A method for forming a piece of a sheet metal is performed by positioning a consumable body, made of metal, proximate to the piece of the sheet metal. The consumable body is rapidly vaporized, and the gas pressure generated thereby is directed into the piece of the sheet metal. This results in acceleration of the piece of sheet metal, and it is collided into a stationary body at a velocity, generally in excess of 200 m/s. Depending upon the type of stationary body, the piece of sheet metal is deformed into a predetermined shape or is welded onto the stationary body. The vaporization is accomplished by passing a high current of electricity into the consumable body. The effect of the vaporized metal may be augmented by additional components in the consumable body.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY-SPONSORED R & D
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by The U.S. Department of Energy through Sandia National Laboratories. The government has certain rights in the invention.