HYDROFORMING FOR T-JOINT Hydroforming (or hydramolding) is a cost-effective way of shaping malleable metals such as aluminum orbrass into

lightweight, structurally stiff and strong pieces. One of the largest applications of hydroforming is the automotive industry, which makes use of the complex shapes possible by hydroforming to produce stronger, lighter, and more rigid unibody structures for vehicles. This technique is particularly popular with the high-endsports car industry and is also frequently employed in the shaping of aluminium tubes for bicycle frames. Hydroforming is a specialized type of die forming that uses a high pressure hydraulic fluid to press room temperature working material into a die. To hydroform aluminum into a vehicle's frame rail, a hollow tube of aluminum is placed inside a negative mold that has the shape of the desired end result. High pressure hydraulic pistons then inject a fluid at very high pressure inside the aluminum which causes it to expand until it matches the mold. The hydroformed aluminum is then removed from the mold. Hydroforming allows complex shapes with concavities to be formed, which would be difficult or impossible with standard solid die stamping. Hydroformed parts can often be made with a higher stiffness to weight ratio and at a lower per unit cost than traditional stamped or stamped and welded parts. This process is based on the 1950s patent for hydramolding by Fred Leuthesser, Jr. and John Fox of the Schaible Company of Cincinnati, OH. It was originally used in producing kitchen spouts. This was done because in addition to the strengthening of the metal, hydramolding also produced less "grainy" parts, allowing for easier metal finishing.

In the above image. A work piece is placed on a draw ring (blank holder) over a male punch then a hydraulic chamber surrounds the work piece and a relatively low initial pressure seats the work piece against the punch. no liquid contacts the sheet) and hydroforming where the fluid contacts the sheet (no bladder). IN THIS CASE WE TAKE T-SHAPED Sheet hydroforming In sheet hydroforming there is Bladder forming (where there is a bladder that contains the liquid. Then the pressure is released and punch retracted and hydraulic chamber lifted and the process is complete. we can replace the w-shape with any shapes. .Animated model of hydroforming. The punch then is raised into the hydraulic chamber and pressure is increased to as high as 15000 psi which forms the part around the punch.

The hydroforming-into-a-mold process also works using only a shock wave in air as the pressuring medium. The fluid is injected into the tube through one of the two axial punches. Axial punches are movable and their action is required to provide axial compression and to feed material towards the center of the bulging tube. especially in the automotive sector Explosive hydroforming For large parts. Trasverse counterpunches may also be incorporated in the forming die in order to form protrusions with small diameter/length ratio. The . Particularly when the explosives are close to the workpiece.Tube hydroforming In tube hydroforming (THF) there are two major practices: high pressure and low pressure. In low pressure the tube is slightly pressurized to a fixed volume during the closing of the die (this used to be called the Variform process). With the high pressure process the tube is fully enclosed in a die prior to pressurization of the tube. Many industrial applications of the process can be found. The internal pressure can go up to a few thousands of bars and it causes the tube to calibrate against the dies. inertia effects make the result more complicated than forming by hydrostatic pressure alone. When the dies are closed. the tube ends are sealed by axial punches and the tube is filled with hydraulic fluid. In tube hydroforming pressure is applied to the inside of a tube that is held by dies with the desired cross sections and forms. Trasverse counterpunches may also be used to punch holes in the work piece at the end of the forming process. For sheet metal only a draw ring and punch (metalworking) or male die is required. explosive hydroforming can generate the forming pressure by simply exploding a charge above the part (complete with evacuated mold) which is immersed in a pool of water. Typical tools One advantage of hydroforming is the savings on tools. The tooling can be much cheaper than what would be required for any press-type process.

e. Similar limitations and risks can be listed as in SHF. This allows for changes in material thickness to be made with usually no necessary changes to the tool. filled. i. especially for large panels and thick hard materials. Sheet metal hydroforming also allows for a smoother finish as draw marks produced by the traditional method of pressing a male and female die together are eliminated. process is limited by the very high closing force required in order to seal the dies. reducing the need for tube welding operations. Tube hydroforming (THF) can produce many geometric options as well. dies must be highly polished and in tube hydroforming a twopiece die is required to allow opening and closing. hydraulic pressure vs. Geometry produced Another advantage of hydroforming is that complex shapes can be made in one step. however. Small concave corner radii are difficult to be completely calibrated. . Limits of the SHF process are due to risks of excessive thinning. However. wrinkling and are strictly related to the material formability and to a proper selection of process parameters (e. fracture. However.bladder of the hydroform itself acts as the female die eliminating the need to fabricate a matching female die. time curve). Tolerances and surface finish Hydroforming is capable of producing parts within tight tolerances including aircraft tolerances where a common tolerance for sheet metal parts is within thirty thousandths of an inch. the maximum closing force is seldom a limiting factor in THF. because too large a pressure would be required. In sheet hydroforming (SHF) with the bladder acting as the female die almost limitless geometries can be produced.g.

