Hydroforming, or internal high pressure forming, is a forming process with an active fluid (often a water-oil emulsion). A hollow part is formed from a tube, any profile or two blanks, by applying internal pressure. The pressure required in this process is largely dependent on the material that is used, the material's thickness and the smallest of radii to be formed. The internal pressure required may equal up to several thousand bars.
The advantages of this forming process, in comparison to conventional deep drawing, are:
- Freedom of design for complex parts
- Reduced number of individual parts of a body in white
- Minimization of assembled and/or welded connections
- Reduction of material and weight of part
- Higher mechanical strength
- Longer durability
- High dimensional and forming accuracy with reduced springback
As a result of these advantages, this technology has become an established forming process in the automotive industry as well as in many other industrial sectors. These include, for example, the plumbing and heating industry, household appliance technology, aviation and aerospace technology, the furniture industry as well as machine and equipment construction.
In the automotive industry, hydroforming is primarily used to manufacture components for exhaust systems and various chassis and body parts. These include, for example, motor, cross and side beams, roof frames, as well as A-, B- and C-pillars.
Hydroforming is particularly interesting for the automotive industry as it offers important advantages from various perspectives: It allows for greater freedom in designing parts but at the same time makes the parts highly resistant and light. Hydroforming also allows for savings in material usage.
Further information on hydroforming at AutoForm: