Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Metal Processing Technology

Module aims

Many industrial metal processes and applications involve shaping engineering components via plastic/viscoplastic deformation. These metal forming technologies are used for the manufacture of a range of metal components, such as automotive and aircraft body panels.  This module extends basic solid-mechanics concepts and methods to the modelling and analysis of viscoplastic flow and of metal microstructure evolution during metal forming processes.  It aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the analysis and simulation methods available, and practical exercises in their use. In particular:

  • To introduce plasticity and viscoplasticity theories underpinning metal plasticity technologies
  • To introduce theories for formulating unified constitutive equations for metal processing applications.
  • To extend plasticity and viscoplasticity theories for advanced metal forming applications
  • To introduce numerical techniques for advanced materials and process modelling.

ECTS units:    12   

Contributing to course element:  12    ME4-LCTVS Electives

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Discuss, using appropriate terminology and concepts, topics related to the advanced forming of engineering materials
  • Analyse problems in the behaviour of metals under stretching, compressive flow and ductile fracture conditions during forming processes
  • Understanding and solving the unified viscoplastic constitutive equations used in advanced hot/warm metal forming processes
  • Formulate a forming-process related problem for FE solution using PAM-STAMP
  • Evaluate the results of a forming related simulation or analysis

Module syllabus

Introduction to advanced metal forming, materials and process modelling techniques and their applications.  Traditional and advanced metal forming technologies. Hybrid forming and materials requirements. Materials and process modelling and applications.
Advanced materials modelling in metal forming. Elastic-plastic and viscoplastic deformation of metals and their respective application domains. Mechanics of sheet metal forming; formability of sheet metals. Test methods to obtain material data for forming simulations.  Unified viscoplastic constitutive equations for metal forming. Tribology in metal forming processes.  
Solution of unified constitutive equations. Numerical integration methods, e.g using MATLAB.
FE metal forming process modelling. FE modelling techniques, process simulation, boundary conditions, friction, heat transfer, etc., case studies.
Forging and rolling. Slab methods, Tolling, Process planning, Precision forging, Forging force calculation with consideration of friction. Rolling process design, Extrusion.
Sheet metal forming. Springback in sheet metal forming. Hot stamping and cold die quenching — forming complex-shaped lightweight automotive panel parts. Creep age forming — forming extra-large aircraft wing panels, hydroforming. Superplastic forming.
Forming process simulation. PAM-STAMP software.

Teaching methods

Duration: 21 weeks, Autumn and Spring Terms.

Lectures: 2 h per week.

Tutorials and computer sessions will be organised as needed during the year.

Invited lecturers: guest lectures from industry will be invited to introduce the state-of-art development in metal forming technologies.


1.     Materials modelling. The aim of this coursework is to find appropriate constants for a set of constitutive equations used to model experimental data. As part of the coursework, you are expected to solve these equations through MATLAB by using a numerical integration method of your choice. Once you have first plotted the constitutive equations with constants, you will be required to adjust the constants of the equations, either manually or through an algorithmic optimisation method, in order to represent the experimental data as closely as possible. The developed constitutive model will then have to be used to develop a strain rate and temperature dependent material model in PAM-STAMP. This model will be used in your second coursework assignment in finite element (FE) simulations of a hot forming process. You are required to work in groups of 3 (find partners by yourself), write a joint report (maximum 15 pages) and hand in no later than 12pm on Friday 24th November 2017 to the UG Office.

2.     Metal-forming process simulation. The aim of this coursework is to determine the optimal processing parameters for forming an aluminium alloy into a complex shaped component successfully. You are required to work in groups of 3 (find partners by yourself) and carry out the simulations of a warm/hot stamping process. Write a joint report (maximum 15 pages) and hand in no later than 12 pm, on Friday 15th December 2017 to the UG Office. 

3.     Advanced FE simulation of sheet metal forming process. Finite Element (FE) simulations have become a powerful tool for optimizing process parameters in the sheet metal forming industry. The reliability of FE simulation results is dependent on the accuracy of the material definition, input in the form of flow stress data or constitutive equations, and the assignment of the boundary conditions, such as the friction coefficient and the heat transfer coefficient. In this course work, a novel Knowledge Based Cloud FE (KBC-FE) simulation technique will be used, based on the application of modules on a cloud computing environment, that enables an efficient and effective method of modelling advanced forming features in conjunction with conventional FE simulations. In this technique, data from the FE software is processed at each functional module, and then imported back into the FE software in the relevant consistent format, for further processing and analysis. In this coursework, the development of these modules and their implementation in the KBC-FE will be trained. You are required to work in groups of 3 (find partners by yourself) and carry out the advanced FE simulations of a sheet metal forming process. Write a joint report (maximum 30 pages) and hand in no later than 12 pm, at the end of spring term, to the UG Office.

Summary of student timetabled hours








Tutorials and computer sessions




42 + tutorials and computer sessions

Expected private study time

10 hrs per week (including project work and report writing), plus exam revision.


Written examinations:

Date (approx.)

Max. mark

Pass mark

Metals Processing Technology (3h)

A Data and Formulae book and a list of Supplementary Formulae are provided.

This is a CLOSED BOOK Examination




Coursework (including progress tests, oral presentations etc.)

Submission date

Max. mark

Pass mark




Returned for viewing, with itemised marksheet and written comments

12.00 Friday 24th November 2017




Report -2

Returned for viewing, with itemised marksheet and written comments

12:00, Friday 15th Dec 2017



Report -3 Returned for viewing, with itemised marksheet and written comments 12.00 End of Spring term  100  

Total marks



Reading list


Module leaders

Dr Liliang Wang