Recently, the Auto Tech Review acknowledged that without constant evolution in hydroform technology, the advancements enjoyed in the automotive world today just would not be possible:
The demand for weight reduction in modern vehicle construction has led to an increase in the application of hydroforming processes for the manufacture of automotive lightweight components. Hydroforming is a promising technology that has greater potential for automotive applications. (Auto Tech Review)
So when did the hydroforming history begin, let’s take a look.
Although it would be difficult to imagine where today’s automotive industry would be without hydroform, it must be remembered that the technique is relatively new. Based on a 1950s patent held by Fred Leuthesser, Jr. and John Fox of the Schaible Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, the process first came into its element in the 1970s when buoyed by aid of computer technology.
Originally used to produce stronger kitchen spouts, the process was eventually employed to produce bicycle parts, piping joints, as well as automotive components. Throughout the 80s and 90s, the process was adapted to produce even larger structural parts.
By the early years of the 21st century, the process of hydroforming had become well-known, and its application in the automotive world was widely acknowledged.
According to a Japanese study published in 2004 in the Nipon Steel Technical Report, the advantages to using hydroform over the traditional press forming had already become apparent and included the following:
- Cost reduction
- Weight reduction
- Improvement of fatigue properties
- Improvement of component strength
- Simplification of work processes
- Improvement of yield
- Reduction of spring back
- Capability of large deformation
To find out how the development of hydroforming technology can aid in the production of your product, please feel free to contact us.