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:
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
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.
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