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What is Bulge Forming?

Bulge forming presses are actually sophisticated, high-tonnage clamps that apply force to the tooling to counteract the pressure being injected into the forming chamber. During the bulge forming process, operators insert a blank into a mold mounted inside the press and introduce pressure, either air or water, into the chamber. The pressurized media forms the material to the shape and contour of the tool.

A bulge forming press is ideal for manufacturing large, domed parts from a variety of materials including aluminum, steel, and other high-strength alloys. Bulge forming is becoming increasingly popular among manufacturers because of its ability to use air or water to produce large seamless, lightweight, “near-net-shape” parts. From aerospace and automotive to oil and gas, bulge forming allows manufacturers to quickly and accurately form complex shapes like tank heads and rupture discs with uniform wall thickness.

Types of Bulge Forming Presses

The two primary types of bulge forming are air (pneumatic) and fluid (hydro). Pneumatic (air or gas) bulge forming presses are most often used to form spherical shapes such as discs or tank heads whereas fluid (hydro) bulge forming is typically used to form cylindrical shapes such as tubes or canisters. These machines vary widely in size and tonnage, but it is not uncommon to see bulge forming presses with 2,000 tons+ of force.

Consult a Beckwood engineer about your bulge forming press needs

Learn how Fike Corporation uses its Bulge Forming Press to increase production

  • 3500 ton bulge forming press manufactured by Beckwood Press Corporation
    3500 Ton Bulge Forming Press for Tank Heads

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