Sheet Metal Forming With FluidForming
For applications that require a controlled flow of material, FluidForming presents an ideal solution. FluidForming enables manufacturers to reliably produce complex geometric shapes, undercuts, organic forms, deep drawn parts, or components with curves which may wrinkle during a traditional die stamping process.
Our clients have enjoyed previously unobtainable results with our new approach to metal forming. Not only can FluidForming produce parts previously considered incompatible with hydroforming, but because only one side of the sheet metal is exposed to the tool surface, our process is compatible with prefinished, polished, patterned, and etched materials.
Advantages Of Fluidforming
High-Pressure Sheet Metal Forming
Because forming and clamping pressures are independently variable throughout the process and allow for single die deep drawing, one cavity can be used for multiple forming stages. Which means progressive dies are unnecessary.
Once clamping pressure has been established, water is introduced into the FormBalancer with pressures of up to 4000 bar/60,000 psi — that’s more than 4x the maximum pressures typically used in legacy hydroforming.
Depending on geometry, the sheet metal can be locked in place or allowed to flow freely into the die cavity. The metal is then stretched evenly — and virtually without friction — into the cavity. Because there are no cumbersome bladders used to contain forming forces, much more complex shapes and details that were previously considered un-formable can be fabricated. Furthermore, thicker materials can also be used.
Additional FluidForming Benefits
- Design freedom
- Create complex shapes
- Low tooling costs
- Utilize higher-performance metals such as Inconel, titanium, or stainless steel
- Free-form design enables parts
- Single die requirements
- Integrated branding & part identification
- Smaller minimum bend radius (typically 1.5x material thickness)
- Unparalleled accuracy and repeatability
- Eliminates die-to-part contamination
- Reduced post-labor costs
- Semi-automated process
- Improved quality control
- Higher surface quality
- Reduced investment in fabrication jigs