Aluminium Forming and Bending
We are the most experienced aluminium bending company in UK. With our very experienced engineering team we often achieve what is thought to be impossible. We have extensive knowledge, capability and capacity in the forming and bending of complex curved aluminium extrusions.
Wide range of aluminium section bending
Our range of aluminium section bending incorporates stretch forming, rotary draw bending (sometimes known as flow forming, or tube bending) and roll bending, and we are capable of meeting a wide variety of applications for the controlled aluminium extrusion bending and forming for many requirements.
We supply aluminium fabricated extrusions for many industries such as:
- Leisure (Caravans, Motorhomes, Campervans)
- E.V (battery enclosures, charging points)
- Automotive (bumper beams, cant rails, strut braces, seal carrier, roof rails)
- Aerospace (Seats, baggage bars, spars)
- Medical (Medical trollies, ceiling hoists)
- Architectural (Balconies, Balustrading, Facades, Louvers, windows)
- Rail (Windows, Cabin Components, seats, door frames)
Hydro as well as offering ISO9001 are certified to EN1090-2 and can offer CE certification for aluminium components fabricated for sectors including Building and Construction.
Hydro’s Quality department supports the manufacturing division with in-house large bed CMM, Romer Arm and gauging capabilities, with calibrations and procedures controlled to British Standards, allow for ISIR, FAI, capability studies and PPAP’s to be completed as per customers’ requests.
Our company's core competence has always been in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialist machine tools for forming and machining. In line with the momentum towards 'one stop shop' service offerings, the company specialises in providing total solutions to customers who require formed, machined components and sub-assemblies.
Most of our tooling is made inhouse to allow for rapid changes in tool design without compromising on quality and lead time.
CNC Roll Forming
Roll forming is used for single and multi-plain bending, typically bend to section width ratio 10:1 in some cases it is possible to go down as low as 6:1. Features include:
- Minimal tooling costs with common tooling used for multiple radii, parabolic curves and edge forming on the same part. For simple profiles such as rectangles, and square section standard tooling is used,
- CNC equipment reduces set up costs and extends range of capability over the original 3 roll machines to include three dimensional curves.
- Reduced sensitivity to material batch variations through programme modifications rather than hard tool recuts.
- Allows for easy curve shape change, that allow rapidly change shape of end product.
- Ideal for low to medium volumes including prototype and development requirements.
Rotary Draw Bending
Draw bending is typically used for tighter bends than roll forming down to 3:1 radius to section width ratio. Features of flow forming include:
- Enhanced equipment capability allowing forming of large cross sections up to 260mm in height and 250 in depth, such as bumpers and monorail lift parts.
- Forming hollow sections using floating mandrels or other fillers for irregular internal cross sections.
- Hydro’s recent investment in a multistack reversible head flow flowing machine allows multi radii and reverse bend components to be formed in one operation.
- Maximum bend arc up to 180 degrees.
- Tooling development enabling minimum bend radii to be reduced from 3:1 to 2:1, in some cases it is possible to achieve 1:1
Stretch Forming is the most accurate, repeatable and fastest of the forming processes. There are several features to the process:
- It can be applied to a wide range of sections making the process very flexible to a wide range of applications. In addition to bending in 2 planes we have developed the capability and equipment for 3D bending to create spiral type forms at lower cost than fabrication.
- For symmetrical parts left and right-hand forms can be produced in a single forming operation reducing costs.
- The control parameters can be set to incorporate compression bending to give tighter corner radii – overcoming the limitations of material yield strength.