Superplastic and Hot Gas Forming of Lightweight Alloys

National Laboratory: 
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Mechanical Behavior of Materials
Processing/Manufacturing Class: 
Shaping and forming

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have demonstrated experience in developing the alloys, thermomechanical processing, die design, and forming process parameters used in superplastic forming (SPF) and hot gas blow forming of lightweight sheet alloys. In addition, predictive modeling of strain evolution and forming limits aids in the design of experiments, minimizing the time and expense in developing new material-forming parameters.

Capability Bounds: 

A programmable press enables variable gas pressure and temperature during the forming of complex sheet geometries. Developing alloys with fine-grain, stable microstructure is a key to PNNL’s success.

Unique Aspects: 

PNNL has significant experience in alloy development, modeling, and processing of superplastic alloys. In addition, decades of progressive research have afforded hot metal gas forming of materials in a variety of complicated geometries. Multi-sheet, multi-material hot gas forming has many new applications that require unique geometry and joining solutions (e.g., friction stir welding).


Facilities are available for both government and private (proprietary) project work.

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Eric Nyberg
Phone: 509-375-2103

  1. Constitutive Modeling of Deformation and Damage in Superplastic Materials, MA Khaleel, HM Zbib and EA Nyberg, Intl. Journal of Plasticity (2001) pp. 277-296.
  2. Effects of Mg and Mn Content on the Superplastic Deformation of 5000-Series Alloys, M.T. Smith, J.S. Vetrano, E.A. Nyberg and D.R. Herling, Superplasticity and Superplastic Forming 1998, Eds. A.K. Ghosh and T.R. Bieler, TMS 1998, pp. 99-108.
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