To complement more conventional fabrication techniques, SST Technology has developed a capability to hydroform specific products and features. By using in-house developed tooling, high and low pressure techniques the business has been able to create features in products which are otherwise costly or difficult to manufacture. Additional benefits include preferential alignment of the material grain structure which improves performance and fatigue resistance. Now utilised in multiple applications SST Technology is helping to differentiate itself through this material forming technique.
SST Technology HydroLite® Rapid Forming Process
As part of our ongoing culture of innovative product and process development, SST Technology introduce the HydroLite® forming process. Hydroforming provides a fast and accurate way of forming complex shapes in fabricated structures, but historically the long-held thoughts are that hydroforming can be an expensive and costly manufacturing option, that can only be considered for high volume manufacturing with long lead times. SST Technology have developed the HydroLite® process as a robust means of carrying out hydroforming in vastly reduced lead times and tooling costs, allowing the process to be considered for development and prototyping. This not only allows what may be production representative processes to be carried out and validated early in a product’s development cycle, but also opens up the opportunity for hydroforming to be used in low-volume fabrication, improving consistency and quality, and reducing fabrication costs and lead times, making it an ideal process for the Motorsport Industry.
A summary of the key benefits are as follows:
- Low tooling costs and short lead times (2-3 weeks), allowing the process to be economically viable for small volumes and short lead times.
- Semi-automated process.
- Accurate and repeatable thickness control through in-house design simulation.
- Accurate repeatability of complex forms, enabling designers to incorporate more complex shapes with confidence.
- Improved quality control and reduced investment in fabrication jigs.
- Ability to process exotic alloys such as Inconel, Titanium and Stainless steel, from simple or complex pre-forms.
- Combined with SST Technology‘s 6-axis laser cutting capability allow highly accurate “ready-to-weld” pre-forms to be supplied into our fabrication department.
With this capability, SST Technology can work further with our customers as an engineering partner to develop high performance precision fabrications, adding our design and process expertise, and enthusiasm to deliver the best possible solution, to support your design requirements.