A relatively young technique in the field of welding, friction stir welding was invented then scientifically proven as a viable method in December of 1991. By definition it is a ‘solid-state joining process,’ meaning that the material being used for welding is not melted. This process employs the use of a third body tool to join together the two facing surfaces.
The process starts with heat being generated between the friction stir welding tool and material, which leads to a softened region. The tool then mechanically mixes the metals between the two pieces at the place of the joint. The softened metal can then be joined by pressure, supplied by the welding tool. This process is described as being much like joining pieces of clay or dough. Friction stir welding is excellent for items requiring superior hold strength without the need of a post-weld heat treatment.
There are several advantages that friction stir welding has been observed to have over traditional fusion welding. Some of these include;
- Free range operation positions (horizontal, vertical, etc.) because there is no weld pool.
- No consumables.
- Easily automated on simple milling machines due to lower set up costs and less training.
- Improved safety due to the absence of toxic fumes or the spatter of molten welding materials.
- Reduced impact on the environment.
As with the advantages, a few disadvantages also go along with the friction stir welding process. A few examples of the disadvantages are;
- An exit hole is left in the metal when the tool is withdrawn.
- Less flexibility than whats found in manual and arch welding processes.
- Often slower than fusion welding techniques, however this can be offset if a smaller number of welding passes are required.
Despite being a relatively new process, friction stir welding has already made a place for itself in several industries. These include automotive, offshore and ship building, aerospace, railways, personal computers, and various electronics. The future for this process is promising, paving a way for itself to maybe one day surpass traditional welding methods as the go to technique. If you would like to know more about friction stir welding, or other fabrication processes such as hydroforming, feel free to contact us at our website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.