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  Pictures of the speakers. More pictures from the conference
   
International Conference on Hydroforming on 12th and 13th October 1999 in Fellbach near Stuttgart

Institute for Metal Forming Technology of the University of Stuttgart

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.h.c. K. Siegert, Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Aust

Tube hydroforming technology has been known for years. During the last 10 years, however, the interest in this technology has increased dramatically, mainly in the automotive industry. At present, many hydroformed parts, like exhaust manifolds, engine cradles and frames, represent high volume applications in industrial production. The increase of tube hydroforming in industrial manufacturing has a positive influence on hydroforming of aluminum extrusions as well as on sheet metal hydroforming.

Tube hydroforming requires specially designed dies and presses, optimized with regard to tribological factors and tube formability. Tube hydroforming, with external pressure and/ or with the combination of internal and external pressures, remains in the R&D stage.

Especially for low volume production with a relatively small total number of parts, sheet metal hydroforming offers an opportunity to reduce the product specific costs by using optimized die and press designs. Hydraulic pressure systems and high press capacities are needed for sheet metal hydroforming. This requirement, however, is not a major problem today, because there are many systems that provide high pressure and press power required in hydroforming of tubes.

For hydroforming of both tubes and sheets, all the hydraulic components like pumps, proportional valves, pressure intensifiers etc. are available.

In order to discuss the state-of-the-art in hydroforming from a scientific and industrial point of view, discuss trends and goals for future developments, more than 500 attendees worldwide followed the invitation of the Institute for Metal Forming Technology and came to the conference. The International Conference on Hydroforming took place on October 12th and 13th 1999, at the "Schwabenlandhall" near Stuttgart Germany. During four half day sessions, 34 speakers presented papers related to the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of Hydroforming
  • State-of-the-art of die techniques for hydroforming of tubes and extrusions
  • Applicable Materials for Tube Hydroforming
  • Series Production of Tube Hydroforming
  • FEM Process Simulation of Hydroforming
  • Machines and Machine Concepts for Hydroforming
  • Fundamentals and Processes of Sheet Metal Hydroforming
  • Samples of Applications for Sheet Metal Hydroforming

At the beginning of the conference, the Institute for Metal Forming Technology of the University of Stuttgart offered on Monday, October 11th 1999, several technical tours to industrial companies from the field of hydroforming. There was the opportunity to visit either the DaimlerChrysler Press Shop at Sindelfingen Plant, Schuler SMG at Waghäusel, or Schuler Hydroforming at Wilnsdorf. More than 200 attendees of the conference took advantage of this opportunity, and afterwards, visited the Institute for Metal Forming Technology. During the visit of the Institute the latest developments in the field of hydroforming tubes and sheet metals were demonstrated.

More than 500 attendees of the conference came worldwide from 17 countries, including 75 % were from the industry and 25% came from university.

The presentations have shown, that process simulation is very significant for the wide application of hydroforming. FEM process simulation is very useful and important to analyze hydroforming processes and to design the dies for hydroforming. Through the use of FEM Simulation in the early phase of the part and die developments, it can be decided whether a geometry is feasible or not. The progress made over the last few years in FEM has resulted in commercial FEM software packages used not only in research, but also in the industrial practice. It is useful to be aware of today's capabilities of FEM process simulation as well as its further developments.

New press concepts ensure a higher productivity and lead to cheaper presses. This is the basis for further developments, new applications for hydroforming of tubes, extrusions and sheet metals as well as further series production of hydroformed parts.

For further process development with respect to tubes, extrusions and sheets, it is worth concentrating R&D efforts on the optimization of tool and press technologies. Major targets of R&D are improvements in friction conditions, energy consumption, and cycle times.

For the future, integrating shearing, cutting and joining methods are also of special interest.

The focus of this year's conference was on hydroforming. Therefore, pre-forming preparations such as bending of tubes before the hydroforming process and the integration of shearing, cutting and joining methods, will be discussed in the second "International Conference on Hydroforming" in 2001.

For further informations, the conference book, both in English and German, containing the papers which were presented at the "International Conference on Hydroforming", 12/13 October (Fellbach/Stuttgart, Germany) is available at the Institute for Metal Forming Technology. The english version "Hydroforming of Tubes, Extrusions and Sheet Metals" enfolds 468 pages.

Both, the english and german conference proceedings cost 140 DM + shipping (approx. US $ 75 + shipping). Contact: Institute for Metal Forming Technology (IFU), c/o Matthias Aust, Holzgartenstr. 17, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany; Tel.: ++49-(0)711-121-3849, Fax: ++49-(0)711-121-3839 email: aust@ifu.uni-suttgart.de

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Last update: Oktober 19, 2000
Letzte Änderung: 19 Oktober 2000

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