Since the 1950s, tubular hydroforming has become a staple in the metal fabrication industry. Technological advancements in computer controlling and high-pressure hydraulic systems have allowed the process to become a more viable solution for mass metal production.
Modern machines allow for an increased metal shaping capabilities which far exceed traditional methods due to the employment of independent control of axial feeding, internal pressure, and counter pressure.
There are numerous applications for hydroforming including those within the automotive industry. Hydroforming has revolutionized the production of a multitude of parts from how exhaust manifolds are built to how axles are formed.
The typical hydroforming process follows a progression sequence in which fluid pressure within the tube is increased after the die closes to force the material into the deformation zone. During the formation process, axial feeding and internal pressure are regulated simultaneously to ensure the proper shaping of the material. Spring back is prevented and tight tolerances are maintained by stretching the tube’s cross section beyond its yield point.
Tubular hydroforming allows developers and engineers to optimize designs through cross section reshaping and expansion. Because of the structural integrity of hydroformed pieces, hydroforming has become a critical element in developing mass produced automotive components.
Several advantages of tubular hydroforming include:
- Part consolidation
- Reduced waste
- Fewer parts so lower tooling cost
- Reduced need for secondary operations
- Low spring-back and tight tolerances
- Improved structural strength and stiffness of product
- Weight reduction through highly efficient design and tailoring of wall thickness
From an economic and mechanical standpoint, hydroforming makes perfect sense for the manufacturing of mass produced metal products. Cycle times can be reduced to increase production proficiency even more, allowing for an improved bottom line.
For more information on how hydroforming can help your business, contact the professionals at American Hydroforming. The experts at American Hydroforming use only the most technologically advanced methods for shaping and fabricating metal products and have been trusted leaders in the hydroforming industry since 2003.