November 29, 2001 | By Suwat Jirathearanat
T-shapes and Y-shapes are the most commonly hydroformed exhaust system components for automobiles. This article reports on the investigation into the metal flow in Y-shape hydroforming by the Engineering Research Center for Net Shape Manufacturing (ERC/NSM) at The Ohio State University, which conducted several experiments using the tooling available at the SPS research center in Aalen, Germany.
A typical tube hydroforming system is shown in Figure 1. Within this system, a host of factors must be taken into account, from starting tube geometry and material properties to the quality of the final part (such as thickness distribution and dimensional accuracy).