Hot Drape Forming of Torus and Semi-Toroidal Bulkhead Segments 660290
The “hot drape forming process” provides an integrated method for forming-stretching and heat treating of 7039 and X7106 aluminum alloys to a toroidal segment configuration. An electrically heated ceramic die was used for the process. Its construction permitted selective zone heating for controlled stretching of an area.
The forming and stretching was accomplished by means of two “contour wiper plates” which provided good forming at the edge areas. In addition, the part was heat treated (solution treated, spray-water quenched, and aged) while clamped down on the die.
The process produced a stress-free, accurately formed, heat treated part with uniform thickness. It is believed that this process can be used for other configurations more reliably and efficiently than other conventional methods.