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Hydroforming process of ultra small bending radius elbow

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Elbow is widely used in automobile, aviation and aerospace industries for conveying fluid. A part with a small relative bending radius is called an elbow. However, manufacturing thin-walled elbow parts using simple bending process brings many challenges. One possible method of manufacturing an elbow is to use a stamping welding process. The main disadvantages of this method include the decrease of sealing performance and the increase of weight caused by lap welding process. Tube hydroforming (THF) is considered to be a feasible method to solve these problems. However, the forming process can be quite complex and requires multi-step forming. In this study, the effects of preliminary processes of pipe bending (such as bending, diaphragm forming and heat treatment) were investigated a high-performance optimized process design to achieve an ultrasmall radius elbow. The effects of multistep forming on the thickness distribution and the heat treatment on the microstructure have been evaluated. The results obtained from simulations show a reasonable agreement with those from the experiments.

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