The hydraulic bulging of peripherally clamped, thin, circular disks into axisymmetric dies is studied by means of an incremental finite element method, based on membrane shell theory and formulated to account for finite strains and rotations. The material is treated as an isotropic, elastic-plastic solid obeying the von Mises yield criterion and plastic-potential flow law. The analysis was first performed for a flat-bottomed die, assuming Coulomb friction between the material and the die base. Experimental data were gathered from aluminium disks deformed into a die having a flat, thick glass base. The glass permitted a continuous assessment of the deformation profile and the contact boundary between the aluminium and the glass, using Moire´ topography. The agreement between the experimental observations and theoretical predictions is good.

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