Incremental tube end forming
Technology . High-strength materials are easier to process
Stronger, more economical, more efficient. Our world is turning faster and faster. In many industrial areas, higher standards are being set. And that's a good thing. After all, nothing is more exciting than revolutionising technology and driving progress. Best of all together.
Wherever science and practical experience meet, big things usually happen. Sometimes new processes will be developed which have deserved the title innovation. Because they create something new worldwide. During our pioneering cooperation with the Institute for End forming Technology and Light-Weight Construction at the Technical University of Dortmund, just such an innovation resulted: incremental tube end forming.
This involves step-by-step forming of a tube end or a tube, which has enabled the processing of high-strength and ultra high-strength materials for the first time. This has revolutionised production especially in cases where tubes are straight and have to be formed in more and more extreme ways.
Lighter and more stable
Therefore a weight reduction in automotive industry can be implemented by using incremental tube end forming. Also a lot of other different products which can be manufactured by our new procedure, are more resistant and lighter. It is obvious that this represents a decisive technical advantage in very competitive world markets. This new development is also impressive in terms of resource efficiency. Materials are always saved to a high degree during production.
Optimally prepared for the following processes
At the point where conventional end forming processes are overwhelmed by most high-strength materials, the transfluid® machine partially forms tubes of these materials rotationally symmetrical. This prepares them optimally for following processes.
For example, a following process could be hydro-forming. In this case, incremental forming pre-forms a tube with various diameters and different wall thickness. It is very important for hydro-forming that there are no changes in the wall thickness in the locally reduced tube area.
Overview of several advantages:
- High-strength and ultra-highstrength materials can be cold formed.
- Bending radii and free-form radii may be formed in a continuous process with the highest degree of accuracy and without any spring back.
- Low ovality of the bend may be achieved with minimal reduction in wall thickness.
Improvement of material properties
The rolling process also enables defined setting of the surface. Under some circumstances, even the properties of the material are improved. For this reason our tube end forming machine is equipped with a simple bending device.
This bends the formed tube with minimum force. The material is plasticised by the rotatory forming. Therefore tubes are able to be bent simultaneously with relatively tight radii without a mandrel. The bending angle achieved is nearly identical with the selected angle of the bending machine because the tube only springs elastically due to the overlaid process.
With our new incremental tube end forming technology, we offer the option to process custom-manufactured tubes (tailored tubes) up to a diameter of 90 mm. Therefore this makes completely new dimensions of tube processing and product design possible. The future remains exciting. We are looking forward to it together with you.