Tube Hydroforming Step by Step Process
1. If the shape contains bends that deviate from a straight line, the raw tube is loaded into the tube bender. This bends the tube giving it the necessary curvature in order to fit into the dies.
2. The bent Tube is then typically placed in the "Pre Crush" 350 or 500 ton press. These presses will initiate the forming and shape change of the part and assist in the hydroforming process.
3. The part then goes to either a 4,000 or 5,500 ton, hydroforming press. This press will pressurize the water inside the tube and give the part its final shape and look.
• Preformed or manufactured tube is placed into the Hydroforming press.
• Part pins and clamps are engaged at both ends.
• The press closes initiating the hydroforming process.
• The part is filled with water or hydraulic fluid, leaving no trapped air.
• Sealing rods connect to the part, sealing both ends.
• The sealing rods drive the tube into the die maintaining a seal during the process as well as "end feeding" material to reduce wall thinning during expansion.
• The hydroformed part takes on the shape of the die.
4. Newly hydroformed parts go through a parts wash as required to ensure precision laser cutting or stenciling.
5. Finally, the part is taken to the laser center for specific cutting, etching, or trimming purposes.