Most individuals are trying to cut costs and save money. One way is to purchase a fuel-efficient car. But most of those cars are compact cars and on the road with larger vehicles, safety can be a concern. Of most concern is getting hit and the car collapsing or trapping an individual inside the vehicle. Automobile manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve the safety of all vehicles and at the same time not make vehicles heavier.
With hydroforming, the safety of compact cars is improving and will continue to improve. Hydroforming improves the structural strength and stiffness of the car frame, so the frames of cars do not collapse as easily. Hydroformed parts do not increase the weight of cars, they can actually decrease the weight, helping improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Why does hydroforming make a difference? When the frame around a car door is created through hydroforming, joining techniques such as welding are not used and the frame, or large pieces of the frame, are all one piece. That means there are fewer stress points that can give way under pressure.
How is this done? First, a metal tube is bent into the desired shape. Then a press is used to continue shaping the tube. Some parts of the tube might need to be flat, and others to retain the tubular shape. Then in a hydroforming press, water is pressurized inside the tube to conform the tube to the final shape. That final shape can be almost anything.
Once a new hydroformed car part is created and approved through testing, the manufacturer can mass produce the part. This helps save manufacturing costs and can help reduce the cost of compact cars so more people can purchase one, start saving money, and not have to worry so much about safety. If you are interested in learning more about this tube hydroforming process, please contact us.