Sheet metal can be a useful material for fabrication of components in many fields; this article provides information on nb sheet metal, a soft sheet with a relatively high strength to weight ratio. It is ideal for bending, hammering and shaping to form parts.


Nb is a material of great interest for the fabrication of superconducting radiofrequency (SCRF) cavities [13], as well as of superconducting sheets and pressure tubes for nuclear reactors. The fabrication of these components is a difficult and time-consuming process, as the properties and microstructure of Nb are highly sensitive to its processing route.

During the forming, the microstructure of the metal is altered and, hence, its behaviour in service is strongly influenced by its physical and chemical properties, as well as by the texturing. For this reason, particular attention is paid during the forming of Nb to ensure its desired surface finishing; however, it can be challenging to achieve this goal when the grain size of the material is large and shows different crystalline orientations.

In order to investigate the complex phenomena interesting this hard-to-form non-conventional material, incremental forming was performed on pure Nb planar isotropic sheets with high purity (t = 0.5 mm). Two different types of tests were carried out, with varying tool/sheet contact conditions; they focused on formability limits, forming forces and surface quality, as well as on sheet failures.

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