Tube Hydroforming, a metal fabricating and forming process, helps to shape metals into their desired shapes. This technique can be used to shape various metals including steel, aluminum, brass, copper, and stainless steel. It is a cost-effective process that uses a highly pressurized fluid in order to shape metal. It is best used to replace the older process of stamping two halves then welding them together. The process of tube hydroforming saves on labor, tools, and material costs. But how does it work?
Archive for the What is Tube Hydroforming? Category
Here on the blog, we enjoy bringing you regular posts about the benefits of hydroforming. Today we’d like to take a step back and present a lesson on hydroforming for beginners: what the process entails and why it matters.
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!
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.
Hydroforming is a unique process used to form metal. As a unique process, it also solves unique problems. Hydroforming makes a number of products possible that wouldn’t be possible through mainstream methods. Although it is not the most common method of forming metal, it is very useful, and a necessity to our society today. Let’s talk a little about how hydroforming works and what it does.
What is hydroforming? Hydroforming is when the force of water, hydraulic fluids, or oils is used to shape a single part. There are two types of hydroforming and each has uses when creating products from steel, aluminum, etc. Hydroforming, used in industries, creates parts without using welds. This makes a stronger part and sometimes a product is created from a single piece of metal. So, what are the two types of hydroforming? They are Tube Hydroforming and Sheet Hydroforming.
As deep draw hydroforming continues to become a reliable and viable source of production, people who rely on hydroformed parts can only benefit from its persistent innovation.
Information about new and high-tech hydroforming presses in use around the country is part of the daily news cycle.
At American Hydroformers we recently obtained and implemented a new Faro Edge Scan Arm HD that enables enhanced product development, inspection, and quality control. As a 3D scanning and probing device, the Faro Edge Scan Arm HD provides capabilities such as rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, 3D modeling and rapid point cloud collection and comparison. Ideal for scanning challenging materials, the Faro Edge Scan Arm HD also allows for contact and non-contact measurements.
- Rapid Scanning Speed
- High Definition Data
- Up to 2,000 Points per Scan Line
- Fast Frame Rates
- Scan Challenging Materials
- Highly Accurate and Repeatable
- Contact & Non-Contact Measurements
Acquiring this new Faro Edge Scan Arm HD will allow American Hydroformers to probe virtually any part or tube and collect all of the data needed to reproduce it. With up to 2,000 actual points per scan line, extreme resolution and high accuracy, we are able to reproduce even the most intricate parts and components. The actual setup of the scanning arm features an extra wide scan stripe as well as fast frame rates. This allows for increased productivity with the large coverage area and the reducing scanning times.
In addition to the Faro Edge Scan Arm HD, our in-house capabilities also include the utilization of AutoForm Hydro simulation software as well as FEA simulations. Our team of engineers are trained and regularly updated on this software which provides a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the entire hydroforming process. By employing this software in-house and utilizing the simulation process, we supply our customers with rapid verification, shorter development time, and improved process reliability.
- Easily Identify Forming Issues
- Rapid Tool Design
- Accurate Springback Simulation
- Quality & Cost Improvements
- Reduced Development Time
- Improved Reliability
- Lower Material & Production Costs
By enabling better price controls and reduced tooling expense, American Hydroformers provides a cost-effective source for part production. Unlike other metal forming techniques, hydroforming allows for increased part strength, lower part weight, and greater design flexibility, while also improving overall part quality. Contact American Hydroformers to see how you can reduce your tooling and part costs.
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFE) standard enacted in 2014 imposes fuel efficiency and green house gas emission standards on the manufacturers of cars and medium and heavy-duty trucks. These standards get progressively stricter every year, with costly fines imposed for every car or truck model that fails to meet them. Cars must improve performance by 37% and trucks by 23% every year.
Generally speaking, automakers have been beating the CAFE standard every year. It’s in the interests of the manufacturers to build lighter and more efficient vehicles while maintaining high safety standards. How do the manufacturers manage to do that? The goals are achieved by improving engine and transmission technologies, body aerodynamics that reduce air resistance at high speeds, tires with lower rolling resistance, and very importantly parts that reduce weight.
Weight reducing manufacturing technologies:
- Hydroforming technologies can shape aluminum, brass, steel and stainless steel into complex, hollow forms which are lightweight and structurally stiff and strong.
- Hydroformed parts eliminate most of the heavy welding required in conventional parts assembly.
- Using hydroforming technology in manufacture produces structures with fewer separate parts and fewer heavy welds and joints.
- Hydroforming uses dies capable of high precision, able to meet the exacting tolerances of aircraft parts.
- Replacing sheet metal bending and joining with hydroforming eliminates multiple welds and draw marks produced by the traditional method of pressing a male and female die together.
A typical example of the benefit of hydroforming is cited by Professor Muammer Ko, of the Virginia Commonwealth University. Prof. Koe talked about an aluminum radiator support for a passenger car.
- The stamped manufacture process requires 17 unique parts weighing a total of 16.5 kilograms.
- The hydroformed part is comprised of 10 parts and weighs 11.5 kilograms (a 30% weight savings).
The hydroforming process can produce structurally stiff and stable parts out of materials that are lighter in weight but able to replace stamped parts made with heavier materials.
- When an aluminum part replaces a steel or cast-iron part, it means a weight reduction of 40% to 60%.
- Warm hydroforming greatly increases the formability of lightweight materials like aluminum and magnesium, greatly increasing the possible range of hydroformed parts manufacturing.
Although stamping and welding have not gone away, increasing proportions of the automotive production has gone to hydroforming.
American Hydroformers engineers and manufactures tube hydroformed parts for the automotive industry out of Midwestern facility. Please contact us for more information.