What Is Hydroforming In Manufacturing?
People have a lot of questions about hydroforming and how it’s different than sheet metal stamping. To help you understand the differences, we put together this guide on the most frequently asked questions.
How Is Hydroforming Different From Sheet Metal Stamping?
Sheet metal stamping (also called pressing) is a process that uses force to shape a flat piece of sheet metal into items like automobile body parts or appliance panels. It can also punch holes into the metal or make parts out of wire or other forms of metal.
Hydroforming is a process that uses high-pressure hydraulic fluid to shape metal like aluminum or steel into parts with complex shapes. At Intran, we specialize in tube hydroforming to make small, intricate parts like tubing for liquid exchange or to reduce vibration.
For more detailed information, see this article on tube hydroforming.
What Are The Benefits Of Hydroforming?
Hydroforming offers many benefits, including:
- Stronger, seamless parts: Hydroformed parts are created in one piece. There are no seams making hydroformed parts stronger than parts made from other methods.
- Complex parts with precise fitment: It’s difficult to create parts with complex shapes using traditional methods. Hydroforming enables the creation of parts like a tube with square openings and a corrugated midsection that meets precise dimensions.
- Less waste: Hydroforming uses less material, and there is less waste from dented or accidentally damaged parts.
- Lightweight parts: Hydroforming allows for the production of strong, lightweight parts because the process makes thinner but stiffer walls.
Is Hydroforming Expensive Compared To Other Methods?
Hydroforming is an affordable, cost-effective method for producing parts. Cost savings are achieved because:
- The process is fast and automated
- Complex parts are produced using a single process as opposed to multiple processes
- Reduced material waste
- Fewer tools are needed
- Little to no welding is required
How Do I Know What Method Should Be Used?
The production method is determined by the type of part that needs to be produced. In general, sheet metal stamping is better for producing panels and body parts, while hydroforming is better for more complex parts like tubing, supports, or frame rails. We offer both sheet metal stamping and tube hydroforming in addition to other manufacturing services and will work with you to select the right process for your needs.
Intran Offers Both Sheet Metal Stamping And Tube Hydroforming
Contact us if you have additional questions about hydroforming or sheet metal stamping.
Intran has over 50 years of experience in the manufacturing business. We serve many transportation industries, producing OE parts for major auto manufacturers, tier 1, tier 2, aftermarket, off-road, as well as the bus and trucking industries.