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Abstract

The subject of the work is the analysis of thermomechanical bending process of a thin-walled tube made of X5CrNi18-10 stainless steel. The deformation is produced at elevated temperature generated with a laser beam in a specially designed experimental setup. The tube bending process consists of local heating of the tube by a moving laser beam and simultaneous kinematic enforcement of deformation with an actuator and a rotating bending arm. During experimental investigations, the resultant force of the actuator and temperature at the laser spot are recorded. In addition to experimental tests, the bending process of the tube was modelled using the finite element method in the ABAQUS program. For this purpose, the tube deformation process was divided into two sequentially coupled numerical simulations. The first one was the heat transfer analysis for a laser beam moving longitudinally over the tube surface. The second simulation described the process of mechanical bending with the time-varying temperature field obtained in the first simulation. The force and temperature recorded during experiments were used to verify the proposed numerical model. The final stress state and the deformation of the tube after the bending process were analyzed using the numerical solution. The results indicate that the proposed bending method can be successfully used in forming of the thin-walled profiles, in particular, when large bending angles and a small spring-back effect are of interest.
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