Posts Tagged hydroforming

Tubular Hydroforming And Other Innovative Techniques

Tubular Hydroforming And Other Innovative Techniques

Whenever you are working on a project, no matter how big or how small, you should always look for the best possible way to make the project successful. When you want the project done correctly, it does not mean you can take the easy way or the quickest way to get it done.

If you are looking for a design for a tubular metal part, you may be scratching your head while you look for the best possible way to manufacture it. Well, whether you know it or not, you have a significant amount of options and solutions.

One of those options is hydroforming. As with any other options or solutions, hydroforming will have its advantages, disadvantages, and limitations. With disadvantages, you may have to change things, in regards to your design and the production process.

One of the newer forming technologies is known as tube stamping. Tube stamping opens a box of endless possibilities. With tube stamping, you will not find yourself jeopardizing your production time, your costs, or the weight of the product. If you anticipate a high-volume production, tube stamping will be a great solution because it is incredibly quick. Tube stamping is similar to tubular hydroforming because both processes can create those difficult and confusing parts.

Each tubular metal project that you take on will have its own requirements, whether it is related to the time or the cost. In order to choose the right process, you will need to evaluate all of the requirements and circumstances surrounding the process. You will certainly need to find the right fit, so it is important that you take your time to research all of the possible techniques.

If you are interested in more information about tube stamping, tubular hydroforming, or any other technique, contact us today.

2016 CAFE Standards: What the Near Future Holds

2016 CAFE Standards: What the Near Future Holds

Beginning in 2011, automobile makers had to meet a set of government regulations that had sat in limbo for many years. For many, this was the biggest change in fuel-economy standards since the 1970s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law, otherwise known as cafe standards.

With an increase in fuel economy by nearly 40% for cars, and by almost 25% trucks, automobile manufacturers really have their work cut out for them.

According to an article on Car and Driver, the MPG increase is palpable, and might seem like a struggle for major manufacturers.

The average fuel economy for cars must improve from the current 27.5 mpg, where it has been since 1990, to 37.8 mpg by 2016. The truck standard has to rise from 23.5 mpg to 28.8.

So while the standards might not be as severe as they maintain by simply looking at the raw data (manufacturers have come up with a few clever ways of circumventing strict guidelines; not to mention “surplus credits”), they are seeking out alternatives to achieve the “goal” set by the US Federal Government, which doesn’t always mean drastic changes in design.

As the relative dimension, or footprint needs altered, car manufacturers often garner help from things that increase efficiency without direct alteration of typical features. They do this by redesigning aspects of the car which make it lighter, paying careful attention to small details where new components and materials offer a replacement. It’s at this point in the process where hydroforming steps in.

The hydroforming process lends to aiding CAFE standards in almost all parts of their design. By providing lightweight parts, that are durable and strong, manufactured quickly and easily, car manufacturers have a veritable goldmine in hydroforming companies.

What’s more, for 2016, it doesn’t matter which manufacturer requires assistance, because the regulations are different across the board.

Thus, for truck manufacturers and car manufacturers alike (whether SUV, sport, sedan, luxury, and so on), hydroforming is a viable option to reducing weight thereby increasing average MPG, and saving car manufacturers’ bottom line.

For additional information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

3 of the Latest Hydroformed Components Hitting the Market

3 of the Latest Hydroformed Components Hitting the Market

As we so often do, we like to focus on hydroformed components that are making waves in the modern world. From mountain bikes to car parts to aerospace design, hydroformed components and products are near and far in the world around us.

Innovative production, hydroformed products and components are found just about everywhere, here are some of the latest items to use hydroforming for its innovation and design.

Bicycles

As this report points out, the latest “Frostbike” event was rife with new and inventive biking gear and products. Some of the latest off-road and all-terrain bikes feature hydroformed tubing, which, according to the report, is an even greater advancement than many of last year’s bikes. Bicycles continue as an integral industry, connected closely to hydroforming and hydroformed products.

Police Cars

The 2016 Police Interceptor, and updated version of the Ford Explorer, is the latest police vehicle to feature hydroformed parts. According this write-up on the latest police vehicle, the main hydroformed component is a “high-strength steel tube that runs the width of the vehicle to improve structural rigidity.” Look for the new SUV Police Interceptor at a police station near you.

Electric “Yikebike”

What’s a Yikebike? It’s a fully electric folding bicycle, which (according to a news report) “enables users to truly discover their urban freedom.” For those looking for a piece of art that they can ride, the Yikebike is your thing. It’s lightweight features (due to a fully hydroformed frame), makes it ideal for urban environments. But don’t get too excited yet, it’s only available in New Zealand currently.

