A finite element method is developed to study the elastic-plastic deformation of sheet materials in the presence of large strains and large displacements. It is based on updated Lagrangian type formulation and membrane shell theory. The sheet is assumed to be isotropic and rate insensitive which obeys J2 flow theory. The work-hardening characterstics of material and Coulomb friction between the sheet metal and forming tools are incorporated. The method is used for modelling partial deep-drawing with the appropriate boundary, conditions. Numerical solutions are compared with the experimental results. © 1991 CIRP.