Recently, a customer wondered if a titanium sheet metal part usually manufactured with a hot forming process could be made in fewer steps by cold forming with a hydroform press. Our engineers, who are experts in cold forming, considered the question and turned to our newest hydroforming machine, a fluid cell press, for a test. Happily for this part, the test worked and fluid cell hydroforming replaced hot forming for the part.
With hot forming, a blank must be heated immediately before it is formed. This method requires a furnace capable of reaching 1,000 degrees F. to be in close proximity to the press. Once the blank is heated to the specified temperature, it is then quickly transferred to the press for forming on a hot or (sometimes cold) die. The advantages to this hot forming method include the ability to form complex shapes, the avoidance of spring back and the ability to maintain a material’s thickness. When complete, the finished part is as strong as a forged part.
With cold forming, an unheated blank goes directly to the press and is formed and released. Because a modern fluid cell press has evenly controlled high pressure up to 11,600 pounds per square inch, it is capable of forming certain parts without the blanks first going through heat treatment. The process has fewer steps, is less costly and quicker. It can also produce complex parts. And with fluid cell forming, tensile strength of the material is increased. Our current fluid cell press works for dimensions up to 72 inches in length, 27.6 inches in width and 6.9 inches in depth.
With careful tool design, which we provide in-house, and with modern hydroforming equipment, which we own and operate, Jones Metal is ready to assist with the manufacture of difficult or complex parts and any hydroforming questions you may have. To learn more about our titanium hydroforming capabilities, contact us or call 888.868.6535 to speak with an expert today.
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