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Mar 19, 2019

3 Key Factors For Successful Metal Forming

In this article, we’ll cover three key factors that can determine the success (or failure) of your next metal formed component.

  • Springback
  • Material Fractures
  • Repeatability

But first, a few words about metal forming. Metal forming is a generic term for a number of different manufacturing processes that deform, shape, or bend metal into a specific, desired shape or geometry. Metal forming occurs when flat, two-dimensional sheets of stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or high-performance alloys are pressed or bent into a new three-dimensional shape. For this to occur, an external force must be applied to the forming material that exceeds the original strength of the metal sheet.

Even today, in the age of 3D printing and additive manufacturing, metal forming remains one of the most critically important processes in the manufacturing industry. Automotive manufacturers, appliance designers, aerospace engineers, agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturers, and medical equipment suppliers all rely on precision metal forming to bring their products to the market.

We already discussed the major types of metal forming in an earlier article, so here, we’ll highlight a few factors that you’ll want to consider for your next metal forming project. And we’ll even go so far as to explain why FluidForming’s new metal forming technology is the perfect solution to your most complex and troublesome metal forming problems! Here at FluidForming Americas, we don’t manufacture problems, we form solutions.

Have you thought about springback?

In the world of metal forming, springback is a major issue. Given a choice, most metal sheets would prefer to remain in their untroubled state of two-dimensional bliss. However, today’s product designers and consumers give high marks to crisp creases, eye-catching angles, and elegantly flowing lines. To achieve this, metal must be formed. And formed well.

To minimize springback, predicting the direction and magnitude of springback through simulation is critical. FluidForming’s advanced element analysis accurately predicts springback and allows for a detailed evaluation of a component prior to manufacturing. The high forming pressures exerted by the FormBalancer (up to 60,000 psi) virtually eliminate warping and springback. As a result, metal components, panels, and parts require minimal (if any) post forming fixturing and clamping.

Are you fed up with material fractures?

You’re not alone! Material fractures such as tears, splitting, cracking, or ripping can add tremendously to your manufacturing costs. Legacy metal forming methods such as die stamping, forging, or bladder-based hydroforming frequently produce components with splitting or cracking failures. These failures can be the result of any number of issues including overstretching, uneven deformation pressures, faulty dies, excessive localized compression, or faulty sheet metal.

FluidForming is a modern reinvention of hydroforming. The bladderless technology relies on uniformly pressurized water as the forming material. The high, uniform pressure eliminates the likelihood of metal forming failures caused by faulty dies, wrinkling of materials, uneven heating or cooling, or compression cracking.

Is your metal forming method reliably repeatable?

Unlike legacy metal forming methods, FluidForming’s Six Sigma process undergoes minimal warping, maintains unparalleled degrees of accuracy, and is highly repeatable.

Because just one side of the sheet metal is exposed to the flexible and self-adjusting tool surface (water) under variably controlled pressures, the metal is forced evenly into the tool and onto the tool surface. Consequently, the finished part has little to no distance between the tool and the metal surface, resulting in a highly accurate part and a repeatable process.

With a 99.996% first pass yield success rate, the FluidForming technology and process guarantee quality, accuracy, and repeatability.

Accuracy and repeatability data can be verified through an optical scanning measurement process.

For precise and failure-free metal forming, rely on FluidForming. Learn more about FluidForming’s innovative technology. Contact FluidForming Americas today at (800) 497-3545 or email us at