Incremental tube forming: Forward-looking cooperation of transfluid and Dortmund technical university
The step-by-step shaping of a tube end or a tube has been made possible by the newly developed procedure for processing high-strength and ultra-high-strength materials. This revolutionises manufacturing, particularly in industrial applications where the requirements are set ever higher. And, straight tubes are formed into increasingly extreme shapes.
Lighter and stronger products
Incremental tube shaping can be used for weight reduction purposes in the automotive industry, for example. A wide variety of products, manufactured with this new type of process, can be exposed to heavier loads and are lighter. A decisive technical advantage for the future in a fiercely competitive global market. The new development also scores with respect to resource efficiency. Significant quantities of material are saved.
The worldwide innovation of incremental tube forming has arisen from intensive cooperation between transfluid Maschinenbau GmbH and the institute for forming technologies and lightweight construction at Dortmund's technical university. The partners will be continuing their open exchange of experience and knowledge at this year's DORP. At the Dortmund colloquium for tube and profile bending [DORP] on the 1st. October 2014 Gerd Nöker, managing director of transfluid, will be giving an expert lecture to industry professionals and the scientific community on the topic of "Bending and froming: The sequence makes the difference".
Optimum preparation for subsequent processes
"Conventional forming processes are over-taxed with the majority of high-strength materials", states Gerd Nöker. "Our machine can partially shape tube made of such materials, in order to prepare them for the next process". Hydroforming for example, could be such a subsequent process. For this, a tube is pre-formed with different diameters and different wall thicknesses by means of the incremental shaping forming. Particularly important for hydroforming: There is no change in wall thickness in the locally reduced tube area.
Surface manipulation, improvement of the material characteristics
In addition the rolling process also allows a defined manipulation of the surface. In certain circumstances, even the material characteristics are improved. The tube forming machine from transfluid is equipped with a simple bending device. The shaped tube is then very simply bent with this, with very little force being required. The rotatory shaping brings the material to the plasticising zone. Thus tubes can be simultaneously bent with relatively tight radii without mandrels. Because the tube springback is only minimal due to the plasticised material, the bending angle achieved is almost identical to the selected angle of the bending machine.
With their new incremental tube forming technology, transfluid offers the option to process such custom manufactured tubes (tailored tubes) up to a diameter of 90 mm. The solution for tubes thus opens up new dimensions in tube processing whilst simultaneously driving the progress of product design further forwards. So, we can be excited about the future.