Of the many different processes used in metal fabrication, hydroforming is certainly an intriguing one which demonstrates clearly the power and versatility of using pressurised liquid to force metal into shape.
What is hydroforming?
As we know, the term hydro relates to water, liquid or fluid. This tells us most of what we need to know in terms of the process of hydroforming.
The process of sheet hydroforming uses a single die and a blank sheet of metal which is then driven into the die using a liquid and an immense amount of pressure.
Tube hydroforming is a process whereby metal tubes are expanded under pressure within two die halves.
This process is ideal for use on metals such as steel, copper, brass, and aluminium and comes with several key benefits.
Benefits of hydroforming
- This process efficiently replaces the process of stamping two halves of a product and welding them together: a more labour-intensive system with a lower quality finish.
- Seamless bonding creates a stronger final product.
- Without the welding, requirement fabricators can manufacture a light-weight product.
- Hydroforming offers a high-quality surface for a superior finish.
- The process is faster and more cost-effective with a lower cost per unit.
- There is less material wastage due to the precision of the fabrication process.
- Final parts possess higher ductile and mechanical strength.
- Improved forming accuracy for complex parts.
Developed in the 1970s and honed to a fine art, hydroforming is a key fabrication process in our business. Also known as hydromec, bulge forming, and explosive forming, this fascinating process has proven a powerful tool in metal fabrication over the years.
Did you know that Steelmor offers a full range of welding and fabrication services to a cross-section of South African industries?
We’d love to assist you with your next project and encourage you to get in touch.