Yi Wei Chen, Peng Jiu Li, Alan T. Male, Yu Ming Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Conventional precision fonning of sheet metal requires the use of mechanical tools. However, during product development, different tools may be required to form various shapes, thus requiring significant tool cost and lead time. If a rapid prototyping process were available such that the required shapes can be formed without the need for hard tools, the potential reduction in product development cost and lead time could be quite significant. Moreover, such a process could be used for very short run production where it would be uneconomical to amortize tooling cost over a small number of manufactured pieces. To explore the potential for flexible forming without tools, various researchers have used laser beams as a heat source to form sheet metals, with a significant measure of success. To investigate the use of a more economical and potentially safer heat source, the authors recently established an experimental system to investigate the feasibility of forming sheet metals using a non-transferred arc plasma 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 fonning direction, either toward or away from the plasma arc beam, can be completely controlled to allow the formation of complex shapes. It is believed that this provides the basis for a new rapid prototyping process for the forming of sheet metal components.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManufacturing Science and Engineering
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780791816462
StatePublished - 1999
EventASME 1999 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 1999 - Nashville, United States
Duration: Nov 14 1999Nov 19 1999

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


ConferenceASME 1999 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 1999
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1999 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). All rights reserved.


  • Metal forming
  • Plasma arc
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Sheet metal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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