Hydroforming

Hydroforms are created in a manufacturing process referred to as internal high pressure forming or hydroforming. The hydroforming process is a forming process ideally suited to create challenging metal hollow parts with the help of an active fluid medium. The high-pressured active fluid medium completely fills the construction part in question, thus pushing it into a closed molding tool from the inside. In this manner it is possible to create hollow parts with a complex external geometry.

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How does the internal high pressure forming process work?

For the internal high pressure forming process, a forming tool consisting of an upper and a lower die is used. A tube or other hollow part is clamped between the two parts of the forming tool. A liquid is then injected into the hollow part under high pressure. This can be a water-oil emulsion, for example. The active liquid acts on the insides of the tube with pressures of up to 3,000 bars. Since both ends of the tube are firmly closed off with sealing punches, the pressure acting on the inside of the tube causes it to extend outwards and into the molding tool.

What are the advantages of hydroforming?

Hydroforming allows the precise production of component parts which are completely free of welding seams, making this particular production process very attractive to a wide variety of industries. Further advantages of hydroforming include:

  • Representation of complex geometries.
  • High repetitive accuracy.
  • Seamless.
  • Integration of additional manufacturing steps into the process possible (e.g. perforations).
  • Herstellung dünnwandiger Formen zur Gewichtsoptimierung möglich
  • Makes the production of thin-walled components for weight optimization possible.
  • High stability due to high pressure.
  • High durability .
  • High surface quality

Hydroforming is often used in the automotive sector, for example for the production of exhaust systems and chassis parts. One of the disadvantages of hydroforming is the relatively long cycle times of the hydroforming process. The initial costs are also significant, which makes hydroforming better suited for higher-volume productions in order to amortize the tooling cost in a reasonable time.

Which materials can be used for hydroforming?

Hydroforming allows for a wide range of different raw materials, including:

  • A variety of steels
  • Aluminium
  • Titanium
  • Copper
  • Inconel

The most important information at a glance

Materials: Stainless steel, aluminium, titanium, copper, Inconel
Component: 0.02–5.0 kg
weights:
Dimensions: Depending on size and weight
Tolerances: According to BDG directive, VDG code of practice P690 D1-D3

Quantities: Medium-sized and large batches

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