by applying axial pressure to feed material into the bulges. is internally pressurised using fluid. such as a cylinder. In press forming. which is used in the manufacture of billions of cans for consumable drinks. This can sometimes be rectified. Productivity can also be very high compared with machining. The die set usually has a static face on which the sheet (blank) is secured and the mating die(T-SHAPED) is depressed . The applied pressure is usually in the range 80-450 MPa. in the case of tube hydroforming. flat sheets are formed between dies. The final properties of the metal in the formed state may also be superior to those in the blank. Hydroforming is a relatively new process.this latter die is called the punch. This effect is apparently smaller in hydroformed components. Its resultant plastic expansion is confined in a die of the desired shape. It is possible that some parts of the component thin excessively during hydroforming. Structural strength and stiffness can be improved and the tooling costs reduced because several components can be consolidated into one hydroformed part. Components manufactured by forming can springback. .Effect on work material When a blank is hydroformed the metal flows around the die rather than stretching. The process is quite simple . and also reduces the rate of work hardening which helps eliminate the need for an annealing process on some parts that might otherwise require further forming operations HYDROFORMING OF T-JOINT. There are many metal-forming processes which are well-established. The fluid is frequently water. popularised by design studies which suggest that automobiles can be made much lighter by using hydroformed components made of steel. such as deep drawing. The major advantage of forming processes is that they avoid the waste of material as happens in machining. thereby reducing bulging.a blank with a closed-form. which produces less material thinning. meaning that the undergo elastic distortion on removing the component from the die(T-SHAPED).

making the process too costly for mass production.Sheet metal can also be hydroformed but the sealing of the sheet to the die prior to pressurisation can be problematic. HYDROFORMING EQUIPMENT .


The only conventionally stamped portion of the Solstice exterior is a small. Although more time-consuming than conventional draw stamping. More precise than conventional body panel stamping. which enables the transfer of original concept vehicle design without compromises. as only a single “positive” die is required for each panel. uniform panel thickness and precise dimensional accuracy when compared with conventional draw stamping. Solstice’s body panels represent the first exterior application of the technology. More uniform panel . such as the unique clamshell hood and its compound curves. A relatively new process which uses water pressure to help form the desired panel shapes. The process allows the body curves of the original Solstice concept to be reproduced on a mass production scale. both “positive” and “negative” dies are required to form a single panel. The compressed water forces the blank onto the die. in a massproduced automobile. but predominantly for small runs of specialty aftermarket panels. Counterpressure builds as the die presses the blank downward into the water tank. in fact. The sheet metal hydroforming process uses hydraulic counterpressure to press a blank panel onto the die(T-SHAPED).Almost all the curvaceous body panels on the Solstice are produced via sheet metal hydroforming – a first for a production vehicle(T-SHAPED). almost flat panel between the front wheel well and door edge. sheet metal hydroforming offers reduced tooling costs. sheet metal hydroforming offers the additional advantages of excellent finish quality. could not have been formed by conventional stamping methods. Sheet metal hydroforming of exterior body panels has seen limited use in other markets around the world. sheet metal hydroforming is used to create the Solstice’s unique clamshell hood. sheet metal hydroforming (also known as hydromechanical deep drawing) allows the much deeper draw – or depth of the component – necessary for creating panels with complex curves. Because pressure is spread more evenly onto the blank. rear deck lid and quarter panels. Many of the Solstice body panels. forming the shape of the panel. outer door panels. In the conventional stamping process.

Thus by this method we can not only form T-JOINT but also many components of vehicles SOME OF THE COMPONENTS FORMED BY HYDROFORMING Automobile component Starting shape cylindrical. The strength of the lower-dominant foundation of the vehicle’s hydroformed chassis freed engineers from having to use body panels as structural members. particularly when creating complex shapes. Holes hydro-pierced Hydroformed bellows. thus eliminating restrictions to applying the concept vehicle design to the production model.thickness improves the chances for successful forming. such as the Solstice’s clamshell hood. beginning with cylinders Handle bar is hydroformed aluminium . Achievement of the Solstice’s curvaceous contours was aided by hydroforming in other ways.




Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful