How FluidForming Works
Principles of FluidForming
FluidForming is a way of deforming ductile and malleable metal sheets, high-performance alloys, or tubes into lightweight, durable parts. FluidForming is a new, bladder-free hydroforming process that uses highly pressurized water as the forming liquid.
Physics of FluidForming
Unlike legacy metal forming methods like bladder-based hydroforming, metal spinning, or die stamping, FluidForming enables innovation by dramatically lowering tooling and production costs, reducing production times, and by eliminating the need for environmentally harmful and costly hydraulic fluid.
Benefits Of FluidForming
The FluidForming Process Explained
FluidForming hydroforming is bladder-free metal forming technology offering unprecedented design flexibility. Because every step of the forming process — from blank design to material flow to clamping pressure to volume and water pressure — is variable and controlled, FluidForming achieves finer, more detailed results.
How Fluidforming works:
Step 1: Establish clamping pressure
The FluidForming process begins when the pressure pillow establishes clamping pressure and closing forces which are uniformly distributed throughout the frame
Step 2: Introduce forming force
After clamping pressure is established, water is introduced into the patented, force-contained FluidForming FormBalancer machine.
Step 3: Establish forming pressures
With high forming pressures of up to 4,000 bar / 60,000 psi the sheet metal is stretched evenly into the cavity. (NOTE: conventional hydroforming can only achieve pressures of up to 1,000 bar / 15,000 psi.)
Step 4: Final forming stage
During the final forming stage the sheet metal rests, fully-formed, against the die surface without potentially damaging friction.
Step 5: Remove part from FormBalancer
The fully formed part, which is essentially free from spring-back, can now be removed from the machine. The part is also free from tool marks and any material thinning is radially distributed.
Thanks to higher forming pressures and the compact, force-contained FormBalancer machine, the FluidForming process makes it possible to form complex, highly-detailed, and highly-repeatable parts at a lower overall cost than components produced by conventional, die-based metal stamping or bladder-based hydroforming.