Hydroformed components run the gamut of diversity. Thanks to an engineered design that provides light-weight strength and durability, hydroformed engineering satisfies many industries and a broad range of markets and products.

For more on how we can help you, please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you.

How a New Tube Hydroformed Instrument Impacts the World of Optics and Photonics

How a New Tube Hydroformed Instrument Impacts the World of Optics and Photonics

Automotive and aerospace engineers (among others) have used tube hydroforming as a means to supplement inferior design techniques, by decreasing weight and increasing tensile and ductile strength, two things that had been sorely lacking in those industries for many years.

Tube hydroforming contributes to industries all around the globe, and lends an idle, albeit able hand in sculpting and shaping how those global communities think, brand, and progress into the future.

Recently, a new advancement in design was announced from an industry that has had little use for hydroforming up until the last few years: optics and photonics.

A newly designed, tube hydroformed instrument is helping to find sensitive measurements, and the scientists who use them.

From an article on optics and photonics on how the instrument works:

The instrument measure objects with apertures that range from 20 to 200mm or more, and consists of a laser diode, a conical mirror, and a miniature CCD or CMOS camera.

In the progressive world of aerospace design and mechanical engineering, seeing the truly smallest of smalls makes a huge impact on a nanoscale. Nanoscientists have for a long time been viewing that in which we are not able to see, and use powerful microscopes to do so.

For those in the aerospace industry, however, measuring the inner diameter of holes to establish the gauge of the bore by using two or three measured points is time-consuming and arduous.

So optics has stepped in to ease the burden. But even then, older optical sectioning methods are difficult to use for pipes measuring less than 100mm.

From the article on how the technique is applied to measurement and its functional principle:

The key component that we use in our technique is a ring beam device, which consists of a conical mirror and a laser diode. The fundamental principle that underlies our technique is based on optical sectioning, without the use of any contact-type stylus.

The instrument, whose shell is made by tube hydroforming, is rapidly helping those who already do a difficult job easier, by enabling the instrument “compatible with practical industrial applications,” as well as aiding in the future development of an even smaller probe that measure holes less than 10mm in diameter.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.

How Hydroformed Components Make Products Better

How Hydroformed Components Make Products Better

Hydroformed components  and hydroforming positively impact how manufacturers produce. After all, hydroforming adapts to needs and makes lighter, more durable, and longer-lasting products, which benefit all of those who use them… whether they know they are or not.

For instance, take how car and truck companies use hydroforming. In many areas of the automobile, heavy parts made by traditional means weigh the car down; adding extra pounds creates drag and slows down acceleration.

But as hydroforming integral parts has become standard, car and truck manufacturers now use the seamless and more ductile components to benefit how new cars run.

The same situation applies to bicycle companies. Manufacturers of new super-terrain bikes, ones designed for optimum use and ware, are made with hydroformed frames and turning forks.

The seamless and lighter frame adds to the riders experience, not only in terms of handling, but also in how the bike’s tires grip and use whatever surface they are on.

With a hydroformed frame, the rider can feel individual rocks and crevices when it matters most. Perfect for professionals competing in rallies, and off-road riders who need to feel the ground below them for the sake of safety.

Hydorforming also finds its way into our kitchens, and many people are completely unaware of it. Tube hydrofroming is a popular way of producing kitchen fixtures and piping under the counters. Those sleek and beautiful fixtures that you see in hardware stores are most often made through hydroforming.

Hydroforming in plumbing, as a whole, allows for stronger parts with less weak spots for failure. Meaning no drips or leaks. For cars and bikes, it allows for lightweight, better performing rides, while improving performance and part durability.

In the end, hydroforming comes out on top as a key manufacturer and innovator. As the top producer of hydroformed parts in the Midwest, we are excited that we are a part of this growing industry.

For more information about hydroformed components or how we can help you, please contact us.

High-Temperature Metal Gas Forming Burning Brightly

High-Temperature Metal Gas Forming Burning Brightly

Hydroforming is, arguably, one the most innovative methods for manufacturing of the last couple of decades. However, a similar yet just as important process known as high-temperature metal gas forming (HTMGF) has existed for nearly as long, and with similar benefits.

A few decades ago, when auto manufacturers wanted a lightweight, high strength but fully flexible part, they sought out hydroformers for the job.

As an alternative process to the mainstream, hydroforming eventually gained the popularity of design engineers, and not long after, hydroformed parts became a prominent means for design.

Then, as finite element analysis (FEA) software became more sophisticated, predictability in part production moved to the forefront, and parts were made in such a way that the receivers learned to expect a quality product that delivered consistency and reliability.

