Get the Facts About Tube Hydroforming

There are two common types of hydroforming, tube hydroforming, and sheet hydroforming. But first, what is ‘hydroforming?’ It’s the process by which metals like steel, copper, aluminum, and brass are manipulated into a specific form or shape. Hydroforming is an efficient way of die molding that uses high-pressure fluid to fabricate metal.

If you’re unsure of what ‘die molding’ might mean, you’re not alone. A ‘die’ is a special tool that cuts or shapes metal in manufacturing industries. Dies are often customized according to the product which they help to create. 

Types of Hydroforming 

The first type of hydroforming is called sheet hydroforming. It’s when one die and a sheet are used by applying high water pressure to one side of the sheet to create the desired shape. The second type is called tube hydroforming. It’s a process that causes metal tubes to expand into the desired form using two die halves, which hold the original tube. In other words, it takes a normal round tube and changes it along the length of the tube to form a new, more intricate shape. 

Tube Hydroforming

What Are the Advantages of Tube Hydroforming?

Hydroforming is important because it’s efficient. It completely replaces welding and metal stamping and allows the producer to create a product that is much more complex with interesting shapes and bends. Compared to traditional methods, hydroforming is cheaper, more lightweight, and its products are made with higher stiffness to weight ratio. Using the hydroforming method, parts are made with seamless bonding and have increased part strength. 

Final Thoughts

This technology has greatly developed in the last couple of decades, but using a liquid to shape metal is an idea that’s been around for more than 100 years. In particular, the process was patented for making boiler parts and musical instruments. More recently, tube hydroforming is being used to develop large structural parts used in a wide variety of ways.

Please contact us to learn more about tube hydroforming and how you can use it. 

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