Having A New Body For Your Car Created? A Few Reasons To Choose Hydroforming Sheet Metal Fabrication

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Having A New Body For Your Car Created? A Few Reasons To Choose Hydroforming Sheet Metal Fabrication

15 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you have designed a new body for your car, you need to find someone who can work with the metal to create it. When talking with sheet metal fabricators, ask if they have the capabilities and experience for hydroforming. While you could have the pieces cut, bent or punched, there are definite benefits to using hydroforming.

What is Hydroforming?

Hydroforming metal fabrication is done with a mold and hydraulic chamber. The mold is placed into a hydraulic chamber and the metal piece is placed across the top of it. The chamber is closed and sealed so that no fluids can escape. Hydraulic fluid is then forced under high pressure into the chamber from the top. This exerts pressure onto the metal, forcing it to stretch and fit into the mold. The fluid and pressure are released and then the chamber is opened to remove the metal piece that now has the desired shape.

Benefits of Hydroforming

Precision forming of complex curves and bends – The hydraulic fluid and pressure pushes on the metal evenly until it forms against the mold. When a die and punch are used, the metal sheet may not bend exactly around curves or can be cut if the die moves even slightly.

Consistency – A cutting tool may be nudged so the sheet metal is cut wrong, friction can change the shape of a die, and any method that uses heat can result in one piece being slightly different from the rest. When you uses hydroforming, there is no friction or heat and the piece is not cut, every time you use the mold and the same amount of hydraulic pressure the pieces will be the same.  

No finishing needed – Most sheet metal fabrication techniques leave small burrs or jagged edges on the piece. Once formed, you will have to sand, polish or buff the piece to have a smooth, uniform surface. When the only thing that touches the metal is hydraulic fluid, the piece needs no additional finishing.

When hydroforming is used, you can have a piece made in any shape you need. This eliminates the need for seams that are weaker than the rest of the piece. In addition, pipes and tubes can be made by this process to form the frame and supports of the car. To have strong, precise and consistent metal pieces in your car, have them hydroformed by the sheet metal worker (like those at J&E Metal Fabricators).