Hydroforming presses use fluid pressure to form sheet and tube shaped source metal materials to the shape of a die. Hydroforming allows for severe shape deformation and generally produces strong parts of uniform thickness.
Hydroforming press components consist of a hydraulic hydroforming press, pressure intensifiers, hydroform water system, and a hydroforming unit. A hydroforming press is used for tube and sheet hydroforming. There are many types of hydroforming presses used for various types of hydroforming. Examples include sheet hydroforming (SHF), tube hydroforming (THF), and aluminum hydroforming. Sheet hydroforming converts the irregular shaped material into a finished and uniform thickness sheet. The tube hydroforming process is used to form hollow parts in materials such as steel tubes and aluminum extrusions by applying hydraulic pressure. This process deforms the shape of plastic and forms die cavity. The aluminum hydroforming process performs hydroforming on aluminum alloy sheets. Other hydroforming equipment is commonly available.
There are several ways in which a hydroforming press functions. A hydroforming press performs a useful process of producing complete components, which would otherwise be in the form of multiple stampings joined together. A hydroforming press is available in pressure ranges from 5.000 to 50.000 tons with its working table of size 3 meters to 12 meters. During the sheet hydroforming process, the hydraulic pressure varies in the range equal to or less than 100 MPa. It also controls the binding force and contact pressure. Sheet hydroforming provides higher depths with good strain distribution. Tube hydroforming is used to form hydro tubes at low pressure and also provides good structural performance. In tube hydroforming, a cylinder is pressurized internally with 80 to 450 MPa pressure by a fluid like water. Thus this process helps in obtaining the desired shape. This process sometimes results in bulge forming. To avoid bulge forming, an axial pressure is applied to the feed material in the bulges, which reduces bulging. Hydroforming press equipment is designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.
Hydroforming is used in many applications. Examples include forming alloys for automotive industries, aircraft, and aerospace industries.