When discussing hydroforming with some who has never heard of the process, the obvious question that will arise is: what is hydroforming?
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Have you been looking for a cost-effective way to form your ductile metals into parts that are not only structurally firm but have strong parts? One of the best methods you can use in this industry is known as hydroforming. Hydroforming is a unique kind of die forming that uses a high amount of hydraulic fluid to turn the ductile metals into the shape you need.
What is hydroforming? Hydroforming is an innovative method of pressing metal into the desired shape. It produces results similar to cold forming, but instead of simply pressing the metal with a mold, it is pressed by liquid pressure. Let’s be more specific about how it works.
Cold forming presses room temperature metal between a solid mold. Hydroforming also presses metal at room temperature, but only the bottom half of the mold is present, underneath the raw metal. The unit closes, creating a water tight seal around the metal and the mold, and then forces liquid into the unit through a hydraulic pump. This forces the metal down into the mold. The liquid is then released, and the newly formed metal reclaimed.
Many common metals can successfully undergo this process, including copper, brass, stainless steel, and aluminum. This list is very similar to the metals that can be used with the traditional cold forming method. Hydroforming is used to make all sorts of metal products, including satellite antennas, a tube for saxophones, bicycle frames, automobiles, and residential lighting materials.
The hydroforming method is particularly attractive because it can often be completed at a lower cost per unit than many other methods, including stamping or even wielding. It can also produce a higher stiffness-to-weight ratio than many other methods. Hydroforming is also beneficial because only half of the die is required. Since the fluid acts as the other half, it’s only necessary to fabricate the bottom in most cases. This also makes it much easier to change the thickness of the metal because there is no need to change the die.
Interested in learning more about Hydroforming and how it works? Contact us. We have all the answers, and we can help you with anything you need.
You might not know it, but you may have hydroforming to thank for the fact that you weren’t injured in your last fender-bender.
Generally speaking, hydroforming is a technique whereby a high-pressure hydraulic fluid is used to push a ductile metal, like aluminum or stainless steel, into a solid piece that is stiff and structurally sound.
The fluid is either pushed directly against the metal (no-bladder hydroforming) or against an insulating bladder (bladder hydroforming or flexforming). The metal is, in turn, pushed against a negative mold. (A negative mold has the name it does because it’s the inverse of the desired shape, meaning the material pushed into it achieves the shape that is sought.)
Hydroforming is often used to make unibodies for vehicles and metal frames for bicycles. The reason we began this post with the comment about hydroforming and vehicles is that the automotive industry has been one of the chief beneficiaries of hydroforming’s ability to creative strong, solid pieces of shaped metal.
Hydroforming is praised for being more cost-efficient than other methods and it can be used to create pieces that are too complex for simple die casting. Furthermore, hydroforming can actually be quite simple in terms of the infrastructure required.
If you are interested in learning more about hydroforming in general or about American Hydroformers specifically, please contact us at any time or visit our website for more information. We are always happy to help prospective new clients understand why we may be the best fit for them.
In a layman’s term, Hydroforming is a method that is applied when producing metallic components. The technique utilizes a high pressure liquid to push a thin film inside a mold. The outcome is a seamless metallic component which is not only light in weight, but robust and durable.
Different Types of Hydro-Formed Components
There are generally two types of products that can be produced through Hydroforming. These are:
- Customized hydro-formed components that are normally produced by the industries only by request.
- Generic hydro-formed components that are mass produced by companies for the sole purpose of sale as well as distribution.
The cost of producing customized hydro-formed components normally hinge on several factors such as the complexity and dimension of the order. If the purpose of the fabrication is to produce parts that are to be used in complex projects, then the overhead can be high since technicians spend more time and effort in ensuring that the final product is made according to the specification of a client.
What Are the Different Types of Techniques Used in Hydroforming?
There are two types of techniques that can be applied during the Hydroforming process. These are:
- Making use of a bladder stuffed with fluid: While using this type of technique, the technician puts an even film of metal in a mold and then covers the mold using the bladder before exerting pressure from the other end. As the pressure is increased by the technician, the bladder pushes the metal inside a mold. When the process is complete, both ends of the halves are opened to reveal the metal part. This technique is suitable for creating metal parts with high levels of details.
Tube forming: While using this technique to create metal parts, the technician seals a tube within the mold using a shape that has been cut along the strip of the tube. The mold is held in position using blocks. Thereafter, a high-pressure is forced through the metal tube which then causes the tube to expand outwards thereby allowing for the mold to form.
If you need a service provider who can help you with Hydroforming, contact us today for more details.