (FEM) was developed to estimate the elastic recovery and predict the final morphology of UNS A92024-T3 aluminum alloy pieces after forming. Experimental results of real hydroformed parts were compared with the results obtained in simulations performed with PAM-STAMP software. The influence of different experimental parameters on the forming processes was also analyzed, such as the material properties, the rolling direction of sheet metal, or the hardening criteria employed to characterize the plastic region of the alloy. Results obtained in the present work show an excellent agreement between real and simulated tests, the maximum morphology deviations being less than the thickness of parts (2.5 mm). FEM simulations have become a suitable and mature tool that allows the prediction of the pieces springback, a precise material characterization being required to obtain reliable results.
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