What is Hydroforming?
Hydroforming is a quick, efficient, and reasonably priced metal forming technique that produces structurally strong components with minimum material wastage. It is the preferred technique for shaping intricate components from ductile metals. These qualities not only differentiate it from other metal forming techniques, but also make it a smarter alternative to the conventional methods such as stamping, and stamping and welding.
How is Hydroforming Different?
The uniqueness of this metal forming method lies in the fact that it makes use of pressurized hydraulic fluids to form metal components. As part of this process, a flat metal disc is placed on to a mechanically driven mandrel. The hydraulic oil or fluid is pumped into the chamber behind a rubber diaphragm that is the counter pressure to the rising mandrel. This causes the metal to draw until it takes the shape of the mandrel. The metal can then be removed from the mandrel in its formed condition.
The need for secondary finishing operations is minimum. Both convex and concave shapes can be attained using this metal forming method.
While metal stamping has been the conventional method of choice for metal forming, there is little doubt today that hydroforming is the definitive future of metal forming. We provide hydroforming solutions that quite literally ‘stamp out’ all the drawbacks associated with the metal stamping process.
At Helander, we use a mix of hydroforming and metal spinning processes to produce structurally strong, tight tolerance components for industries such as: commercial food equipment, industrial machinery, industrial pumps, metal furniture, aerospace and defense, waste storage industry, HVAC industry and many more.
Is Hydroforming for You?
|Sheet Metal Stamping||Hydroforming|
|Tooling costs||Set-up costs are high and often repetitive||One-time tooling costs|
|Production quantities||Often economically unfeasible for short runs or prototyping||Suitable and cost-effective for short, medium, and large production runs|
|Process costs||Costs for short runs are incredibly high, only dropping as the production quantity increases||Tooling,set-up, and development costs could be up to 80% lower|
|Finished product quality||Thinning or stretching could affect the desired tolerance and look of the component, making secondary finishing operations necessary||High quality of finished product reduces the need for secondary finishing operations. Parts also show better structural strength|
|Flexibility||Design changes are not easily possible once tooling has been created||Hydroforming offers higher versatility in regard to design changes|
|Material wastage||Even with close nesting, percentage of material wastage is high||Hydroforming produces very little or no scrap. Material wastage can go down by 50% to 70%|
|Lead times||Lead times are much longer, stretching up to several weeks for intricate part production||Surprisingly short lead times, even for large-scale production|
If you are looking at procuring high-quality metal components to exacting specifications at reasonable costs, then this metal forming technique is perfectly geared to your needs. At Helander, we customarily work with industries such as: commercial food equipment, metal furniture components, parts and components for the waste storage industry, wheel rims, hot rod components, HVAC components, medical equipment, streets and sanitation, defense and aerospace, satellite communications, and much more. Hydroforming is commonly used to shape metals such as carbon steel, copper, aluminum, brass and stainless steel.
To learn how we can help you with your next project, please speak with one of our trained Helander representatives at 630.268.9292 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Specification for Hydroforming
Max Part Diameter
Max Part Height
0.030" to 0.250"
Typical Metal Types
Stainless Steel (300 & 400 series)