What is Hydroforming
Brenton Blue is proud to introduce our manufacturing Project, known as Hydroforming.
Hydroforming is a unique process in which extremely highly pressurised liquid is used to form complex and irregular shaped parts from metal tubing and sheet. This process normally requires expensive large capacity hydraulic presses. Brenton Blue developed a method whereby hydroforming can be accomplished without the need for expensive large capacity presses.
The Hydroforming process is deemed a specialist forming technique and is utilised in specialist industries such as aerospace, motor vehicle manufacture, components for the defense industry, medical implants as well as low technological industries such as general deep drawing of various shapes for various commercial and retail products. Hydroforming has the advantage above other forming techniques such as stamping and press tool forming in that only a female form tool is required with the male form tool being replaced by high pressure liquid. This has a significant cost benefit to prototyping, low volume production runs, complex parts and very large parts which would have large cost imposts due to complex male/female matched form tools.
The drawbacks of Hydroforming are low cycling speeds and the need for extremely large, expensive, high pressure presses to contain forming tools. Due to these two drawbacks, Hydroforming is generally not seen as a cost effective metal forming option, except in highly specialised applications.
Brenton Blue, in conjunction with Sancobe Engineering, developed a method whereby the need for large expensive presses to contain forming tools are omitted. The result is a method that gives the advantage of complex forming capability while maintaining relatively low equipment cost and infrastructure. This enables the Hydroforming technique to directly compete with more standard forming methods, while providing advantages in achievable form-shape and complexity, as well as being able to form hard-to-form materials. This is achieved at lower costs due to the need for a female tool only, instead of a matched male/female tool.
The method was developed to solve a specific client’s need for a complex, light-weight stainless steel component which could not be formed via other means such as metal spinning or standard press operations. Although companies exist outside of Australia which have the expertise to undertake Hydroforming, no Australian provider of this service could be located which led to the development of the capability.
The proposed project is to develop a first level commercial CL-Hydroforming machine based on the prototype which has been constructed, tested and used to form parts for the prior mentioned client.
This project will place Brenton Blue in a unique market position in Australia and provide a capability to offer new manufacturing technology competitively to both local and overseas markets.