Top Customer Questions at the World Premiere of AutoForm TubeXpert Held in China: Answers Revealed

Tube Hydroforming at Its Best

With AutoForm’s previous release of Hydro 2016, customers had several requests for more functionalities, including an entirely new graphical user interface. One key concern was interference from Windows updates! 

The good news is here: with the release of AutoForm TubeXpert, all of these requests are a thing of the past! This is thanks to the modern user interface, several new functionalities, room for future development and – most importantly – secure run-time stability.

To highlight all of the new features, AutoForm presented the completely re-designed software release of AutoForm TubeXpert for tube hydroforming applications as its world premiere on our “AutoForm TubeXpert Tech Day” in Wuxi, China. This event was co-organized in corporation with S-Auto’s chassis and the hydroforming conference “2019 Automotive Chassis Lightweight Technology and Hydroforming Development” at the same location.

The AutoForm event was attended by over 40 customers and industry experts. Mr. Werner Teufel and Mr. Giampaolo Moncelsi, two AutoForm experts on Hydroforming, introduced the benefits of the completely redesigned software solution for tube bending, forming and hydroforming processes. In addition, they demonstrated the process optimization and robustness analysis of hydroforming combined with AutoForm-Sigma. They illustrated methods for calculating tube bending, springback after pre-forming and hydroforming, and springback compensation whilst achieving CAD-level surface quality.

Participants shared valuable comments and outlined their own requirements with us during the event. The Q&A session turned into a lively discussion lasting over an hour.

Here are some of the top questions asked at the event:

How does TubeXpert deal with friction?

TubeXpert generally uses an enhanced Coulomb’s friction model. In addition, TriboForm can be used in AutoForm TubeXpert. The influences of pressure, velocity, temperature and roughness on the friction during forming can be taken into account with the TriboForm friction model. The hydroforming is one-sided, so friction problems only occur on the outer surface of the tube.

Are material card parameters derived from tube blank or sheet blank?

Material cards are provided by steel mills. The tests are performed using sheet blanks, but you have some options to enhance the process. When sheet metal is bent into a tube shape, the stress variation can be considered through the control of options.

How do you define material cards of aluminum?

We provide many predefined material cards, and other parameters can be modified as required. All necessary parameters can be obtained from the material supplier, or can be modified based on existing material cards in AutoForm. In this way, users are able to define the material card according to their requirements.

Can the tube’s center line be imported? Sometimes it must be analyzed according to a defined center line.

The center line is editable for all forms of analysis.

Is it possible to create a tube with rectangular sections and analyze it using AutoForm TubeXpert?

Yes, tubes with sections of all shapes can be analyzed using TubeXpert. In addition, TubeXpert can also be used for one single tube with varying materials or varying thickness.

Mr. Hu Xiao from Baosteel commented, “AutoForm TubeXpert is far more convenient than the Hydro module of AutoForm R3 in terms of the process layout, tube bending visualization and two-pieces die design. The new functions of springback compensation and combined AutoForm-Sigma analysis are powerful. So, I am looking forward to benefitting from this new software release.”

Lastly, Mr. Pan Chang from Faurecia, a long-time user of AutoForm’s last hydroforming version, highly anticipated this event, asking: “Can you edit the tube sections in TubeXpert?” Users can do so by employing the integrated morph function. Furthermore, he expressed the need for similar events in the future. Fortunately, we have opened our new AutoForm office and training center in Shanghai and the first customer seminars have gotten underway. Therefore, tool makers and OEMs in China should now contact our AutoForm China office to learn more about our practical solutions.


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