Hydro forming is a high-pressure deformation process that shapes metal sheets or tubes into a predefined geometry by using a fluid under high pressure. Hydro forming is similar to the conventional deep-drawing technique with a counter-mould. The specific difference from the conventional method is that a fluid is used instead of a die to forming into final shape. This deformation process requires application of fluid pressures up to 4000 bars depending on the size of the component.
As the automobile industry strives to make car lighter, stronger and more fuel efficient, it will continue to drive hydro forming applications. Some automobile parts such as structural chassis, instrument panel beam, engine cradles and radiator closures are becoming standard hydro formed parts.
Recently hydro forming was used for manufacturing of clad pipe used in oil and chemical industry. The capability of hydro forming can be more fully used to create complicated parts. Using a single hydro formed item to replace several individual parts eliminate welding, holes, punching etc... Hydro forming simplifies assembly and reduce inventory.
The process is quite simple - a blank with a closed-form, such as a cylinder, is internally pressurized using fluid. The fluid is frequently water. The applied pressure is usually in the range 80-450 MPa. Its resultant plastic expansion is confined in a die of the desired shape.
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