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Unfolding of a cylindrical body with holes - ellipse geometry

Question asked by Matt Rosenberg on Sep 18, 2012
Latest reply on Sep 18, 2012 by Alin Vargatu

I am trying to study the geometry involved in unfolding a cylindrical sheet metal tube with one or more holes drilled into its wall.  I had assumed that this hole, as cut into the side of the cylinder, would be perfectly circular while the body is in the cylindrical form, but would be stretched into an elliptical form upon unfolding into the flat sheet metal form. When carrying our this procedure in solidworks (2008), the hole does not appear to be deformed in any way, but I have noticed (through both experience and from online discussions) that the hole has lost its circular characteristic, as it will not produce a concentric mate with another circular piece in assembly. 


So I am hoping someone might know either:


A) How to make this distortion visible

B) Whether or not the actual material is accurately stretched near the hole to produce the flattened form

or C) How this elliptical shape could be measured and compared for different copmbinations of holes and cylinder sizes