Electrically-Assisted Forming of Magnesium AZ31: Effect of Current Magnitude and Deformation Rate on Forgeability

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering




Currently, the automotive and aircraft industries are considering increasing the use of magnesium within their products due to its favorable strength-to-weight characteristics. However, the implementation of this material is limited as a result of its formability. Partially addressing this issue, previous research has shown that electrically-assisted forming (EAF) improves the tensile formability of magnesium sheet metal. While these results are highly beneficial toward fabricating the skin of the vehicle, a technique for allowing the use of magnesium alloys in the production of the structural/mechanical components is also desirable. Given the influence that EAF has already exhibited on tensile deformation, the research herein focuses on incorporating this technique within compressive operations. The potential benefit of using EAF on compressive processes has been demonstrated in related research where other materials, such as titanium and aluminum, have shown improved compressive behavior. Therefore, this research endeavors to amalgamate these findings to Mg AZ31B-O, which is traditionally hard to forge. As such, to demonstrate the effects of EAF on this alloy, two series of tests were performed. First, the sensitivity of the alloy to the EAF process was determined by varying the current density and platen speed during an upsetting process (flat dies). Then, the ability to utilize impression (shaped) dies was examined. Through this study, it was shown for the first time that the EAF process increases the forgeability of this magnesium alloy through improvements such as decreased machine force requirements and increased achievable deformation. Additionally, the ability to form the desired final specimen geometry was achieved. Furthermore, this work also showed that this alloy is sensitive to any deformation rate changes when utilizing the EAF process. Last, a threshold current density was noted for this material where significant forgeability improvements could be realized once exceeded.