Flowform Hollow Products
ATI Flowform Products is the world leader in flowforming precision engineered products.
ATI Flowforming is a cold metal forming process employed for the production of seamless, dimensionally precise, cylindrically symmetrical, hollow tubulars. Our flowformed products are often made of specialty alloys that have applications in the aerospace, defense, electrical energy and oil & gas markets. ATI's expertise affords customers engineered solutions in various cutting-edge applications by offering economical options for achieving dimensionally precise, thin wall, concentric tubular and cylindrical shaped products. ATI Flowforming often saves material and machining operations, ultimately reducing component costs. The process also offers economical, dimensional, metallurgical and mechanical benefits to the customer, making flowforming a strategic part of ATI's specialty metals supply chain.
With nearly 25 years of experience, ATI Flowform Products has earned its leadership position. We have the most comprehensive capabilities in the world, and are experienced in more than 50 metals, including advanced alloys that are typically difficult to form. We are committed to quality and dedicated to meeting your expectations as we push the limits of this exciting technology.
Forward Flowforming is used for components with one closed or partially-closed end such as a closed bottom or partially closed cylinder. Once the preform is inserted over the mandrel, its inner bottom is locked against the tip of the mandrel by means of hydraulic force from the tailstock. As the mandrel and preform rotate, the carriage is made to travel in a right to left direction. The rollers apply force to the outside diameter of the preform and there is a precalculated amount of wall reduction. As the wall is thinned and the outer diameter is reduced in size by the combination of controlled radial and axial forces, the finished component takes shape to the right of the rollers. The balance of unflowformed material moves ahead and to the left of the rollers.
Learn more about Forward Flowforming with this animation
Reverse Flowforming is utilized to produce a component with two open (unrestricted) ends such as a tube. Once the preform is placed on the mandrel, it is pushed all the way to the left side against the drive ring at the end of the mandrel. Like Forward Flowforming, the carriage also moves in a right to left direction. As the axial thrust of the rollers applies force to the right of the preform, the metal is pushed into and entrapped by a series of serrations on the face of the drive ring. This assures the necessary rotational drive of the preform during the process cycle. With the carriage traveling left, the flowformed metal moves to the right, under and in the opposite direction of the rollers.
Learn more about Reverse Flowforming with this animation