The hydroforming process was developed in the early 1950's. Today, hydroforming is widely used in the automotive, aerospace, defense and medical industries. Hydroforming's niche is low to medium quantity production requirements subject to design flexibility.
A flat piece of sheet metal (a.k.a. the blank) is placed on a draw plate. A chamber filled with hydraulic fluid lowers over the drawplate and pressurizes as high as 15,000 psi. The drawplate has an opening allowing the "form punch" to travel through into a rubber bladder. The forming punch is machined to the formed part's inside dimensional requirements. The hydraulic pressure allows the rubber bladder to grip the blank. The form punch moves through the draw plate opening, conforming the blank to the punch shape. Alternative forming operations often produce parts stretched around difficult angles, radii and contours resulting in thinning possibly producing metal fatigue. The hydroforming process continues to be the advantageous manufacturing process of choice required by the aerospace, medical, defense and electronic industries.
Hydroforming process benefits are:
- Great design and shape flexibility.
- Short lead times for dimensionally challenging parts.
- Reduces the need for multiple annealing operations.
- Eliminates additional tooling costs if various thicknesses are required.
- Ability to use different metals with the same tooling.
- Shallow or Deep drawn parts, simple to complicated contours are not a problem.
- Saving time and money on secondary machining operations.
- Uniform exterior finish.
If you produce parts with other methods and seek competitive quotes, call, email or use the web form below for an engineering consultation. Perhaps hydroforming is right for you. The cost savings over the project lifetime may be the difference between winning and losing your next proposal.The MuShield Company
"Magnetic Shielding That Works"
9 Ricker Avenue • Londonderry, New Hampshire, USA 03053
Phone: (603) 666-4433 • Toll Free: (888) 669-3539
Fax: (603) 666-4013 • Email:
Hydroforming Example Part
Below is a simple hydroformed part detailing the uniform wall thickness and finish of the inside surface. This part required a laser machined hole and trimming operation along with a turned step to complete.
Contact a MuShield Engineer today.