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What is tubular hydroforming?

What is tubular hydroforming?

What is tubular hydroforming? Tubular Hydroforming is a cost effective way of shaping pliable metals such as aluminum, brass, and low alloy stainless steel. The process has been used since the 1950’s. Due to new advancements in technology and equipment in the industry, tubular hydroforming has only recently become a viable method for mass production. Modern machines now have independent control of various aspects of production such as, internal pressure, axial feeding, and counter-pressure. The control of these combined variables gives tubular hydroforming the upper hand in metal forming over older, more dated machinery and techniques.

The Pro’s and Cons of Hydroforming

Tube hydroforming has allowed engineers to optimize their designs through cross sectional reshaping and perimeter expansion. This, combined with the ability to inexpensively create the holes that are required for vehicle subsystem interfaces, hydroforming has become a critical technology for structural components in mass-produced vehicles. Some of the advantages of this process include;

  • The reduction of overall weight of the part via optimal design and thickness of the parts walls.
  • Lower production cost as a result of fewer parts.
  • Fewer secondary operations needed.
  • Drastically reduced waste.
  • Parts are more structurally sound with improved strength and stiffness.

Like with anything there are a few drawbacks to the hydroforming process, these include;

  • Slow cycle time.
  • Cost of the equipment.
  • Lack of extensive knowledge of the process and tool design.

Both advantages and disadvantages should be weighed when considering the hydroforming process for a part. Of course as this process becomes more widely used, several factors will have to be addressed. Some of these factors include;

  • Choosing a proper industrial lubricant that does not break down when subjected to high pressures.
  • Material selection and overall quality of the tube to be hydroformed.
  • Reducing time required for a single tube to be hydroformed.

In all, hydroforming is a production process that offers many advantages and produces exceptional components for use in cars and in industrial machinery. The process continues to grow and develop, creating a bright and vivid future for itself as a go to production method through companies such as American Hydroformers.  Next time you think, so what is tubular hydroforming? Please feel free to contact us at our website.

Bicycles Benefiting from Tubular Hydroforming

Bicycles Benefiting from Tubular Hydroforming

Tubular hydroforming has left an indelible mark upon every industry in which it contacts. It runs the gambit of industries like it revolutionizes products: quick and with assured growth.

So while car manufacturers and appliance makers alike have benefited from both high pressure and low pressure tube hydroforming, perhaps the one that has seen much of the growth mentioned before is the biking industry, where lightweight bicycle frames rule the trail, and have changed the industry.

Here are 3 examples of modern bicycles that use tubular hydroforming frames.

1. Marin Indian Fire Trail

Beginning with one of the newest and best, the Marin Indian Fire Trail is a superb example of an off-road trail bike that has benefited from tube hydroforming. Described as a “workhorse privateer” by the manufacturer, the Marin Indian features outstanding qualities and a hardened frame engineered through tube hydroforming.

2. Vitus Escarpe 290

This new version which harkens back to older models can only be described as one thing: versatile. Using the most up-to-date 650b wheel size and a tube hydroformed frame and fork, the Vitus Escarpe feels chunky to the rider, a feature that helps when encountering particularly rough road situations.

3. Canyon Grand Canyon AL 29 5.9

The name of this bike alone should inspire one to feel encouraged to get out on the trail. But if that isn’t enough, consider its features. Light-weight hydroformed frame? Check. Hydroformed top and down tubes? Check. Modern and all-trail rated 650b tires? Check. The Canyon Grand seems to have it all, and with a sticker price that fits nicely into the equation, it could be on many cyclists lists.

We don’t just specialize in tube hydroforming, we also specialize in hydraulic press work, laser cutting, and metal stamping. For more information on how we can help you, please contact us with your questions or concerns.

Why Is Metal Stamping A Great Method For Production?

Why Is Metal Stamping A Great Method For Production?

Metal is a key piece for a number of different industries throughout the world. Without pieces of metal, several operations and projects can not be completed. All across the world, you will see machine parts, metal sheets, and other metals that are used throughout the world.

The process of cutting metal and shaping the metal is known as metal stamping. There are various hydraulic machines and components that can shape the metals in the desired form. The metal stamping method is used in several vehicle parts, automotive keys, jewelry, and a number of other purposes.

Why Should You Consider Metal Stamping? Are There Any Benefits?

