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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.

Benefits of Tubular Hydroforming

Benefits of Tubular Hydroforming

Since the 1950s, tubular hydroforming has become a staple in the metal fabrication industry. Technological advancements in computer controlling and high-pressure hydraulic systems have allowed the process to become a more viable solution for mass metal production.

Modern machines allow for an increased metal shaping capabilities which far exceed traditional methods due to the employment of independent control of axial feeding, internal pressure, and counter pressure.

There are numerous applications for hydroforming including those within the automotive industry. Hydroforming has revolutionized the production of a multitude of parts from how exhaust manifolds are built to how axles are formed.

The typical hydroforming process follows a progression sequence in which fluid pressure within the tube is increased after the die closes to force the material into the deformation zone. During the formation process, axial feeding and internal pressure are regulated simultaneously to ensure the proper shaping of the material. Spring back is prevented and tight tolerances are maintained by stretching the tube’s cross section beyond its yield point.

Tubular hydroforming allows developers and engineers to optimize designs through cross section reshaping and expansion. Because of the structural integrity of hydroformed pieces, hydroforming has become a critical element in developing mass produced automotive components.

Several advantages of tubular hydroforming include:

  • Part consolidation
  • Reduced waste
  • Fewer parts so lower tooling cost
  • Reduced need for secondary operations
  • Low spring-back and tight tolerances
  • Improved structural strength and stiffness of product
  • Consistency
  • Weight reduction through highly efficient design and tailoring of wall thickness

From an economic and mechanical standpoint, hydroforming makes perfect sense for the manufacturing of mass produced metal products. Cycle times can be reduced to increase production proficiency even more, allowing for an improved bottom line.

For more information on how hydroforming can help your business, contact the professionals at American Hydroforming. The experts at American Hydroforming use only the most technologically advanced methods for shaping and fabricating metal products and have been trusted leaders in the hydroforming industry since 2003.

What is Hydroforming and Why Use It?

What is Hydroforming and Why Use It?

When many think about the manufacture of metal parts for cars, bicycles, and such,  they often think of  such processes as solid die stamping,  However, in the late 1940’s and 50’s a new process called hydroforming was developed to form metal parts, especially those with asymmetrical and irregular shapes that are difficult for stamping to form.

What is hydroforming?  Simply put, hydroforming uses a high pressure liquid to force a thin metal sheet or tube into a specialized die mold.  Almost all metals capable of being cold formed can also be hydroformed:  aluminum, brass, steel, stainless steel, and high strength alloys.   There are two types of hydroforming; sheet hydroforming and tube hydroforming.

For sheet hydroforming, a metal blank sheet is placed over the mold.  Then, in one type of sheet hydroforming, the mold is closed by a water filled bladder .Water pressure within the bladder is then increased, forcing the metal into the mold.

For tube hydroforming, a raw tube is placed between two dies.  The ends of the dies are then sealed off and water fills the tube.  The water pressure is increased until the tube takes the form of the mold.

The advantages of this process over traditional stamping are many.  It is ideal for forming complex shapes.  Hydroforming also produces parts that are more lightweight and have a higher stiffness to weight ration than stamped parts. Finally, its costs per unit are lower than stamping.

From hydroforming’s initial use in forming kitchen spouts its use has expanded to other plumbing fixtures, to widespread use in the auto and aircraft industry, to the manufacture of bicycles, and to the forming of the handles of appliances.   Hydroforming has even been used to manufacture the brass tube of the Yamaha saxophone.   It has proven itself to be an increasingly versatile tool.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about hydroforming and how it can meet your needs.

Benefits Hydroformed Components in Automobiles

Benefits Hydroformed Components in Automobiles

If you own and operate a business that focuses on creating customized motor vehicles, you may want to consider learning more about hydroformed components. They are traditionally made in two ways. One method is referred to as tube hydroforming. The other method is called sheet hydroforming. Both of which are ideal for use in body work, automotive design and engine rebuilds. Here’s why:

Structural Integrity

For starters, hydroformed components are seamless and corrosion resistant. As such, they have a greater structural integrity than those that feature welded seams. That makes them perfect for use in areas that are likely to be damaged in an impact situation (i.e. roof, bumpers and side panels). They also work well in areas that are apt to be exposed to other stressors like prolonged friction, high heat and the elements (i.e. exhaust components and engine cradles).

Reduced Costs

Another benefit to using hydroformed components in your automotive business is the cost. The components tend to require less capital to produce and have a long life span. Their reduced mass also makes them cheaper to transport and store. Because of that, you may find yourself enjoying higher profit margins than originally expected.

Highly Customizable

In addition to structural integrity and reduced costs, the hydroform process also makes it extremely easy to transform stainless steel into the exact shape that your staff needs. Thus, you can use it to quickly create a highly customized, aerodynamic vehicle for your end consumers. You can also use it to reproduce discontinued or hard to find parts for those seeking to restore a classic.

Interested in learning more about how hydroformed components can benefit your automotive business? Contact American Hydroformers today by calling 1-260-428-2660 or stop by our website. We would be more than delighted to promptly answer all of your questions.

New Universal Hydroforming Die Holder

New Universal Hydroforming Die Holder

American Hydroformers announces new Universal Die Insert Holder designed to reduce the tooling and die costs associated with hydroforming.

Fort Wayne, IN (May 31, 2012) – American Hydroformers, a leader in the hydroforming industry, has announced the purchase and implementation of a new universal die insert holder. The acquisition of this new die insert holder will allow American Hydroformers to reduce the tooling cost associated with hydroforming by as much as 60%.

Consisting of hydraulic cylinders, position encoders, upper and lower base plates, and a part specific cavity, a hydroforming die makes up a very large portion of the cost related to hydroforming. With American Hydroformers universal die insert holder, customers are only required to purchase the part specific cavity, eliminating the need for the other costly components. This helps to greatly reduce overall part cost as well as tooling and die overheads.

American Hydroformers currently has two universal die insert holders that accommodate both large and small parts. Ideal for low to medium runs, these die insert holders enable better price controls while also greatly reducing overall tooling expenses.

Unlike other metal forming techniques, hydroforming allows for increased part strength, lower part weight, and greater design flexibility, while also improving overall part quality.

Founded in 2003, American Hydroformers specializes in the tube hydroforming manufacturing process. Our capabilities include numerous metal forming techniques such as hydroforming, hydraulic press work, metal stamping, and tube forming. In addition to hydroformed components, American Hydroformers offers complete assembly level fabrication of automotive structures, robotic welding, and both industrial laser and plasma cutting.

Unlike other metal forming techniques, hydroforming allows for increased part strength, lower part weight, and greater design flexibility, while also improving overall part quality. Contact us to see how you can reduce your tooling and part costs.