Topology optimization of die weight reduction for high-strength sheet metal stamping

Dongkai Xu, Jun Chen*, Yucheng Tang, Jian Cao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


High-strength steels have been increasingly used for vehicle body structures to improve fuel efficiency and vehicle safety. In order to maintain the stiffness and forming conditions under higher forming loads, stamping dies have to be designed with larger dimensions and thicker structures which may result in heavier die weight. Targeting to save the die weight/cost and keep the required stiffness, a topology optimization method is proposed based on Solid Isotropic Microstructure with Penalty (SIMP) to reduce the weight of key die components. During optimization, multiple loading conditions at different forming positions are considered to assure the maximum deflection at the above mentioned positions within the limit values. Besides, the interaction behaviors between die components are also taken into account to reflect the real contact evolution. A step-bottomed cup is designed to testify the proposed method. Through topology optimization, the weight of blank holder is reduced by 28.1%. Based on the optimization result, the blank holder is redesigned and machined, stamping test results indicate that defect-free stamping parts are formed with same blank holder forces, and the thickness difference between the original and newly stamped parts along a cross section is less than 0.06 mm, i.e. 4.29% of the initial blank thickness. This verifies that the proposed approach can effectively reduce die weight and maintain the derived forming performance of stamped part.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Die weight reduction
  • Experimental verification
  • Numerical simulation
  • Topology optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Materials Science
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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