In this paper, problems associated with a current method for triangle heating, which is used by an automated thermal forming system, are addressed, and an improved method for handling the problems is proposed. The existing algorithm may yield heating information, which is applicable only for a limited range of plates in terms of thickness and may cause undesirable deformation such as ‘over-bending’ and buckling on the boundary. Therefore, a lot of man-hours are required for the correction of the deformation, which would significantly delay the fabrication process. To solve these problems, new formulae covering an extended range of plates are proposed, and the effect of the initial curvature of a plate is considered in the computation of heating information to prevent unexpected deformation. It is shown that the proposed method can induce a desirable amount of deformation on a plate and improve the accuracy of the automated thermal forming system for forming a convex shape. Various examples used in the ship construction are taken to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method.

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