Tube Hydroforming: The Process Behind Lighter Components
One of the main drivers in the automotive industry is the demand for faster processes and lighter components. One of the best methods for delivering lightweight components is known as hydroforming. Hydroforming enables the manufacturing of non-uniform areas by using a round-shaped tube as the feed-in material. Hydroformed component features can include a variety of cross sections that have different curved sections.
Engineers and designers must take a variety of things into consideration, including pressure strength, optimal strength, and allowable stretching in the component design. Some of the materials that are generally formed are aluminum, carbon steel, and stainless steel. All of these materials will differ when it comes to their flexibility and formability characteristics.
The magnitude of the hydroforming process allows a designer to duplicate certain parts directly on the components, and this will result in fewer brackets or parts. The long-established sheet metal components have now been replaced by hydroformed tubes. The use of hydroformed tubes can lead to a variety of benefits, including the following:
- weight saving
- lesser components
Tube hydroforming has been around for a long time, but the use of hydroformed tubular components has increased over time. One of the main reasons the use of tube hydroformed has increased in recent times is partly due to the advances in technology that make it easier and less expensive to test the processes in the development stage.
In tube hydroforming, a tube that has already been bent is placed in a toolset in a press, and this press will apply the force that is needed to close the tube. After the closing force has been applied, two cylinders will be placed at both ends of the tube and liquid will be used to fill the tube. After the filling of the tube, the tube will be formed under pressure.
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