Fluid Cell Sheet Metal Forming Applications
Fluid Cell Forming vs. Sheet Hydroforming
Fluid cell forming (Flexforming) employs a soft rubber diaphragm filled with highly pressurized fluid to press flat metal blanks uniformly into and around a lower tool half, which can be a punch or die. Sheet hydroforming, which also uses high fluid pressure to form parts, resembles Flexforming, but can only form one or two parts at a time and is limited to very low volume production of smaller parts.
Fluid cell forming is an economically viable process for two basic manufacturing applications:
Rapid, low-cost prototyping
Lower volume parts production
Flexform is more versatile than hydroforming in producing highly defined prototype components, particularly for the automotive industry where speed and lower costs are crucial in reducing time-to-market and staying globally competitive. The inexpensive prototype tool can also be used for parts production in low quantities for niche vehicles.
Many companies, particularly in the aerospace market, Flexform the majority of their sheet metal production parts. Fluid cell forming is perfectly suited to the relatively low volume requirements of commercial, military and private aircraft. Quick cycle models can produce up to 120 parts per hour, and automated pallet systems can substantially improve efficiency in longer production runs.
In both of these basic applications, manufacturers profit from the unique advantages inherent in the Flexforming concept:
Very low tooling costs
Intricate shapes formed to close assembly tolerances
Multiple parts per cycle
Short setup times
Finished parts directly off the press with little or no manual rework
Learn more about Flexform fluid cell forming applications: