This project was undertaken as part of an undergraduate course in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Queensland (herein referred to as “the University”). It focuses on creating finite element models of the millipede former prototype and is the third undergraduate attempt to do so. At the request of this project’s supervisor, Dr. William Daniel, this investigation focused exclusively on the ANSYS finite element package and its associated explicit solvers.
The millipede former prototype is part of an ongoing investigation into alternatives to cold roll forming being performed at the University of Queensland by research staff Dr. Scott Ding, Dr. William Daniel and Dr. Paul Meehan. The former itself uses a series of successive dies to stamp a “blank” into a section which may be used, for example, in structural applications. The motivation for the creation of the millipede former was to overcome the shortcomings of the cold roll forming process. These shortcomings are discussed within and in greater detail in the Roll Forming Handbook (Halmos, 2006)
This thesis discusses the method, mechanics and drawbacks of cold roll forming, the finite element method in general, work performed into this project in the past and the work performed in 2009.
Several simplifications to the modelling process, and their justification were made in previous works. They are discussed and many are employed in new finite element models.
It became clear that the ANSYS Workbench FE package is more than capable of modelling a process as complicated as the millipede former prototype. Its intuitive and streamlined user interface and automatic definition of several parameters make the set up and solving of simulations incredibly easy. The process is not without difficulties, however. The following is a list of difficulties which arose during this investigation:
• Creating a surface mesh from imported geometry is very difficult. Until such time as this process is better understood, an existing mesh, created in another FE package should be employed; .....................................