Starting point is the product drawing of the customer with the critical dimensions, kind of material, minimal wall thickness etc. Sequential processes will be estimated to realize the product. Processes like bending, pre-shaping and hydroforming. These processes will be simulated by FEM calculations to predict the complete production process and to create robustness.
Example of FEM simulation using Autoform and product realization.
Five identical products in a tube
Hydroforming is a deformation process, in which liquid (often water) acts as deformation tool at the inside. Due to the incompressible behavior of the liquid this can be realized. At the outside of the product a mechanical tool (die) is used.
Hydroforming is very suitable for producing hollow and very complex body structures from sheet metal or tubes. This deformation process, results in highly shape / dimensional accuracy.
In case of tube hydroforming the tool exist of a upper and lower die, which can be closed around the tube. By applying pressure inside, the tube will be radial expanded. Finally the tube will be pressed against the die. In this way the final shape is realized. Pressure can go up to 3000 bar and even more.
Tube hydroforming can be split in two typical ways, with or without axial material feed.
Pre- and postprocessing
Fomeco Belgium ensures the following pre- and postprocessing operations, if necessary:
- 3D lasercutting
- Tube -end forming
- Leakage tests