Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Fadi Abu-Farha, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Srikanth Pilla

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Prucka

Committee Member

Dr. Gang Li


The utilization of more non-ferrous materials is one of the key factors to succeed out of the constantly increasing demand for lightweight vehicles in automotive sector. Aluminum-magnesium alloys have been identified as the most promising substitutions to the conventional steel without significant compromise in structural stiffness and strength. However, the conventional forming methods to deform the aluminum alloy sheets are either costly or insufficient in formability which limit the wide applications of aluminum alloy sheets. A recently proposed non-isothermal hot stamping approach, which is also referred as Hot Blank – Cold Die (HB-CD) stamping, aims at fitting the commercial grade aluminum alloy sheets, such as AA5XXX and AA7XXX, into high-volume and cost-effective production for automotive sector. In essence, HB-CD is a mutation of the conventional hot stamping approach for boron steel (22MnB5) which deforms the hot blank within the cold tool set. By elevating the operation temperature, the formability of aluminum alloy sheets can be significantly improved. Meanwhile, heating the blank only and deforming within the cold tool sets allow to reduce the energy and time consumed. This research work aims at conducting a comprehensive investigation of HB-CD with particular focuses on material characterization, constitutive modeling and coupled thermo-mechanical finite element simulations with validation. The material properties of AA5182-O, a popular commercial grade of aluminum alloy sheet in automotive sector, are obtained through isothermal tensile testing at temperatures from 25℃ to 300℃, covering a quasi-static strain-rate range (0.001-0.1s-1). As the state-of-the-art non-contact strain measurement technique, digital image correlation (DIC) system is utilized to evaluate the stress-strain curves as well as to reveal the details of material deformation with full-field and multi-axis strain measurement. Material anisotropy is characterized by extracting the evolving yield stresses and Lankford coefficients (r-value) at various temperatures with specimens in 0o, 45o and 90o to the rolling direction. Besides, thermally-activated deformation mechanisms, dynamic strain ageing and dislocation climb, are identified to control the material deformation at the ambient-to-warm temperature range. For biaxial loading condition, the hydraulic bulge test has been performed and the evaluated effective stress-strain curve is found to be identical to that from uniaxial tests. A new piece-wised temperature-dependent phenomenological constitutive model has been developed to describe and predict the evolving stress-strain curves within the experimental condition. The power-law model is chosen for temperature ranges from 25℃ to 100℃ where negative strain rate sensitivity is observed. At elevated temperatures, a new model has been developed and expressed as the product of two power-law models. This proposed model has been proved to be capable of capturing both strain hardening and thermal softening behaviors of material, even for perfect plasticity with large strain conditions. To account for the directionality of the material properties in sheet metal, Yld2000-2d, which has been proved to be one of the most accurate and efficient yield functions for aluminum alloys in numerical analysis, is selected as the anisotropic yield function in this work. Eight parameters in Yld2000-2d have been determined and calibrated using the experimental results from uniaxial and biaxial testing of AA5182-O. Moreover, those eight parameters are fitted in to the temperature-dependent functions, hence the evolution of yield surface is predictable in response to the temperature changes. It is noticed that the material carries more anisotropy at ambient temperatures and tends to approach the isotropic behavior when the temperature elevated to 300℃. The strain-based and stress-based forming limit diagrams (FLD) of AA5182-O at various temperatures have been constructed by calculating the theoretical M-K model with Newton method and backtracking algorithm. The obtained FLDs are found to be instructive and will be applied in the post-processing of FE simulation for stamping so as to identify the critical area of failure. The developed constitutive model and modified yield function are implemented in the form of user defined subroutine (VUMAT) in ABAQUS/Explicit. An explicit stress integration algorithm has been selected for the stress integration with rate-depend viscoplasticity model at temperature higher than 150℃. In the low temperature range, the Newton method and cutting plane algorithm are utilized to update the stress tensor with a classic elastoplastic constitutive model. To validate the VUMAT, a non-isothermal tensile testing has been performed with aids of infrared thermal camera and DIC. The heat transfer coefficients in FE model are calibrated with captured thermal images. With appropriate selection of mesh size and mass scaling factor, the punch load vs. displacement curve obtained from the simulation perfectly correlates the experimental result.