Liquid Impact Forming Dies
Automotive and other manufacturers have been investigating processes which reduce weight in their product, save material costs, speed production procedures, and still allow use of existing production stamping presses. After months of development, K & K Tool & Die Company received a patent in May 1999 on our process called “Liquid Impact Tool Forming Mold,” or LIF. This process, which is similar to “hydro-forming,” is applicable to tubular parts. In addition to the advantages of weight reduction and material savings, LIF also allows normal stamping press cycle times, eliminates spot welding, reduces scrap, produces parts with more integrity, and promotes less total parts in an assembly. This patented process has also been proven to hold tighter tolerances than traditional metal stamping dies.
This process starts with a preformed tube with specially chamfered ends. It requires pre-bent tubes and a preform die. The preformed tube is then loaded into the Liquid Impact Forming Die which is filled with a non-corrosive lubricating fluid. Proximity switches sense proper location of the tube before the press can cycle. The tube fills with fluid and the ends are capped with a special sealing device as the press cycles. During cycling the tube is pressurized and formed. Upon completion, the pressure is mechanically released and the part is removed from the die. The internal pressure is fully adjustable and can be released at any point near the bottom of the stroke.
Advantages of LIF:
1, Requires only a production metal stamping press.
2, Production rate of parts from LIF dies are approximately 200-300 parts per hour.
3, All LIF pressures and forming components are contained within the die.
4, LIF dies can be in transfer with other stamping dies.
5, Parts with spot weld flanges can be produced in LIF dies.
What you should know about Liquid Impact Forming
Q: What is LIF (Liquid Impact Forming, Patent #5630334, 05/20/97)?
A: LIF is a similar process to hydro-forming except parts are produced in an existing mechanical stamping press and are not required to pause on bottom of stroke.