Manufacturing of Structural Automotive Components from Extruded Aluminum Profiles 2000-01-2712
Dimensional instability inherent to the extrusion process and the tolerance stack up due to bending and reshaping processes induce a part-to-part variation, which exceeds what is typically acceptable for an automated assembly process. Therefore, advanced forming methods such as stretch bending, hydroforming/calibration, etc., are required to provide tight dimensional tolerances. However, some of these technologies are relatively new, therefore, there is not an extensive knowledge base to assist the product and process designers working with aluminum extrusions. Several issues related to the design of extruded profiles, bending, friction and formability have to be resolved to increase the number of applications in the automotive industry. This paper reviews the manufacturing system including hydroforming technology and its application to extruded aluminum profiles. Several issues related to alloy selection, design, bending, friction and formability will be highlighted.