Not long after, however, high-temperature metal gas forming became a reality. Even if its rise is less well-known, its products are comparable, and some would argue, maybe even better in some ways.

Both tube hydroforming and HTMGF share many qualities. Both ways of production have their strengths and weaknesses, in terms of manufacturing and overall product strength. Both methods of production work similarly, and FEA software allows both to reap great advantages.

So which method is better? That’s a difficult question to answer. Each one appeals to different types of industries. While hydroforming is more well-known, HTMGF is slowly working itself towards the limelight.

In some ways, HTMGF is superior to hydroforming in terms of time needed to produce. Similar parts produced by the same method sometimes requires additional forming time.

As Dave Gearing points out in his incredibly in-depth article on the subject,

Choosing the optimal process often is a matter of considering both… early in the design stage when simple modifications to the part to aid the manufacturing process are easy to incorporate…

So while the jury is out, the debate continues as both methods become more nominal in their field.

For a deeper look at the finite schematics, extended benefits, methodology, and mathematics surrounding each process, check out this article on the subject, as mentioned above.

For more in how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Hydroformed Components Make Trucks Stronger, Faster, and Better

Hydroformed Components Make Trucks Stronger, Faster, and Better

We’ve talked in length before about how hydroformed components used in the automobile industry have helped to change the entire process.

Every few months or so, we like to update our readers on some vehicles that have reaped the most benefit from hydroforming. We do this for several reasons, but most of all we are proud of our contribution to this ever-growing industry, one that is literally “re-shaping” how the auto industry functions.

It’s a large, more macro example of what some experts have called: ultra low-cost car market.

Several cost reduction factors are taken into consideration while designing an ultra low-cost car… for space and weight saving [there is the]… absence of radio, air conditioner and passenger side mirror, seats with integrated head rest… and extensive use of hydroforming and roll forming…

So while major auto manufacturers like Ford and Chevy aren’t quite in line with eliminating just about everything from their “features” list, what they are doing is utilizing innovative techniques like hydroforming to make their trucks better and easier to assemble.

Heavy duty trucks like the F-150 and the Silverado HD both share in common a wide use of hydroformed parts.

For example, one of the countries best-selling trucks in the country, the Chevy Silverado, has extensive hydroformed framing and roll forming. Both of which improve weight, steering, handling, security, and comfort while contributing to torque and towing capability. Meanwhile the Ford F-150 contains hydroformed components throughout.

In both cases, to some small degree, hydroforming is contributing to the “low-cost car market.” Not only is it allowing manufacturers to pay less to design and execute, it passes that savings to the vehicle purchaser. It’s just another way innovation changes our world for the better and makes our lives easier.

For more information on how hydroformed products are changing the world’s industries, or how we can help you, please contact us any time.

What is tubular hydroforming?

What is tubular hydroforming?

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.

Friction Stir Welding: How Can It Be Useful To You?

Friction Stir Welding: How Can It Be Useful To You?

Friction stir welding is used to create joints that are of the highest quality and of the highest strength. Friction stir welding was patented in 1991. The first applications that friction stir welding was used for was aluminium fabrications. With its low distortion, the solid-state joining process of friction stir welding is able to create lap joints or butt joints. The joints can also be created in a wide variety of the thickness and the length.

Since friction stir welding is a solid state process, you will not have to concern yourself with any of the errors that may occur when you are using fusion welding. The quality of welding is excellent, and it is friendly for the environment. There are not any kind of fumes that will be triggered into the air.

What Can You Expect From Friction Stir Welding?

  • There will be no limit on the length and width of your panel. Friction stir welding can successfully meet the needs of your application, no matter what size the parts are.
  • Since friction stir welding is one of the most cutting edge technologies and developments, there will be new developments and solutions for all of the customers using the process.
  • Protecting the environment is a serious issue and concern. If you want to do your duty of protecting the environment, you can feel comfortable with using friction stir welding. It is a relatively green process. There will be no triggers of gases or fumes. You will be creating something amazing, while protecting the environment with this environmentally friendly process.
  •  Friction stir welding can be operated in every position.
  • You can expect to be able to make hybrid components. This can be done by joining different products. Aluminum and magnesium alloys are two examples of different materials that can create those components.
  • A low energy input compared to other types of processes.

In this day and age, and the different industries available, there is a certainty that the industry will find numerous uses for friction stir welding. This process is not expensive, and you have the great ability to weld or fuse different materials.

For more information about friction stir welding and how it can be beneficial to you, contact us.