Beckwood manufactures hot forming and superplastic forming (SPF) presses to withstand and thrive in the demanding conditions associated with forming titanium and other high-strength alloys. And we are the only press manufacturer to offer both hydraulic and servo-electric actuation options on our hot forming equipment.
During the hot forming process, both the tool and blank are heated up to 2,000°F to increase the plasticity and elongation characteristics of the material. The introduction of heat allows high-strength materials to be formed at significantly lower tonnages when compared to cold forming without the risk of cracking, spring-back, or 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 die and a plate. Argon gas is injected into the forming chamber, pushing the blank into the die. The resulting parts have a fine surface finish and are near-net-shape, eliminating the need for secondary finishing.
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.
Hot Forming / Superplastic Forming Press Features:
- Hydraulic or servo-electric actuation
- Electric heating systems with multi-zone temperature control for uniformity across the platen
- Controlled pressure ramping
- Precise gas management (SPF)
- Bed shuttles for simplified tool and part loading and unloading
- Automatic insulated door systems with multi-side access for maximum heat efficiency and easy tool or part loading and unloading
- Pneumatic dwell systems & Variable Frequency Drive for energy efficiency and noise reduction
- Data acquisition systems
- PressLink remote support
- Active Leveling Control
- Press health monitoring systems, including Pre-Preventive Maintenance