Quintus Introduces High-Pressure Warm Forming for Titanium

Quintus Technologies introduces its new process for forming Ti-6Al-4V parts.

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Quintus Technologies has developed a High Pressure Warm Forming (HPWF) process that combines high pressure with a moderately elevated temperature for faster, more cost-effective and more precise forming of titanium parts. The process invites more widespread adoption of Ti-6Al-4V, the grade of titanium used in many manufacturing sectors for its high strength, light weight, formability and high corrosion resistance.

“In the aviation industry, market projections call for close to 35,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft to be built over the next two decades,” says Sture Olsson, Global Business Development Manager of sheet metal forming at the company. “These new models will consume less fuel and have a lighter environmental footprint. The lightweight properties of Ti-6Al-4V are integral to a fuel-efficient design strategy.”

HPWF is said to remove barriers to fabrication that previously limited the use of Ti-6Al-4V due to the high costs, high scrap rates and high temperature requirements of current forming methods. HPWF introduces an induction heating system to warm the blank-and-tool package to approximately 520°F (270°C), which is well below the temperatures where a protective gas is required, just before entering the Quintus Flexform press. The press applies uniform high pressure (20,000 psi/140 MPa) to a flexible rubber diaphragm in conjunction with a rigid tool half to form complex sheet metal parts to final shape. A complete HPWF cycle, from heating and loading to forming and unloading, takes less than five minutes. Forming at relatively low temperatures enables quick cooling. The process boosts the production capacity for Ti-6Al-4V parts, increasing throughput by a factor of five over traditional hot forming processes.

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