How Hydroforming Works
Hydroforming - The Hydroforming Process - How Hydroforming Works
Ed Myers: The hydroforming process: you set up your machine, you get your tool out required for the job, you set your machine up, you locate your blanks, you put your plank in there, you do a pre-charge, which is putting pressure on the blank to hold it to the tool to start forming, and then you set your pressures to draw. You have a top pressure - that controls a lot of your material thin out and everything. So, you start the draw process and then whenever you get to your top pressure, there's a displacement inside the chamber that allows that oil to dissipate so you don't build up any more pressure, and you draw up and you set a high limit for your draw, it'll kick the punch out when you achieve your total depth, and then you raise the dome and you strip your punch out and then you take the part out of the press. And that's your process.
It was a very unique shape, there's intricate angles to it, and working with brass is a tough part to work with, because when you draw it up, it work hardens, so then you have to do some work to it in order to be able to do some of the shapes we do - the forming we do to it. Hydroforming, you can draw the part up with pressure. You have pressure in the rubber diaphragm on top: that forms the material to the size of the punch - the shape - and hydroforming is something that you can control your tolerances, and with hydroforming, you can go through with a lot less scratching like you do with the mechanical presses, because you don't have that metal-to-metal. On the outside it's a rubber diaphragm, so you can keep a lot better finish on the outside. It has a top and bottom that go with it, and we roll a bead in it and we laser some holes, which you'll see the lasering operation, and then it gets a very high polish for a bright-- you can-- it's a mirror finish: you can look right into it and see yourself.
You can do various shapes better with hydroform than you can on mechanical presses. Mechanical presses are great for round parts or something like that, but when you get into special shapes and special tolerances, hydroforming is the way to go. We do anything cookware, racing industry, bell housings -it's critical tolerances on bell housings: they have to pass SFI tests, a lot of them - and probably half of our business is aerospace and we do commercial lighting, so hydroforming is very adaptable for any market.
We pride ourselves on quality, on-time delivery, and at a competitive price, so we strive for the best part possible for the customer.