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Integral Bulge Forming Method for Soccer Ball-Shaped Tank Using Symmetrical Preformed Box Consisting of Plate Parts

This study proposes an integral hydro-bulge forming method for a soccer ball-shaped tank to improve the manufacturing problem of conventional spherical tanks. By cutting the hexagonal and pentagonal parts from the flat steel plate and welding them along the sides of each part, a closed polyhedral box is created according to the composition of a soccer ball. Subsequently, pressure is applied with water into the closed polyhedral box, and the expansion force generated from the inside to the outside is used to form a soccer ball-shaped spherical tank. For verification, we simulate the bulge forming process of the soccer ball-shaped tank using the fine element method (FEM) analysis to confirm the analysis results of the stress and plate thickness distribution of the spherical tank created, and the soccer ball-shaped tank is then actually formed using the proposed manufacturing method. The forming performance and effectiveness of the integral hydro-bulge forming method is verified. The roundness of the actually formed soccer ball-shaped spherical tank with a diameter of 500 mm is 2.36 mm, which indicates high forming accuracy. A design formula a=0.4R for regular hexagonal and regular pentagonal plate parts was derived. In the actual forming experiment, a plate part with a side length of 100 mm was designed with a target radius of 250 mm. The measured radius of the actually formed spherical tank was 249.26 mm, and the accuracy of the derived design formula was verified.

Spherical Tank, Integral Hydro Forming, Thin-Walled Tank, Steel Plate Press Forming, Forming by Water Pressure

Yang Jing, Jingchao Guan, Chenghai Kong, Wei Zhao, Nobuyuki Gomi, et al. (2022). Integral Bulge Forming Method for Soccer Ball-Shaped Tank Using Symmetrical Preformed Box Consisting of Plate Parts. American Journal of Mechanics and Applications, 10(2), 16-24.

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