Process optimization within modern manufacturing is generally supported through the use of finite element based process models. Although the measurement of data at slower rates (10−4s−1 to 1s−1) is well established, there exists a challenge in generating accurate data for higher strain rate (10s−1 to 200s−1) processes such as forging. Specialist equipment is required to determine the basic stress / strain response of materials in this range of strain rates. In the current work the capabilities of a novel servo-hydraulic forging simulator machine with capability for moderate and high deformation rates will be discussed. Furthermore, the route followed for optimizing the experimental procedure will be considered and some of the challenges highlighted.

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