November 1, 2013
Although hydroforming has gotten a lot of publicity in the last 20 years, a similar but lesser-known process, high-temperature metal gas forming, has been in use for more than 15 years. Because HTMGF works at elevated temperatures, it is useful for making complex shapes in titanium and aluminum, and it is making inroads into other industries as well.
June 8, 2010
Developing an automated cell of any sort requires detailed planning,and hydroforming is no exception. All elements, from tube debundling to scrap removal, are like pieces of a puzzle—and if any one of them is missing or doesn’t fit, the entire system becomes ineffective.
September 30, 2008
ASTM A513 (Standard Specification for Electric-Resistance-Welded Carbon and Alloy Steel Mechanical Tubing) is a conventional specification that governs tube for many uses, and hydroformers have been relying on tube made to this standard for many years. However, some hydroformers think that some aspects of this specification aren't appropriate for hydroforming: Some portions of it need to be tightened up and others loosened. Developing a modified specification specifically for hydroforming likely will result in less expensive tubing and fewer failures.
June 17, 2008
The energy sector is hot right now, and so is pipe production. Finding the optimum material for making pipe for this industry is tricky. Low-alloy carbon steels tend to be strong, but lack corrosion resistance. Stainless steels resist corrosion but lack strength. Cladding low-alloy carbon steel with a thin layer of a corrosion-resistant alloy is a suitable process, one that AWS Schaefer has devised for manufacturing such pipes.
September 11, 2007
Tube traditionally is produced with a constant wall thickness, leaving design engineers stuck with designing tubular parts and unable to optimize them. A tube with variable wall thickness changes all that. This technology allows design engineers to specify the wall thickness in various areas of a tubular component—increasing the wall thickness in bend regions to prevent splitting and decreasing wall thickness elsewhere to reduce part weight.
June 12, 2007
More than a decade ago, tube hydroforming grew in two directions: low-pressure hydroforming (a patented process) and high-pressure hydroforming. Since then the industry has grown to include all manner of robots, laser cutting systems, punching operations, and so on. Manufacturing consultant Gary Morphy takes us through about two decades of trends and developments and sheds some light on the future of this industry.
May 8, 2007
Sheet hydroforming has fewer restrictions when forming complicated parts, which gives styling designers and manufacturing engineersmore flexibility during the design process. To provide a stylish body shape for the Pontiac Solstice®, GM chose sheet hydroforming to manufacture its hood, door, deck lid, and body side assemblies.
October 10, 2006
The growth in hydroforming use has slowed as tube hydroformers, particularly in the automotive industry, are taking a step back to examine process options in an effort to determine the most efficient, cost-effective process. Some even have reverted to stamping and welding formerly hydroformed parts. This article explains how the industry got to this point and where it's headed.
October 3, 2006
Research shows that in forming lightweight materials such as aluminum and magnesium alloys, the formability increases as the temperature increases, especially in the range from 200 degrees C to 300 degrees C (392 degrees F to 572 degrees F).1-5 The Center for Precision Forming (CPF, formerly...
June 13, 2006
Hydroforming has become a favored technology for automotive parts because it allows manufacturers to increase a component's strength, reduce its weight, and reduce the number of parts in an assembly. Another important benefit, one that is often overlooked, is the increase in design freedom this technology allows. Engineers and designers must be aware of the factors that restrict design freedom, such as material characteristics and press limitations, and alternatives such as annealing and axial feeding that help work around these limitations.
June 13, 2006
Under the right circumstances, hydroforming can be a viable, cost-effective manufacturing process. Tube hydroforming often produces stronger structural components than can be achieved with more conventional methods. This article explains tube hydroforming, describes its evolution, and discusses the factors that should be considered when deciding whether to use the process.
May 9, 2006
The use of high-strength steels (HSS) and ultrahigh-strength steels (UHSS) has made stamping complex structural automotive components increasingly difficult and capital-intensive. Changing from traditional stamping (at room temperature on a mechanical press) to hot stamping (at elevated temperatures on a hydraulic press, with a water-cooled die for quenching) provides a suitable alternative for OEMs that produce these challenging parts.