Located within the Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center is one of the largest High Velocity Metal Forming (HVMF) laboratories in the United States. High Velocity Metal Forming is a cold forming process that can be used to form many materials, most commonly metals. The workpiece is reshaped via high intensity pulsed magnetic fields that induce a current in the workpiece and a corresponding repulsive magnetic field, rapidly repelling (accelerating) the workpiece to speeds of 100-300 meters per second. The workpiece is accelerated at this ultra-high speed into a single sided form and completely conforms to it.  Electromagnetic forming has a number of advantages compared to conventional mechanical forming techniques.  Those advantages include:

  • Untitled* Improved form-ability due to the hyper-plastic behavior of the materials at ultra-high speed provides better form integrity and allows much broader material selection. Material selection is no longer driven by processing constraints, allowing designers more freedom to select materials based on performance requirements.
  • * Wrinkling is greatly suppressed.
  • * Forming, joining and assembling with dissimilar materials including glass, plastic, composites and other metals is achievable with no heat affected zone.
  • * Close tolerances are possible as springback is significantly reduced, and in most cases, eliminated.
  • * Single sided dies are sufficient and the electromagnetic force acts as a universal ram which can reduce tooling costs significantly.
  • * Lubricants are unnecessary, so forming can be performed in clean room conditions.
  • * Mechanical contact with the face of workpiece is not required, this avoids surface contamination and tooling marks. As a result, a surface finish can be applied to the workpiece before forming.
  • * A rule of thumb to remember is “10-10-1”; the same amount of work can be performed in 10% of the space with 10% of the tool cost and less than 1% of the energy of conventional stamping/forming operations.


  • * Fuel cell bipolar plates – forming
  • * Heat exchanger flow fields – forming
  • * A and B pillar forming in automobiles forming and joining
  • * Interior trim components – forming
  • * Tube and node assembly for space frame construction methods – joining
  • * Augmentation after primary forming to differentiate product class – forming

The Physics: Reference Electrodynamics and study Lorentz force law, electromagnetic induction, Faraday’s law, Lenz’s law, and Maxwell’s equation.