Development of Hydroformed Automotive Body Components Out of Aluminium 2002-01-2031
Weight reduction in automotive bodies is becoming increasingly significant. The use of lightweight materials like aluminium is one of the most effective ways of decreasing vehicle weight /1/. Automotive body designs with hydrocalibrated extrusions are quite well known.
Hydroforming is proven to provide lighter parts with better performance for structural components.
This report shows the combination of the use of lightweight material and hydroforming to create integrated structural components for an automotive body structure, thus reducing the weight and number of components. The base material for this research program was extruded aluminium, to keep costs down, and a higher flexibility in blank material distribution to facilitate the best boundary conditions for the hydroforming process. The process was conducted using the three typical main process steps bending - pre-forming - hydroforming to get an actual shaped structural component.
The complete process history as well as the results from this research program will be described.