Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Precision Metal Forming
The Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant has developed precision forming capabilities for a variety of materials and products. These methods include conventional (Deep Draw) Forming, used for thick materials up to 1.5 inches in thickness; Hydroforming used for forming thinner materials; Superplastic (Blow) Forming used to form through-wall materials requiring uniform wall thickness; and Water Die Forming also used for thin material requiring unique shapes and uniform wall thickness.
In addition to the precision forming of blanks for machining, Y-12 has employed a coordinate measurement machine (CMM) inspection process of the formed blanks. The purpose of the process is to prove new forming processes and tooling, establish limits for future forming operations, and verify the formed blank geometry to ensure it can be machined to specifications.
Using a CMM to perform the inspection process and provide the results, Y-12 personnel can deliver the inspection data through the classified broad band network to the VAX computer system running the SPC and CAD systems. If a decision is made to use a blank that does not meet the established limits, the results can be passed to the process engineer in the machine shop, allowing for modification of the setup or machining procedures to salvage a part that might otherwise have been scrapped.
The Y-12 Plant has continually improved the forming processes, and as a result is now able to form parts to near net shape forms. This capability has resulted in reduced costs for both materials and machining times. In addition, precision forming has resulted in a significant reduction in the generation of hazardous waste materials.
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Point of Contact for this survey.