Sheet hydroforming offers many benefits over traditional metal forming processes. Whether you’re using a press brake requiring multiple sets of matched tooling and a skilled operator, deep drawing parts that require finishing work due to marring from the expensive matched tooling or currently using a process that requires finishing work like welding or annealing; sheet hydroforming can dramatically reduce your expense and improve your production.
- Drastically reduced tooling costs – Thanks to the soft rubber bladder and single tool technology, sheet hydroforming presses can reduce tooling costs by 50% to 90% compared to conventional presses. There is no need for a mated die to the punch (male die), as the flexible diaphragm in the machine acts as a universal female. Additionally, sheet hydroforming tooling is easily manufactured from standard, inexpensive materials such as 3D printed materials, epoxy, or even wood; and typically has a longer life than conventional press tooling, due to the steady, uniform pressure applied during the process.
- Lower material costs – A Triform sheet hydroforming press results in less than 10% variation in blank to finished part thickness, due to uniform elongation of the metal. The applied force during the cycle is multidirectional, drawing the metal around the tool, and in deep draw models, the punch, which greatly reduces stretching or thinning of the formed areas. This allows the starting material thickness to be reduced, greatly reducing costs.
- Finishing cost savings – Thanks to the flexible diaphragm of the Triform sheet hydroforming press, parts are produced with a smooth, uniform, scratch-free surface, typically requiring no additional finishing. By eliminating the need for secondary buffing, polishing and other hand work – caused by the marring and scuff marks left by traditional matched dies – labor costs can be significantly reduced. Many parts can even be painted before being formed, without damage to the surface finish. In many applications, secondary finishing can risk product variation and can produce inefficient results. Other applications have precise clean room, sanitation or aesthetic requirements which benefit from a reduction in post-form finishing.
- Low development costs – Tooling and material changes are simple and inexpensive with a sheet hydroforming press, giving you the ability to eliminate multiple step processes, reduce tryout costs and realize more process efficiency. Compare this to the high tooling costs and precision alignment requirements of traditional deep draw systems, where even minor changes to prototype production are very costly and time consuming. Additionally, with a Triform sheet hydroforming press, our sophisticated, easy-to-use controls minimize the part development process, greatly reducing scrap.
- Quick setup and changeover – Sheet hydroforming presses can increase production by reducing setup and handling times. With only minor equipment adjustments, Triform presses have been known to reduce tool change time by 60%-70% due to the diaphragm replacement of the female die. This feature is perfect for applications with short to medium run parts or multiple configurations. Tools can be quickly changed and mounted with a self-aligning punch adapter for simple changeover.
- Reduced tooling lead time – With simpler, less expensive tooling, including using a single tool rather than a male/female matched set, tooling lead time is greatly reduced, allowing for a new part to be successfully made, faster.
- Simpler, faster operations and fewer cycles – By consolidating multiple processes to one machine and minimizing or eliminating finishing, production becomes much more efficient. Parts requiring multiple operations on conventional presses – including complex deep drawn parts – can typically be achieved by a Triform sheet hydroforming press in just one cycle.
- Reduced reliance on skilled labor – A sheet hydroforming press can minimize the need for expensive and hard-to-find skilled labor. Many complex shapes are unable to be performed on a traditional system and must be hand worked to achieve tight tolerances. This process can take time and may result in excess scrap. Many parts which require this ‘human touch’ after being formed on a conventional press come out of the Triform sheet hydroforming press needing little or no finishing.
Precise, Uniform, High-Quality Parts
- Precision forming – Precise tolerances can be achieved to form parts with extremely difficult configurations. Triform sheet hydroforming presses can even complete airtight fits on mating parts and has enhanced dimensional precision through a reduction in spring-back.
- Form complex geometric shapes and contours – Sheet hydroforming presses provide increased capability to form complex geometric parts over conventional systems where tool alignment must remain extremely accurate with little variation. A single operation can form stepped, irregular shaped parts that would require multiple steps with traditional press operations.
- Consistent quality – Specifically, Triform sheet hydroforming presses improve part quality and reduce rejection rates. Torn or wrinkled parts are easily eliminated with simple programmable pressure and punch position (on Deep Draw models) adjustments. The advanced computer-controlled platform gives the operator the ability to manipulate the process variables throughout the forming cycle. And, once the optimal recipe for a particular part has been determined, it can be saved and repeated consistently, even on different Triform presses.
- Use a variety of materials – A wide range of material can be formed with a Triform sheet hydroforming press, each with varying degrees of thickness. These materials include (but are not limited to): high strength alloys, carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, precious metals, copper and brass.
- Reduced work-hardening – Material tensile strength is maintained for a longer period of time on a Triform sheet hydroforming press compared to conventional drawing applications.