Hydroforming Sheet Metal
Hydroforming is a metal fabricating and forming process which allows the shaping of metals such as steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, brass, alloys...etc. Used for many low-volume, high shape mix forming operations, such as in aerospace parts fabricating, automotive prototype and development work. The process involves a shape-defining rigid tool half and the other half is a ‘universal’ rubber pad or a hydraulic fluid cell bladder.
Rubber Pad Forming or Elastoforming:
The GUERIN rubber pad forming is the oldest and most successful and economical manufacturing process, which has been improved by using POLYURETHANE FORMING PADS in place of rubber. Also called Elastoforming, this process uses a soft Polyurethane pad attached to the Ram of the press and enclosed in a metal box retainer, so as to enable the bottom surface of the pad to exert uniform pressure on one or many forming blocks placed on the bottom platen of the press. Sheet metal is located on top of the form blocks with locating pins. Urethane pad thickness is about 3-4 times the height of the forming blocks. The fully enclosed Urethane forming pad behaves like a non-compressible hydraulic fluid that transfers all the applied pressure directly to the sheet metal surface to form it to the shape of the form blocks. The amount of pressure applied can be varied by using different durometer pads, and also by selectively placing harder pads in areas where more pressure is required.
Over the decades, we have made many shapes and sizes of pads for the rubber forming process by many Aerospace parts manufacturing Companies all over the world. Using state of the art high output molding machines, we can produce any large size pads of high quality.
Four different Airplane wing sections were formed with one 2” thick Urethane pad, and machined steel bottom die sections.
This Stainless steel heat exchanger plate was formed with a 3/4” thick Urethane pad, using a 6000 ton hydraulic press.
URETHANE HYDROFORMING Wear Pads for CINCINNATI HYDROFORMERS:
Precision cast WEAR PAD DISCS are used on round chamber HYDRO FORMING MACHINES made by Cincinnati Milacron. Following sizes of Round discs are available in color coded hardness (durometers): 90A-Orange; 95A-Blue; Tan; 60D-Black
FLUID CELL Sheet Hydroforming uses hydraulic fluids forcing a rubber diaphragm to provide the shaping force functioning as one of the tooling blocks ( either the punch or die). The fluid along with the rubber diaphragm functions as a universal male or female die to force the sheet metal to conform to the shape of the mating metal die. Urethane wear pads are placed on top of the sheet metal, so that the sharp edges of the sheet metal does not damage the rubber diaphragm.
Aerospace Manufacturers all over the world use FLUID CELL Hydroforming process for manufacturing a variety of sheet metal parts. Polyurethane wear pads protect the pressure pad from damage by sharp edges of sheet metal and also provide higher pressures in selective areas by placing harder grades of wear pads.
Polyurethane WEAR PADS for FLUID CELL PRESSES: such as QUINTUS, VERSON, BECKWOOD
QUINTUS: We make many sizes of high performance Polyurethane Wear Pads for QUINTUS FLUID CELL PRESSES, in several durometers.
You have questions, we have answers. Contact us today. Our skilled customer service specialists can help you make the right choice in polyurethane applications.