Last October we posted a piece looking at the potential for growth in the metal stamping industry, Though Struggles Exist, Hydroforming and Metal Stamping Thrive. One year later, we can say our prediction was correct.
Automotive metal stamping demand in commercial vehicles was valued at over $20 billion in 2015, according to a new Research and Markets report. Furthermore, demand for metal stamping in parts manufacturing and body work in commercial vehicles is expected to grow over the next eight years to reach over $112 billion by 2024.
Since the 1990s, hydroforming has been revolutionizing specific aspects of various industries. Advances in hydroforming have affected our lives more than most of us even know. The best way to prove this point is to help you imagine a world without hydroforming.
In a world without hydroforming, automobiles are heavier, weaker, less safe, more expensive, and significantly less fuel efficient.
Tube hydroforming has drawn increased attention in the automotive industry due to its advantages… Hydroformed parts can provide
The advantages of hydroforming are many. Mostly, they revolve around material efficiency, speed and cost savings. Traditional deep drawing methods suffer from the effects of drawing stress (on the materials) during the process. This is hard to avoid or minimize even when preventive measures are put into place. Fortunately, innovative techniques such as hydroforming address these points. The result is a more fine-tuned deep drawing process, which leads to better overall quality.
Hydroforming utilizes a pressurized oil chamber and a diaphragm which exerts pressure onto a punch. The little details like this matter all the more when you are dealing with intricate shapes or specialized designs. For example, a project that requires fine-tuning your psi would be ideal for hydroforming. Where wrinkling or warped materials would be a concern with traditional deep drawing, hydroforming affords you the high precision with pressure control.
One of the strongest advantages of hydroforming is that a wide variety of metals are still viable for this process. From stainless steel to aluminum, you don’t limit your choices here. Furthermore, not all metals or specific metal shaping scenarios are met well with traditional stamping techniques. It’s too broad of a solution, so again we round back to hydroforming as a more intricate, fine-tuned method. Cost savings play in here, too. With hydroforming, you cut down on costs related to development by eliminating the need for steel tooling and accommodating for various materials. Whatever the material, hydroforming can accommodate it.
Finally, Hydroforming is simply more efficient and offers a wider variety of solutions. It’s the best of all worlds for deep drawing.
The benefits of THF include:
- Seamless bonding
- Increased structural strength
- Better load support compared with stamped sheet metal
- Reduced weight
- Ability to maintain high-quality surfaces for finishing
- Fewer parts, which means lower tooling cost
- Less scrap
- Lower capital costs
- Reduced dimensional variability
- Increasing uses and applications
American Hydroformers specializes in the tube hydroforming process. To learn more about this process and how you can take advantage of our expertise, contact us today!
Whether you’re looking to build a prototype fresh from the drawing board or to manufacture your already proven components on a small or large-scale, American Hydroformers can handle your fabricating needs from start to finish. With a huge facility and precise and specialized equipment, taking you from prototype through production is possible, all from one location.
Beginning in the 1970’s, the process of tube hydroforming has met the increasing demand for the manufacture of simple, lightweight components. Over the next few decades, this process has developed to maximize strengths and eliminate weaknesses.
Recent innovations are aimed to improve competitiveness of hydroforming technology by reducing initial investment cost, increasing production rate, and material utilization, consolidating more parts into single parts, and finding ways to eliminate drawbacks, such as excessive thinning (Journal of Materials Processing Technology).
In a world where more and more emphasis is being placed on leaving fewer carbon footprints, fuel economy has become an important issue for auto manufacturers across the country. Not only are auto manufacturers attempting to meet the demands of more environment-conscious consumers, they are also trying to avoid paying large sums of money for stiff penalties by complying with Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards.
The birth of hydroforming has brought with it many advantages. When compared to mainstream production techniques, hydroforming has proved itself to be effective, quick, reliable and capable of outperforming products manufactured with standard conventional processes. Nevertheless, the close counterpart of hydroforming, high-temperature metal gas forming, is on the rise and has shown itself to be just as powerful.
If you are relatively new to the manufacturing or construction field, the term finite element analysis may seem both unfamiliar and intimidating. However, we assure you that it’s one concept well worth looking into on a number of levels. For one, it has the potential to save lives, decrease accidents and prevent public relations nightmares. Allow us to explain using metal stage supports as examples.
Tube Hydroforming is a type of die forming that is used to shape certain metals, including aluminum and stainless steel, into strong but lightweight pieces. This method is often used in the automotive industry, especially for sports cars, and is also used to create the tubes used in bicycle frames.
When your product represents a structural component of your customer’s purchase it sure better be structurally sound. Who can afford a costly recall or, even worse, be responsible for a personal accident? To help ensure against part failure American Hydroformers employs exacting Finite Element Analysis (FEA) procedures.