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What is Flowforming?

Flowforming is a cold rotary forming process where a rotating metal preform is formed over a tool by (typically) three rollers.

The rollers deform the preform, forcing it against the tool (also known as a mandrel), axially lengthening and radially thinning the material.

The material will take on the reverse profile of the mandrel, allowing the forming of features such as splines and piston seal surfaces.

Why Flowform?

Flowforming is an extremely effective way of manufacturing net-formed splines, with minimal material wastage.

These splines have uninterrupted grain paths that have higher toughness than typically cut splines, along with zero porosity concerns. The high level of material deformation during the forming process creates significant work hardening. This allows for elimination of heat treatment on the splines.

With the correct selection of preform, part consolidation and weight reduction are possible.

Design for Flowforming

Flowforming Preform Selection

One key factor for effective flowform drums is the correct selection of preform. Options include flat blanks, hot forging, stampings and cold forgings. NETFORM has developed its own unique process for cold forming hubs on flowform preforms.

Example of NETFORM hub forming process (single hit)

The benefits of this process include:

  • Consolidation of two parts into one.
  • Elimination of laser welds and induction hardening.
  • Work hardening in the hub area from the cold forming process.
  • Ability to have right angle joints at the hub/drum interface not possible with stampings

Case Study

See how NETFORM reduced weight and consolidated components through a redesigned flowforming process.

Read Case Study

Flowforming Products

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