Flexible forming of sheet metal using a plasma arc

P. J. Li, Y. W. Chen, A. T. Male, Y. M. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Conventional precision forming of sheet metal requires the use of mechanical tools. During product development, different tools may be required to form various shapes. If the required shapes can be formed without tools, the potential reduction in product development cost and lead time could be quite significant. To explore the potentials of flexible forming without tools, various researchers have used lasers as a heat source to form sheet metals. Promising results have been obtained. To investigate more economical and potentially safer heat sources, the authors recently established an experimental system to investigate the feasibility of forming sheet metals using a plasma arc as the energy beam and CO2 as the cooling jet. Several samples have been formed using the developed experimental system. Experiments have shown that the forming direction, either towards or away from the plasma arc beam, can be completely controlled to allow the formation of complex shapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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