Electro-Hydraulic Forming

Thanks to years of conclusive research and development at Bmax, our industrial-grade Electro-Hydraulic Forming (EHF) systems are today available off the shelf, making this advanced processing more accessible than ever.

The science

EHF is based on the ultra-high-speed deformation of metal using shockwaves in water. Via the discharge of current from a Bmax system, an electric arc is generated in water between two electrodes. This electric arc vaporizes the surrounding water, converting electrical energy into an intense shockwave of mechanical energy.

 

The shockwave simultaneously transforms the metal workpiece into a visco-plastic state and accelerates it onto a die, enabling forming of complex shapes at high speeds in cold conditions. All of which happens in a matter of milliseconds; total cycle time of seconds including charging time of the system. This process is not limited by size and allows forming of parts up to a few square meters in size. An array of electrodes can be placed over a large workpiece, enabling pressure distribution according to the product’s topology, still using a one-sided die to create complex shapes and fine details.

Competitive advantages of EHF
  • A single-step process (rather than progressive stamping)
  • Fine details and sharp lines can be easily formed
  • Forming of male and female shapes (negative and positive)
  • Only a single one-sided die is required
  • Enables extremely deep forming (much more than is possible with conventional stamping)
  • Even distribution and higher strength of thin material
  • Extremely fast
  • Equipment has small footprint
  • No need for a press – the forming chamber is a self-balanced system
  • Allows forming of parts up to a few square meters in size
electro-hydraulic-forming

Download our latest case study : "AIRBUS HELICOPTERS Oil Deflector: when new technology maintains one’s competitive advantage".

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