Hydroforming

Hydroforming isn't as mysterious as it seems. This technology area is full of articles, including case studies, on hydroforming sheet metal and tubular sections.

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Part feature developments in hydroforming products

March 25, 2004

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Tube hydroforming technology continues to develop in ways that improve part utility, economy, or process robustness. Auto parts that have recently been produced by hydroforming include roof rails, radiator enclosures, a front-end structural module, and roof rails.

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Developments in hydroforming

March 25, 2004

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Commentary from the people interviewed at the International Conference on Hydroforming (Oct. 2003) indicate that trends include an increasing interest in forming aluminum and other lightweight materials; more use of tailored tubes; and that sheet hydroforming is expected to grow faster than tube hydroforming.

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part V

February 26, 2004

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Combined with the information in Part III of this series that focused on cross-section expansion before hydroforming, this article discusses the most common options used in preparing tube for hydroforming and achieving the designer-intended part. Properly executing bending and cross-section...

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Hydroforming heats up

January 13, 2004

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Hydroforming was one of the fastest-growing metal forming technologies during the 1990s. Most of U.S. industry cooled down during and after the recession of 2001, but things have been heating up lately, and the world of hydroforming is no exception. The North American Hydroforming Conference and Exhibition (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 in Dayton, Ohio), which was sponsored by the Tube & Pipe Association, International® (TPA), and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), showcased new techniques, equipment, and applications that are moving the industry forward.

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part IV

October 23, 2003

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Material selection is a very important aspect of design flexibility when striving to fulfill part functionality requirements. Choosing the correct material is fundamental to making the part effectively and efficiently. The way a material is formed and the conditions it needs to withstand for...

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Eliminating final trim shearing of hydroformed tube

October 9, 2003

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The most common way to establish tube length after hydroforming is by cutting or shearing the tube to a specified dimension; however, cutting out this step can reduce scrap. A new method designed to eliminate this step combines forming the end of a tube to resemble its final form with using a hydroform die to correct end position variations off the bender. While this approach eliminates the final shear trim operation, it also presents new challenges.

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A survey of presses for hydroforming tubes, extrusions

October 9, 2003

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Hydroforming is one of the most important fields in production manufacturing. In recent years many single presses, groups of presses, and entire production plants for internal high-pressure (IHP) hydroforming of tubes and extrusions have been installed, especially in the Americas and in Europe. The driving force behind this development has been the efficient production of automotive parts.

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Making the most of hydroforming

September 25, 2003

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Hydroforming has become a competitive metal forming method and has succeeded in many applications because of its weight- and cost-saving attributes, elimination of joining operations, and ability to offer part design for confined spaces.

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Tier 1 supplier builds four-stage competitive strategy

July 24, 2003

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F & P Manufacturing Inc., a tier-one automotive components supplier, focused on four areas when it developed a hydroforming line for manufacturing Honda Accord engine cradles. These areas were eliminating end scrap, decoupling the bending machines from the manufacturing line, reducing cycle time, and palletizing parts.

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Examining the effects of push assist on the formability of aluminum tubes

July 10, 2003

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It is well-known that tube has become an important material for hydroforming hollow components. The increasing complexity of product structures, particularly in the automotive industry, often requires one or more forming operations before a tube actually is hydroformed. Prebending is one of these forming processes used to prepare tubes for the so-called prebent tube hydroforming.

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Dealing with internal pressure in free hydraulic bulging

June 12, 2003

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For hydraulic tube bulging, direct pressure control is the most commonly used process. Pressure control allows engineers to determine the correct capacity hydraulic system and, more importantly, prevent tube rupture. However, inflow control, or control of the volume of fluid inside the tube, theoretically could be another viable hydroforming process. Finite element analysis has shown that inflow control could allow engineers to more accurately predict deformation behavior and therefore enhance the hydroforming process.

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part III

April 24, 2003

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The last article in this series noted that variable periphery design, or cross-section expansion, often is thought to be the most important aspect of tube hydroforming design flexibility. Expansion in the hydroforming die commonly is assumed to be the most efficient and most effective method,...

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Fill 'er Up

March 27, 2003

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Hydroforming is gaining ground in the manufacture of many automotive components,such as pillars, frame rails, and engine cradles. Automakers are finding hydroforming advantageous for forming many smaller parts also. The process is useful for manufacturing an automobile fuel filler tube, which is the expanded portion of a fuel filler assembly where a fuel nozzle is inserted.

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Automobile fuel tanks

Hydroforming of passenger car fuel tanks

October 24, 2002

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Passenger car fuel tanks have for many years been made out of plastic. To reduce MTBE leaks in the groundwater, the Department of Energy, The State of California, and the Western States Petroleum Association are studying material alternatives such as high-strength steel, stainless steel and aluminum gas tanks.

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Material property variations in tubes used for hydroforming

October 10, 2002

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As tubular hydroforming becomes a competitive process for the mass production of automotive parts, a tube's material properties must be consistent. To predict variations in material properties, many tube producers use the uniaxial tensile test. Because the specimens for the tensile test are collected before a tube is bent and welded, they are not always accurate. To predict variations in tube property accurately, it should be tested under a biaxial state of stress.

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