Low-friction end feeding in tube hydroforming
This invention relates in general to end fed tube hydroforming, and more particularly to the use of at least one releasable seal for reducing and localizing friction during end feeding. The effect of the releasable seal is that it avoids pressurizing the blank in a nip area, thereby reducing friction and wear, and allowing increased end feeding with a given end feeding force.
This technology is available for licensing. There is an opportunity for this invention to be developed for particular applications and for demonstration of the final product through a collaborative research project. The business opportunity may be referred to by its NRC ID: 12231.
Tube hydroforming (THF) is a relatively new process for manufacturing structural components in various industries, such as aerospace, automotive and marine. It allows for the optimization of design and is a critical technology for structural components in mass-produced vehicles. It can provide sharper corners and more easily produce a variety of shapes that are difficult to produce with the forming and welding of several parts.
How it works
In industry, a technique is needed for end feeding that reduces the friction in the nip area, thereby allowing for more end feeding and/or less wear on the parts in the nip area. This invention discovered that by isolating the end feeding region from the internal pressure, the friction between the tube and the die is greatly reduced and as a result the end feeding force necessary to feed material to the expansion zone is greatly reduced. With the intelligent use of seals, more material can be fed to the expansion zone, with less force, and less attendant wear on the parts in the nip.
- Part consolidation
- Weight reduction due to efficient tailoring
- Improved structural strength and stiffness
- Lower cost and environment impact
NRC makes research & development licenses for this technology available under its Express Licensing program. To purchase such a license, please complete the Express Licensing order form.