With materials expertise and advanced testing capabilities, EWI helps aerospace, automotive, and heavy manufacturers move new products to market faster and more efficiently.

EWI’s Forming team contributes to industry by providing a technology, knowledge and training base for process development, simulation and prediction, and materials evaluation. Our expertise includes forming simulation using commercial finite element method (FEM) codes as well as DEFORM, LS-DYNA, and PAM-STAMP simulation programs. These capabilities significantly enhance our testing capabilities. Our engineers evaluate material formability for sheet metal forming and forging processes to provide recommendations on materials, lubricants, coatings, and process parameters.

Metal deformation to create net
shape products: Minster hydraulic press

Our expertise includes formability assessments using American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)/ International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard formability tests such as uniaxial tensile tests, anisotropy value determination, limiting draw ratio (LDR) and forming limit diagrams (FLD). We also perform non-standard specialized formability tests such as biaxial sheet-bulge testing, deep-drawing testing for sheet material drawability and lubricant performance, die-galling testing, edge-cracking testing, springback testing, and universal formability testing. Both room-temperature and high-temperature material formability can be assessed with steels, titanium, nickel and aluminum alloys. EWI’s forming center is also equipped with state-of-the art equipment such as ARGUS optical strain measurement device, an automated lubricator, and multiple formability test tooling setups.

In addition to forming technology and capabilities, EWI operates the EWI Forming Center which focuses on applied research and thought leadership for sheet metal forming and forging processes. The center supports automotive, aerospace and other manufacturing industries. The center also provides training to students and new engineers.

EWI’s forming group offers specialized knowledge in material formability assessments, process design, parameter optimization, and testing. The following list provides a sample of our technical expertise.

Technical Expertise

  • Material property characterization
  • Lubricant and coating evaluation
  • Forming process development
  • Formability evaluation
  • Forming process selection
  • Forming process modeling and simulation
  • Failure analysis (necking, thinning, springback, shear fracture, and edge cracking)
  • Forming of advanced high strength steels (AHSS)
  • Hot forming of steel, titanium and nickel alloys for automotive and aerospace parts
  • Warm forming of aluminum and magnesium alloys
  • Servo-press forming of steel and aluminum alloys
  • Stamping process and quality system assessment
  • Sheet metal forming technology training


  • 160 ton Minster hydraulic press with 100 ton CNC-controlled hydraulic cushion system
  • 75 ton linkage-type servo press
  • ARGUS optical strain measurement equipment with GOM analysis software
  • UNIST automated sheet lubricator
  • Data acquisition system to record the load, temperatures, and displacement of the tool
  • Formability and friction test tooling
    • Viscous biaxial sheet bulge testing to generate biaxial stress-strain curves
    • Limiting dome height (LDH) testing for forming limit diagram (FLD) and hole expansion ratio (HER) determination
    • Universal formability testing to evaluate necking failures in various strain ratios (plane strain, uniaxial and biaxial tension)
    • U-bending springback test
    • Round and rectangular drawing tests
    • Billet compression testing to determine flow stresses and friction coefficients
    • Double cup extrusion testing to determine friction coefficients
  • Finite Element Method (FEM) software
    • Abaqus
    • DEFORM
    • LS-DYNA

Over the years, EWI’s forming team has used its expertise to push the envelope in materials forming science and help our clients succeed. Our high-impact projects have included:

  • Assessing the stamping lubricants with AHSS and aluminum alloys for automotive parts
  • Characterizing mechanical properties and formability of a range of materials for automotive, aerospace, and battery industry customers
  • Evaluating numerous tool steels and heat treatments for automotive stamping
  • Designing a hot-forming processes and optimizing production conditions to manufacture fork lift blades
  • Designing a hot-forming process for high-strength steels to create the axle housing structure for heavy trucks
  • Designing a hot-forming process and developing a prototype Inconel 718 aerospace jet engine component
  • Designing a progressive die forming process for high-volume electronic mobile devices
  • Developing and applying practical failure criteria for necking failure, edge cracking and shear fracture in computer simulations of stamped automotive parts with AHSS
  • Developing a practical warm forming process with Al 6xxx-7xxx alloys for lightweighting vehicle structures with multiple industry sponsors
  • Developing a prototype electro-magnetic forming process for beverage cans and bottles
  • Predicting and controlling springback using advanced kinematic hardening material modeling and servo-press capabilities