Tube Hydroforming vs. Sheet Hydroforming: What is Hydroforming?
What is hydroforming? Hydroforming is when the force of water, hydraulic fluids, or oils is used to shape a single part. There are two types of hydroforming and each has uses when creating products from steel, aluminum, etc. Hydroforming, used in industries, creates parts without using welds. This makes a stronger part and sometimes a product is created from a single piece of metal. So, what are the two types of hydroforming? They are Tube Hydroforming and Sheet Hydroforming.
We use Tube Hydroforming when a complex shape is needed, such as a curved section, or a hollow tube with various shapes. Think of the shape of a bicycle frame, or the shape of a truck door handle. To create these complex shapes, we place a piece of steel tubing in a closed die. Pressurized liquid fills the tube so it does not collapse under the pressure of the die. The die is then used to shape the tubing.
We use Sheet Hydroforming when large flat pieces are needed in a certain shape. Think of a car door, or a domed shaped top of a storage cylinder. The sheet of steel, or aluminum, is forced into a female die cavity by pressurized water. The male die punch then presses against the fluid to further refine the shape of the steel.
So, which type of hydroforming is best? There is no best. What is the best process depends on what is wanted as an end product. To learn which process is best for what you want, feel free to contact us.