Metals Commonly Used in the Hydroforming Process with FluidForming
FluidForming’s highly adaptable and flexible hydroforming process is the ideal solution to your most complex and troubling metal forming problems. No other hydroforming process boasts a 99.996% first pass yield rate.
This reinvention of the conventional hydroforming process is highly compatible with a variety of metals, alloys, and superalloys. Even aluminum alloys, which are notoriously prone to wrinkling and fracturing under stress, perform well with the FluidForming technology and process.
Metals and Metal Alloys That Can Be Formed Using FluidForming Technology
- Aluminum (family)
- Carbon Steel
- Stainless Steel (family)
- Aluminum Alloys
- High Nickel Alloys (nickel-based superalloys)
- Magnesium Alloys
- Clad Metals
- And Other Exotic Alloys
Thinking Outside the Plastic Box
FluidForming creates flawless asymmetrical components and lightweight parts with complex geometries or unusual contouring. In metal. That is correct and entirely accurate: parts that were once thought to be impossible to form from metal can be created using FluidForming technology.
Each step of the forming process is variable and controlled. Additionally, because the forming fluid — recycled tap water — comes into contact with just one surface of the blank, unprecedented levels of control, accuracy, integrated product branding, and detail are possible.
Many parts that are currently injection moulded, vacuum formed, or extruded from plastic can now be formed from durable, performance-enhancing lightweight metals.
Break the Casting Mold
When compared to die casting, FluidForming simultaneously reduces overall production costs and weight.
FluidForming Reduces Overall Costs
Legacy die casting equipment and the accompanying dies are very costly — both financially and environmentally. Because the FluidForming technology seamlessly weaves in CAD and additive technologies, tooling costs are slashed. Unlike traditional metal stamping, for example, in which two dies are needed, The FormBalancer requires just one die and can even accommodate 3D-printed dies.
The integration of 3D-printed tooling and nested die structures streamline the pre-production process — which results in an incredibly truncated time-to-market. Think weeks, not months (or even years).
The FormBalancer, which can produce several precision components simultaneously in just minutes, readily accepts additive manufactured (AM) tools made from plastics, composites, or metal. FluidForming fills the gap between costly and time-consuming single part-per-day AM machines and die stamping’s thousands of parts-per-day. It’s the perfect solution for prototyping and low- to moderate-volume production.
Improve Performance, Lose Weight
One of our recent clients, a performance snowmobile manufacturer, approached us with a big problem: their manifolds were too costly and too heavy. They were losing cash and performance cred in the highly competitive snowmobile racing niche.
The solution was simple: we formed a high-performing exhaust manifold from lightweight stainless steel which enabled them to ditch the heavy cast iron manifold they had been using. In doing so we dramatically reduced die, fixturing and scrap costs while enabling our client to develop a better product. The money they saved by eliminating the cast iron manifold went directly into the company’s research and development budget. Their designers are already working on the next great racing machine. We call that a win. Not only reduced weight and lower costs but the improved flow of air thus improved engine performance and increased miles per gallon.