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Introduction to Tube Hydroforming

June 13, 2006

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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.

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Die Basics 101: Part VIII

June 13, 2006

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Figure 1 Part VII of this series introduced two basic types of metals used to manufacture stamped parts—ferrous, metals that contain iron, and nonferrous, metals that do not contain iron. This article discusses the specific mechanical properties of these metals in more detail.The metal's...

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Measuring the plastic strain ratio of sheet metals

June 13, 2006

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Determining how much a metal can deform before thinning or fracture occurs is necessary for designing a reproducible forming operation. Testing the incoming sheet material is also essential because material properties may vary from coil to coil and affect the part quality and scrap rate. Understanding a material's plastic strain ratio and how to measure it are crucial in accurately establishing a material's formability.

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Warm forming titanium parts

June 13, 2006

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Senior Editor Eric Lundin visited a fabricator that specializes in aircraft components, M-DOT Aerospace, to learn how the company uses warm-forming of titanium to manufacture a cradle for an auxiliary power unit, or APU. Understanding titanium's characteristics is the key in forming this durable, corrosion-resistant, tough material.

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Not a one-stock shop

June 13, 2006

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After years of working in fabricating and machining, Shawn McFadden struck out on his own to start a fabrication shop, which later evolved into a custom motorcycle shop. He doesn’t use the latest CNC machines with digital readouts and other state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. He uses manually controlled machines and ingenuity.

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The wiper die's feathered edge

June 13, 2006

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The mechanical aspects of rotary draw tube bending haven't changed since modern tooling was developed 50 years ago. Likewise, the role of the tooling (mandrel, pressure die, bend die, and wiper die) hasn't changed. However, tube fabricators these days have many choices in regard to the tooling, especially wiper dies. Choices include material, rake angle, and whether the wiper die's feathered edge is fully machined or honed by hand.

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A closer look at self-piercing riveting

June 13, 2006

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Self-piercing riviting, an alternative sheet joining method, is being used more to join aluminum sheets. The finite element method can be employed to study the SPR process and joints, perhaps even leading to the elimination of physical testing of these mechanical joints.

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Implementing Press Automation

June 13, 2006

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To compete in a global market, all stampers need adapt their manufacturing processes. By mixing automation with electronic controls, job shops can increase output and exceed past manufacturing goals.

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What associations really do

June 13, 2006

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Ever wonder why associations exist—what purposes they serve and why people join them? This article explains just what an association is, traces the history of associations, and describes how these organizations benefit members and the general public.

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Poor Boy Blacksmith

June 13, 2006

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Generations ago blacksmiths served long apprenticeships and acquired the knowledge to make their own tools. Today blacksmithing often is pursued by untrained hobbyists who need economical tools. This article is about a seasoned blacksmith who uses his skills to make tools and then markets them using the latest technology.

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Job diversity through a waterjet

June 13, 2006

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Pacific Metal Cutting of Placentia, Calif., wasn't struggling when it bought its first waterjet in May 2004. After two years of waterjet ownership and the addition of a second table, the metal cutter is struggling to keep up with new business.

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Structured sheet metal

June 13, 2006

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Editor's Note: This article is Part II of a two-part series discussing structured sheet metal and different structuring processes. Part I compares various structuring processes. This column was prepared by Michael Mirtsch and Ajay Yadav of the Engineering Research Center for Net Shape...

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 7

June 13, 2006

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Once you're ready to write your proposal, you must know all about the three basic types of solicitations and how to write your proposal based on what type of solicitation you're working with.

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The regrind process for tube mill tooling

June 13, 2006

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Although most tube and pipe producers don't get too involved in the regrind process, it is crucial—reconditioning roll tooling can extend its useful life by 15 or 20 times. The regrind process reduces the producer's overall out-of-pocket tooling expenses, while helping to ensure the tooling continues to produce a consistent-quality product at the required speeds. A better understanding of the process, especially familiarity with the types of flaws that reconditioning can and cannot resolve, can go a long way toward a better working relationship between a tube and pipe producer and its regrind contractor.

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Cutting right to the point

June 13, 2006

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Experience and education are allowing metal fabricators to become more familiar with circular saw blades and the saw designed to run them. Choosing and applying the correct blade, along with proper maintenance, can provide an efficient method for a metal cutting operation.

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