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Bladderless Hydroforming of Large Prototypes or Oversized High-Run Parts

The FormBalancer FB42 shapes metal without relying on trouble-prone bladders. FluidForming Americas’ environmentally-friendly process uses high-pressure water instead of hydraulic oil as the forming liquid.

Posted: March 3, 2020

FluidForming Americas force-contained FormBalancer forms complex, highly detailed, and highly repeatable parts at an overall lower cost than conventional, die-based metal stamping or bladder-based hydroforming.
Because hydroforming is capable of producing components with tight tolerances, the automotive, aerospace, medical, and appliance industries frequently use FluidForming Americas FormBalancer machines to create complex shapes.

Hydroforming is a cost-effective way to shape conventional ductile metals and alloys such as aluminum, brass, steel, stainless steel, and titanium into lightweight, structurally stiff, and durable pieces. Because the process produces precision components with tight tolerances, it’s a popular forming choice for the appliance, automotive, aerospace, and medical markets.

FluidForming Americas’ (Hartsville, TN) environmentally friendly machines use tap water instead of hydraulic oil. After clamping pressure is established, water is introduced into the force-contained machine at up to 4,000 bar/60,000 psi, which is significantly higher than legacy hydroforming at 100 mPA/15,000 psi.

As a result, material is evenly distributed into the die in critical areas. During the final forming stage, the sheet metal rests, fully formed, against the die surface without potentially damaging friction.

Process forces and forming speed are infinitely adjustable as part of the forming process. Nested tools allow for cost-effective small-part families. Because every facet, from blank design to material flow to clamping pressure and water volume, is variable and controlled, FluidForming achieves finer results for low-to-moderate run production and rapid prototyping.

The FormBalancer sheet metal and tube forming machine is compact, computer controlled, semi-automated, and network-connected. Depending on tooling, the machine can produce up to 10 parts per minute. Because of its lightweight and efficient design, special foundational requirements aren’t necessary.

The FormBalancer FB42 is one of the largest bladderless fluidforming machines on the market. The FB42 creates larger single prototypes or oversized high-run parts that require the extra-large 47-in square forming table. The FormBalancer FB35 and FormBalancer FB25 are designed for smaller applications.

FluidForming Americas LLC, 295 Trousdale Way, Hartsville, TN 37074-2073, 615-374-9500, fax: 615-374-9540,

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