Hydroforming is based on the ultra-high-speed deformation of metal using shockwaves in water via the discharge of current from a Magnetic pulse system, an electric arc is generated in water between two electrodes. This electric arc vaporizes the surrounding water, converting electrical energy into an intense shockwave of mechanical energy.
The shockwave simultaneously transforms the metal workpiece into a visco-plastic state and accelerates it onto a die, enabling forming of complex shapes at high speeds in cold conditions all of which happens in a matter of milliseconds. The total cycle time including charging time of the system is in seconds.
This process is not limited by size and allows forming of parts up to a few square meters in size. An array of electrodes can be placed over a large workpiece, enabling pressure distribution according to the product’s topology, still using a one-sided die to create complex shapes and fine details.
ADVANTAGES OF HYDROFORMING:
- A single-step process (rather than progressive stamping)
Fine details and sharp lines can be easily formed
- Forming of male and female shapes (negative and positive)
- Only a single one-sided die is required
- Enables extremely deep forming (much more than is possible with conventional stamping)
- Even distribution and higher strength of thin material
- Extremely fast
- Equipment has small footprint
- No need for a press – the forming chamber is a self-balanced system
- Allows forming of parts up to a few square meters in size
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