Most consumers are already fairly well aware that one of the most common applications of sheet hydroforming is found in the automotive sector. For years, auto makers have taken advantage of hydroforming techniques to make their models faster, lighter, and more attractive.
Take, for example, the Lincoln MKC, displayed at the 2013 LA Auto Show. One of the MKC’s selling points is, in fact, a product of sheet hydroforming: a completely seamless liftgate.
Instead of punching the sheet metal between two large dies, the sheet is formed around a die using a liquid-filled bladder. By taking away the seams from the rear of the vehicle, it creates an incredibly clean and strong design, while also simplifying assembly. (Auto123.com)
Such innovations in the automotive world involving hydroforming have become commonplace, however.
What may come as more of a surprise would be the recent application of hydroforming to develop Gramovox’s classy Bluetooth gramophone. Built in the shape of a retro gramophone horn, this wireless speaker adds a sense of whimsy to any and all musical styles with the added bonus of a vintage sound produced combining both classic 1920s techniques with modern-day developments, “with the cone spun on a lathe and the neck hydroformed out of metal sheets. The two parts will then be hand welded together” (cnet.com)
With the project to produce these little beauties still seeking support through Kickstarter, it seems unlikely that consumers will see these readily available any time soon; however, it is fascinating to see how blending modern hydroforming techniques with creativity can bring about truly fascinating and useful products.
For more on the unique uses of hydroforming, sheet hydroforming or metal fabrication in general, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to working together with you.
In the 1940s, deep draw hydroforming became the forefront method for developing and manufacturing irregular shaped metal parts. Die style stamping became archaic, as it became inefficient in comparison to the hydroforming method.
The old style die stamping method used heat to draw metal and parts formed using this process took longer to make as the process of shaping the metal uniformly took more time and manpower to develop. Deep draw hydroforming allowed manufacturers to create irregular or asymmetrical parts using a cold forming process. Because hydroformed parts requires less finishing work, less time and manpower is needed to create perfect pieces.
One distinct advantage of deep draw hydroforming is it allows the manufacturer to create and manipulate a variety of metals including aluminum, brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, and alloy. This versatility has allowed manufacturers to meet the demands of a variety of industries including, but not limited to the aerospace industry, the automobile industry, and the HVAC industry.
Top Advantages of Deep Draw Hydroforming
- Many parts can be formed using a one step process
- Irregular shapes can be manufactured in less time due to less finishing work on the final product
- Material stability and durability is maintained during the forming process
- Less machines are used in the process resulting in quicker set up times
- Development costs are significantly reduced
- Abnormalities such as ripping, tearing, wrinkling, and marking associated with traditional die forming is eliminated
For more information about how deep draw hydroforming can save your firm time and money in the manufacturing process, contact us. The experts at American Hydroformers have proudly served the metal manufacturing industry for over 10 years and are dedicated to creating comprehensive metal manufacturing solutions for your firm.
Sheet hydroforming is a process that uses liquid as the medium of energy transfer to form the workpiece. Hydroforming is applied more and more in industry because it results in a better strain state in the workpiece. A deeper draw can be achieved and the friction between tools and blanks is reduced.
The advantages of hydroforming include reduction in weight, increase in stiffness, no damage to the surface of the sheet, and the capability to form complex shapes.
1. Reduction in weight: If strength is not compromised, a reduction in weight is always advantageous in the automobile, airline, and other such industries. The reduction in weight can contribute to an increase in speed. In addition, in building any structure a reduction in weight is advantageous.
2. Increase in stiffness and rigidity: While we might want speed, we also want safety. With the stiffness and rigidity, safety is enhanced.
3. Complex shaped: With sheet hydroforming, many complex shapes can be created without the use of welds which could compromise safety. The use of stamps and hydraulics allows various shapes include concave and convex curves.
4. Good surface finish: We want the reduction in weight with safety. But we also want the aesthetics. This process produces quality surface finishes without the blemishes of welding.
Sheet hydroforming is useful in reducing weight and cost simultaneously by improving structural integrity, strength, and rigidity. Cost reduction includes the elimination or decrease of welds and welding operations. Additionally, production steps are reduced which contributes to the cost reduction.
Want to know more? Just contact us and let’s talk.
Sheet Metal Hydroforming is similar to the conventional deep-drawing technique, but has significant advantages for the formed part and keeps the tooling costs and production costs low.
Below is the list of t benefits of sheet metal hydroforming, as opposed to the conventional deep-drawing technique.
Hydroforming tooling can cost less than half the price of standard press tooling. Tooling generally required is a male die and a draw ring. The rubber diaphragm typically acts as a universal female die in the sheet metal hydroform machine.
Irregularly contoured shapes are easily formed using hydroforming, it also makes it easy to form irregular shapes and contours because matching dies are not generally needed.
- No Need to Waste Time Thinning Material Out:
No need to waste time stretching. Hydroforming flows the metal rather than stretching it as a result you will have less wall thinning.
- Less Work:
Usually parts require multiple operations with a typical press, with hydroforming most of the operations can be condensed into one operation.
- Save Money:
Since almost all punches and draw rings are made of inexpensive cast iron, hardened tool steels are therefore not often needed. These type of tools carry a longer life span. Sheet metal hydroforming offers a wrapping action of diaphragm which does not cause scuff marks, shock, and stretch lines.
- Quick Set Up:
Tools are able to be mounted easily and quickly they are also self-centering and self aligning. Set-up times are much quicker and very efficient.
- Durability of Materials:
Almost all sheet metals can be hydroformed such as stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, copper, brass, precious metals, high strength alloys. The material’s thickness varies within the restrictions of the machine. Usually tool modifications are not required.
As you can see sheet hydroforming as its many benefits. If you would like more information please contact us with any question you may have.