CORDIS - EU research results

Small Quantity Production of Complex Sheet Metal Parts by the use of Hydro Mechanical Forming Technologies


Hydro mechanical forming is a group of cold pressworking technologies in which a tubular or flat blank is deformed in a die or over a punch by pressurizing liquid within a tubular blank or in a die cavity over or under the flat blank. The pressure medium used is either hydraulic oil or waterbased oil emulsions. The hydro mechanical forming technique was defined several decades ago; however, design of components and the process route have not been attended to simultaneously to effect the "right-first-time manufacture. Components have been prescribed on the basis of performance and spatial constraints and subsequent processing has been achieved through manufacturing trials which often requires many modifications of form of the blank and the component. The major advantages of the processes are: *Forming of extremely complex shapes, *Higher drawing ratios, *Reduction of process sequences, *Reduced tool costs, *Closer tolerances, *Reduced springback, *More uniform thickness distribution, *Increased surface quality, *Low time to market, *Applicable to small and medium size production. The technology is at the moment becoming extremely interesting for the sheet metal forming industry in general and particularly for the SME type of companies by mainly three reasons: l. Reduction of time to market, due to that the number of dies for one component is reduced remarkably; 2. Complex shapes can be produced in one step with only a few component specific tools; 3. The aeronautic industry is more and more adopting the idea of giving out work to subcontractors. The objective of the research is to develop hydro mechanical processes as well as to transfer them for the use of SME type companies with the specific aim to make the participating companies able to manufacture highly complex sheet metal components in small quantities.

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Blücher Metal A/S
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7480 Vildjerg

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