Aluminum’s formable properties and low density make it an ideal material for hydroforming operations. Employed across a variety of industries, aluminum hydroforming offers solutions to an array of tooling obstacles, such as weight limitations, rigid tolerances and meeting precise specifications. Jones Metal Products is equipped with the experience and resources to create aluminum parts with outstanding surface finishes and irregular shaped geometries.
Hydroforming is a process that forms metals into complex shapes and angles that conform to complex tooling. Using a flexible diaphragm that expands via hydraulic pressure, metals form to the die and result in a product made to exact tolerances and unsurpassed surface quality. Because hydroforming uses pressure versus punching methods, the need for polishing parts is eliminated. This, and many other aspects of the process make hydroforming a cost-effective metal forming option.
Aluminum’s malleable properties, low density and strength yield, combined with hydroforming’s ability to create complex, highly finished components, has led to the adoption of aluminum hydroforming in manufacturing parts for the aerospace and power generation industries.
Hydroforming operations at Jones Metal can accommodate aluminum blanks up to 32.5 inches and 1 inch in thickness, with depths up to 14 inches and diameters to 27 inches. Blanks are placed into the hydroform press over a punch, which acts as the male part of the die. A diaphragm filled with oil acts as the female die and is pressurized up to 10,000 p.s.i. As the punch is raised, the hydraulic pressure in the diaphragm forms the blank to the punch. This process ensures precision forming, plus minimal surface abrasion unlike that found in traditional stamping.
To form longer aluminum parts, Jones Metal turns to its Quintus Technologies Flexform Fluid Cell Press, which handles parts up to 6 feet long, 27.5 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. This machine exerts pressure up to 11,600 p.s.i.
Hydroforming and fluid cell forming of aluminum eliminate the need for expensive dies, hardened steel tools and expensive prototyping. These processes also save time and energy by taking out the need for additional welding and rework.
At Jones Metal, we leverage more than 50 years of metal forming experience to provide innovative solutions for our customers’ unique engineering challenges. Weâ€™ve worked in many different industries and deliver timely, high quality products that fit the most demanding specifications.
For samples of our aluminum hydroforming work please see the images below and click to learn more about our industry experience.
For questions or quoting on hydroforming aluminum, or any of our other metal forming solutions, contact us or call us today at 888-868-6535.
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