  • Metal stamping is a sensible and efficient solution for producing large amounts of difficult items. Metal stamping is the preferred solution for this kind of production because the costs to set up production and the labor costs are very cost-effective. The higher the level of production rises, the lower the labor costs will become. In industrial and manufacturing work, it is really necessary to keep the costs down as low as possible. Since metal stamping is a quick and efficient method, it has the ability to handle the bigger production while keeping the costs low.
  • The more difficult or complex products that want to have a fresh, creative design can be created with a more advanced metal stamping method.
  • When metal stamping can allow you to purchase materials, parts and pieces at a lower cost. Less scrap will also be produced because a huge chunk of the materials will be used.
  • Metal stamping is automated. You will not have to spend extra costs on labor. When the automation occurs, you can be confident that the speeds and production levels will remain consistent.
  • There isn’t a limit on the kind of projects or products that metal stamping can be used for. Any type of material or metal can be used with metal stamping. The size of the metal, the thickness, or the thinness doesn’t matter when metal stamping is being used. This is one of the many benefits of using metal stamping.

Metal stamping is an all-around ideal method for any kind of material. Whatever your needs are, you will need to partner with someone who will give you what you need at the highest quality.

Contact us so you can utilize all of the benefits metal stamping has to offer.

Deep Draw Hydroforming Innovations

Deep Draw Hydroforming Innovations

September brought glad tidings in the world of deep draw hydroforming. Not only have power player Beckwood Press Company announced improvements in the area of low-volume, high-mix production, but it was also confirmed that they will be exhibiting and presenting educational sessions at the upcoming FABTECH 2014.

Innovations

While working to solve a problem for one of their clients, they recently built and installed a Triform deep draw press that featured a 25″ diameter forming area, 10,000 PSI of pressure, and a 12″ draw capacity. The client is pleased, and Beckwood is proud of its work:

“We are proud to announce the installation, and successful training and ramp up of another Triform deep draw hydroforming application this year,” said Beckwood President, Jeffrey Debus. “Our engineering team provided a machine with advanced forming capability, faster forming time, and a reduced reliance on skilled labor; and our support team provided the training and assistance the client needed to get their operators up to speed and working with the press on an expert level within days of installation” (Today’s Medical Developments)

FABTECH 2014 Sessions

It was announced through the PR Web that Beckwood would bring their industry-leading designs and Triform expertise to FABTECH 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to giving an hour-long session, Beckwood and Triform will be available in the exhibition hall, where they will display their new 30-ton custom deep draw hydroforming hydraulic press, featuring some of the latest control technologies that they have developed.

Parties interested in attending the event should seek more information directly from FABTECH here.

For more information about deep draw hydroforming or anything else hydroforming related, please feel free to contact us.

What is tube hydroforming and how is it used?

What is tube hydroforming and how is it used?

One of the questions we get asked a lot about our business is: what is tube hydroforming and how is it used?

In order to understand tube hydroforming, perhaps one should first understand hydroforming. Hydroforming is a fabricating process in which metals such as steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum or brass is shaped. Tube hydroforming is one of the two types of hydroforming. This type of hydroforming uses two die halves in order to expand a metal tube into a shape. The process was first patented in the 1950s, but didn’t become widely used until the 1970s. It replaced the older process of stamping two part halves and welding them together.

Hydroforming is a more efficient process than stamping, as it eliminates the welding and allows for more intricate shapes to be formed. Tube hydroforming is readily used in the automotive sector as well as for use in the tubular parts of bicycles, motorcycles, musical instruments and other innovative designs such as stainless steel water bottles. In vehicles, tube hydroforming is most often seen in the manufacture of engine cradles. It is also found in suspension, radiator supports, and instrument panel support beams. The framing around the Harley Davidson motorcycle engine is made through the tube hydroforming process. Yamaha saxophones also use the process.

American Hydroformers is not restricted to the use of circular or round tube stock, but rather can use any tube profile. Hydroforming can be done on standard tube diameters of up to 5″ with a wall thickness of up to 5 mm. However, it is possible to meet customer specifications on dimensions with rounds and other shapes.

For more information about hydroforming and the other services that American Hydroformers offers, contact us.

How American Hydroformers Can Serve You

How American Hydroformers Can Serve You

Who We Are

American Hydroformers is a high pressure hydroforming company that began in 2003. Based in the heart of America, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, American Hydroformers specializes in the hydroform tube forming process. We conduct, oversee, and perform the tube forming process in all of its various stages from the beginning to the end. Resulting in a superior product unrivaled by others in the field.

We also provide metal fabricating solutions that utilize the most advanced techniques available today. Including hydraulic press work, laser cutting, deep draw hydroforming, sheet hydroforming, metal stamping, among many others.

Industries We Serve

Appliances: The handles for appliances that we fabricate are stronger and more ergonomic. They are often featured on new ovens and refrigerators because of their sleek, polished appearance, and can be molded into many different designs.

