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Impact Hydroforming Technology: No More Manual Machining for Aerospace Sheet Metal Fabrication

Date: Nov 13 2020 | By:LC Rapid
Tag:Sheet Metal Fabrication,

1. Development of aerospace sheet metal fabrication (ASMF)


Among the aerospace equipment, sheet metal components are accounted for over 20% out of the total number of manufacturing workload. In contrast, high-strength aluminium, magnesium, titanium and other lightweight alloys of sheet metal components are prone to wrinkling and cracking during formation due to their low plasticity. This issue has always been plaguing the aerospace industry and hindering the light-weighting and integral development.


In particular, the manufacture of alley-complex-shaped thin-walled sheet metal components made of aluminium, magnesium, titanium with the boss, reinforcing ribs and small rounded corners has become an important issue to improve the skill level of ASMF industry.

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2. The formation of new technologies in aerospace sheet metal fabrication


In the process of ASMF operations, the correct and scientific selection of ASMF technologies can ensure the quality of the product processing, in addition to effectively regulate and guide the aerospace sheet metal fabrication working process. This is the reason that it is necessary to carry out a compelling and in-depth study of the product processing to ensure that the ASMF technology can meet the needs of sheet metal processing.


The combination of fluid-filled deep-draw forming technology and high-speed impact forming technology resulted in a new impact hydroforming technology, and a sheet impact hydraulic forming limit tester was designed from this. Through extensive experiments, it has been proven that this technology and device are also suitable for the formation of aluminium alloys, aluminium-lithium alloys, magnesium alloys, titanium alloys and other materials.

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3. The role of the new technology of aerospace sheet metal fabrication


The impacting hydroforming technology enables the formation of complex thin-walled buccal-frame components in ASMF, and the world's first production-ready impacting hydroforming device has been successfully developed based on this new principle.


This technology can change the traditional aluminium alloy sheet forming process of more than eight times of manual-assisted manufacturing process to two times of automatic production process, without intermediate process heat treatment, which can increase the production efficiency by four times, and is expected to promote and enhance the development level of aerospace sheet metal manufacture industry. Previously, the drop–weight forming technology of the Soviet Union had been inherited, which required a combination of mould pressing and manual operation, but the formed parts had defects such as scratches on the surface, low yield and poor precision and consistency.

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