From time to time, new discoveries change the way we approach various aspects of industry and technology. Recently, the discovery of a new metal has us doing exactly that.
Posts Tagged high pressure tube hydroforming
Although your average American probably has not heard of high metal gas forming, that does not mean they have not taken advantage of products made possible (or made better) through it. Those of us in the industry know better. We recognize that the vast majority of us would lead less comfortable and convenient lives without high-temperature metal gas forming.
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.
American Hydroformers is on the cutting edge of production technology. We offer many services, including metal fabrication solutions through the use of hydroforming, laser cutting, and several other forming techniques.
But perhaps the technique that garners the most interest is how our internal high pressure hydroforming press system works, and why it is so widely sought after.
Hydroforming (or internal high pressure forming) is a forming process by which an active solution (often a water and oil emulsion) forces a hollow part into a desired shape by applying a variable amount internal pressure that depends largely upon the density of the material (click here to watch a clip). And at its peak, the pressure can reach several thousand bars.
The advantages of this technique are many (especially compared to deep draw hydroforming), but most apparent are:
– Large design ratio
– Reduction of overall parts
– Lowered amount of weld-spots or connections
– Reduction of material weight
– Higher ductile and mechanical strength
– More durable
– Increased forming accuracy
Because of these positives, high pressure hydroforming has becoming a superior technique in many industrial sectors (most notably, automobile manufacturers). But has branched out to many others, including plumbing and heating, household appliances, furniture, bicycle frame manufacturing, machines and equipment, and even aerospace and aviation.
However, hydroforming stands out the most in the automobile industry, because of widely used parts for the chassis, motor, crossbeams, side beams, and roof frames, throughout the industry.
Additionally, hydroforming gives automakers the freedom of design, so that they can make lighter and faster cars that appeal to a broader group of people, while remaining relatively inexpensive in terms of production.
For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.
By now, you have no doubt heard of or experienced hydroforming first hand. But in some cases you may not have known it. That’s because hydroforming isn’t just limited to industrial sectors or even just to car manufacturers. It’s more than that. It is a part of our everyday lives.
In fact, there are numerous items that you use regularly around your home that have been engineered, designed, and manufactured by the tube hydroformed technique.
Let’s take a tour around your house in search of common hydroformed components.
Ever wonder how they get that sleek, smooth look of a classy and shiny faucet? You guessed it. Hydroforming. Those ergonomically-designed faucets in your kitchen and bathroom, and the ones that you see at your hardware store, were manufactured using the hydroforming technique.
But with plumbing, it isn’t just limited to what you can see. The hydroforming technique has also lent its capable hand to under-counter plumbing fixtures as well. Like copper fittings, elbows, bends, and so on. A hydroformed plumbing fixture means that they are stronger, and that with fewer pieces working together to hold a watertight seal, that they will last much longer as well (with no leaks).
Your kitchen is a hotbed for hydroformed products. On your stoves and refrigerators are handles. Handles that are smooth and match your appliances perfectly, both in function and in form. In most of the cases, those handles are a hydroformed product, crafted with that particular appliance in mind.
To spot one, simply look for a bend. If it is graceful and fluid then your appliance’s handle was achieved by this one-of-a-kind process (the list of major brands that feature these handles is extensive).
Moving down to your basement, this tour ends at your furnace. Did hydroforming craft your entire furnace? No. But it is entirely possible that some of the most important parts (like inlet covers and outflow fixtures, both of which allow for warm and cold air to flow through your home) were made using the tube hydroformed process.
For more information on hydroforming and all of its processes and products, please contact us any time.
Hydroforming has been one of the most cost effective methods of forming and shaping metals for decades. Several variations of hydroforming methods have come about over the years, each serving a different purpose.
In tube hydroforming, there are two widely recognized practices; high pressure and low pressure. During the high pressure process, the tube to be shaped is enclosed in a die before pressurization begins. Previously known as the Variform process, the low pressure method starts by the tube being pressurized to a pre-determined volume during the closing of the die. The tube is held in place and sealed at both ends by axial punches. The axials on both sides are moveable, this movement being required in the process to provide axial compression, and to feed material towards the center of the tube. In both methods, hydrolic fluid is pushed into the tube through one of the punches, increasing the pressure within until the tube expands outwards and the desired shape is reached.
Historically, the tube hydroforming process was patented in the 50’s. However, it wasn’t until the 70’s that the process was widely used in an industrial scale. Back then, it was used for the production of large T-shaped joints for the oil and gas industry. Today, tube hydroforming is an important part in the automotive industry where many important applications can be found. Tube hydroforming is also the method of choice for the tubular bodies of bicycles, and the various components of motorcycles.
Since its inception in the 50’s tube hydroforming has been an essential part of the manufacturing industry. If you would like to know more about hydroforming and it’s variations, feel free to visit our website or contact us.