The use of FEA or Finite Element Analysis further advances the hydroforming industry by eliminating the impediments of inefficiency and expense.
Finite Element Analysis is a method using numerical techniques of calculus variations to solve boundary value problems. This process uses computer model designs to connect elemental equations over sub domains to approximate the values over larger regions. The models are then stressed and analyzed to decipher the correct procedure in manufacturing the product.
Not only does FEA allow for new designs to be created without the prospect of a test failure, but it can also enhance the design of pre-existing products.
With the use of the FEA method, the hydroforming industry can further advance production by expediting procedures with fewer miscalculations. The finite element designs optimize the control process of parameter by selecting the correct calculation to prevent excessive thinning or premature wrinkling. Overall, the process minimizes error function and produces a stable solution. This allows for larger tube expansion in the dual hydroforming process.
With greater sensitivity analysis, the FEA method facilitates the precise design of both die shapes and die geometrics. By controlling the parameters through mathematical calculations, the overall forming procedures become more accurate. The hydroforming process is complex in itself and numerous factors have to be calculated accurately to construct a working product. Determining a forming window can be experimental through trial and error which is both less effective and more expensive.
Shabbir Memom writes,“In order to have a successful hydroforming process, it is imperative to optimize the process parameters such as loading path and feed rate along with friction and keep it within the range of forming window.”
He goes on to discus that without facilitating the finite element analysis methods, some hydroforming designs would be impossible.
For more information on the advancement of FEA methods within the hydroforming industry, please feel free to contact us.