Beckwood manufactures hot forming and superplastic forming (SPF) presses to withstand and thrive in the demanding conditions associated with forming aluminum, titanium, and other high-strength materials.
During the hot forming process, both the tool and blank are heated to high temperatures up to 2,000°F to increase the plasticity and elongation characteristics of the material. This introduction of heat allows high-strength materials to be formed at significantly lower tonnages when compared to cold forming operations. This is ideal since parts formed in this manner experience limited spring-back and residual stress.
While some similarities exist between hot forming and superplastic forming, the SPF process has its own unique characteristics. SPF uses extreme temperatures in conjunction with argon gas to form high-strength alloys into complex shapes in a single step. During the cycle, the heated material is clamped between a cavity and a plate. The material is then forced into the cavity by argon gas that is injected into the forming chamber. The resulting parts have a fine surface finish and are near net shape, eliminating the need for subsequent machining.
Common to all Beckwood hot forming or superplastic forming machines are options to efficiently handle the extremely high temperatures inherent to the process. Platens can be fabricated from ceramics, stainless materials, or other exotic metal alloys depending on the specific application requirements. Automated insulated door systems can be provided to efficiently contain the heat within the forming chamber, while also allowing adequate access during part or tool loading and unloading sequences.
Beckwood hot forming and SPF presses provide ultimate precision, optimal temperature control and uniformity, and extreme process repeatability. Our proprietary Active Leveling Control (ALC) also ensures bed-to-ram parallelism is maintained despite tool warpage or off-center loading.
Available Hot Forming / Superplastic Forming Press Features:
- Electric heating systems
- Controlled pressure ramping
- Precise gas management control
- Multi-zone temperature control for optimal temperature uniformity
- Bed shuttles for simplified tool or part loading and unloading
- Multi-side access with automatic insulated door systems for maximum heat efficiency and easy tool or part loading and unloading
- Pneumatic dwell systems for energy efficiency
- Variable Frequency Drive for efficiency and noise reduction
- Data collection systems
- PressLink remote support
- Active Leveling Control
- On-board control features, including Pre-Preventive Maintenance systems
Read how Ducommun Aerostructures’ 75 Ton, 1,600°F Hot Forming Press has been successful in hot forming titanium parts for Boeing, Sikorsky and other major military & defense contractors