Tube Hydroforming, a metal fabricating and forming process, helps to shape metals into their desired shapes. This technique can be used to shape various metals including steel, aluminum, brass, copper, and stainless steel. It is a cost-effective process that uses a highly pressurized fluid in order to shape metal. It is best used to replace the older process of stamping two halves then welding them together. The process of tube hydroforming saves on labor, tools, and material costs. But how does it work?
- When the desired shape has bends that do not follow a straight line, the raw tube is loaded into the tube bender where it is given the proper and necessary curvature.
- The tube, which is now bent, is usually placed on a pre-form press. Most places use a 200 or 500-ton pre-form press for this step. The presses will begin to form the tube into the desired shape, which assists in hydroforming the tube.
- The tube is now ready for the hydroforming press. The press first pressurized the water inside the tube, which gives the final look and the desired shape.
- After the tube is shaped properly, it is time to use precision laser cutting or stenciling. This gives it a more final and clean look, rather than it just being the intended shape.
- The last step in the process is when the tube is taken to a laser center for cutting, trimming, or even etching purposes. This final stage is when the tube will look exactly as intended.
Here at American Hydroformers, we not only form hydroformed components, but we also offer complete assembly level fabrication of automotive structures, industrial laser cutting, and stencil work, as well as tube forming. If you have tube hydroforming needs, questions about our services, or need additional information, contact us today.