improving the rubber press used to produce curved aluminum plates

For producing aeroplanes a lot of thin walled flat aluminum plates have to be bended in another shape. To keep costs of molds low a universal contra mold is used. This counter mold is a rubber press. A big disadvantage are the needed high forces for a press to form the products. For my thesis i had to reduce the needed forces so smaller companies could also be able to use the rubber press as a production tool. The new production method  is based on stretch bending. Stretch bending was there because some blenks (bend thin aluminum sheet could be removed with force from the die. On some products you could not see any spring back.

By using only partly product related counter molds the costs for all the molds can stay low. The rubber makes it possible to adjust for errors in the counter molds so counter molds do not need to be perfect.

The results are a factor 50 lower deformation force and a backspring reduction with a factor 3. Due to backspring reduction the molds with product definition do not need to be adjusted that much to reach product definition.

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