Automotive: The automobile industry benefits greatly from our hydroformed products because they are lighter, stronger, and stiffer than traditionally-designed parts.

Diesel Exhaust: Because of recent EPA regulations on how exhaust systems produce emissions, the trucking industry sought out hydroformed products because of their ability to be made smaller and stronger, while still meeting regulations.

Plumbing: Plumbing hydroformed products are catching on very quickly. This is because hydroformed plumbing products are more versatile than traditional fixtures, and are a designer’s dream.

Equipment

The hydroforming equipment that we use is state-of-the art and modern. We are able to provide precision craftsmanship through our laser and plasma-cutting machines, and our stamping/hydraulic presses can fabricate all parts and pieces economically and with ease.

For more on our equipment, click here.

For more on hydroforming, you can watch our video detailing the process. For more information on how we can help you, please contact us if you have any questions or would like to request a quote.

Aerospace Sheet Hydroforming Cuts Manufacturing Time

Aerospace Sheet Hydroforming Cuts Manufacturing Time

A prominent leader in hydraulic press and automation sheet hydroforming systems named Beckwood Press Company, has produced a hydroforming press especially catered to aerospace industry parts supplier, Steelville Manufacturing Co, according to an article on digitaljournal.com which outlines the mutually beneficial deal between the two:

The bladder-forming press provides Steelville dramatically increased forming capability, and features a 24″ forming area and 5,000 PSI of forming pressure.

Steelville Manufacturing Co. (located in Steelville, Missouri and formed in 1959), is a parts supplier for many large US aerospace companies, including leaders in the industry like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, among others.

They collaborated with Beckwood Press Co. after the two decided that the speed in which their internal forming capability and overall parts production efficiency was functioning, could easily be increased through the addition of Triform Sheet Hydroforming press.

Triform Sheet Hydroforming equipment provides even and accurate pressure, which greatly reduces production time, and all but eliminates manual hand-work.

Not mention next to no maintenance requirements, which mainly consists of a bladder change process that takes roughly an hour to complete. And because of the size and design of the Triform Sheet Press, the space it occupies on the production floor is minimal.

Before Beckwood and Steeleville collaborated together, Steelville was mainly press brake forming their parts. But since March, when the Triform 24-5BD began operation at their facility, Steelville has already seen a positive impact on all manufacturing operations.

According to Joseph Dust, one of Steelville Manufacturing Co.’s chief engineers who was in charge of the Triform press integration, they had been manufacturing parts for a very long time, which they soon came to find out were almost tailor-made for the Triform press.

The addition of the [press] definitely makes forming parts much easier, [and] the overall time required to make our form tools has been cut in half.

Adding that, just over the first few weeks the Triform press was in operation, they had already produced well over 10 parts, all with reduced manual labor and costs. A timeframe that would have typically seen a part production count of next to 5, or even less.

For additional information on the Triform Sheet Hydroforming Press, click here.

For more details on the collaboration between the two companies, click here.

For more information on how American Hydroformers can help you, to request a free quote, or for related information on how the hydroforming process can revolutionize how you do business, please contact us any time.

Aluminum Hydroforming Leaves Its Mark

Aluminum Hydroforming Leaves Its Mark

As automotive and mountain-biking companies begin to roll out sneak peeks at their 2015 lineups, it is becoming increasingly apparent just how much new advancements in hydroforming aluminum have affected both industries overall. This is pleasing because since aluminum is lighter than carbon and stainless steel, the use of hydroformed aluminium in car parts has opened new vistas of possibilities for increased effectiveness and decreased weight.

Take for example the 2015 lineup from the German biking company Merida. According to a recent article, next year’s lineup boasts more aluminium than ever, including a new Reacto aero bike featuring a very special frame:

The frame in question is made from hydroformed triple-butted 6066 aluminium with a tapered head tube and an integrated seat clamp like you’ll find on the carbon models. It looks like a high-quality piece of work in a very good grade of alloy (road.cc).

Looking beyond the world of cycling to the automotive realm, we see that Ford has certainly taken advantage of new opportunities provided by aluminum hydroforming.

Proof of this can be easily witnessed in their new 2015 line, which includes an all-aluminum body for its new F-150. In fact, the new F-150 was a recent spotlight by Ford’s purchasing chief Hau Thai-Tang, citing that the vehicle is the the first pickup with an aluminum body. As a result, it is on average about sixty pounds lighter. The F-150 still incorporates a steel frame, however, for improved rigidity (Auto News).

With new advancements being made all the time in the area of aluminium hydroforming, we look forward to many more companies taking advantage of these techniques to provide vehicles and machinery that are not only lighter and more durable but are also more cost-effective.

For more information about this or anything else, please feel free to contact us.