ATI Forged Products

World leader in precision flowforming for high-performance applications

We are the world leader in flowforming, a cold metal forming process that produces seamless, symmetrical, tubular shapes for precision components in military, aerospace, oil/gas and other applications. Flowforming often saves material and machining operations, ultimately reducing component costs. We have the world’s most comprehensive capabilities, and are experienced in more than 50 metals, including advanced alloys that are typically difficult to form.

Our operation includes patented, proprietary flowforming machines as well as industry-leading cutting, hot forging, hydraulic pressing, tube bending, non-destructive testing and metallurgical testing capabilities. As a vertically integrated ATI business, we can offer our customers complete net-shape components made to final print.

Capabilities

  • Forward flowforming, reverse flowforming and shearforming
  • Tube, closed cylinder, conical, parabolic and other geometries
  • Diameters .866" to 25.600" (22-650mm)
  • Wall thicknesses .006" to 1.500" (0.15-38mm)
  • Lengths up to 40 ft (12 meters)
  • More than 50 metals and alloys
  • ISO 9001:2008 / AS9100 certified and NQA1 Part 1 & NCA-3800 compliant
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Flowform Products & Materials

We produce flowformed components from more than 50 metals, available in a wide range of diameters, wall thicknesses and lengths. We use forward flowforming, reverse flowforming and shearforming techniques to create tube, closed cylinder, conical, parabolic and other geometries.​

Sizes & Tolerances

Our flowforming capabilities range from diameters of .866" to 25.600" (22-650mm), wall thicknesses from .006" to 1.500" (0.15-38mm) with lengths up to 40 ft (12 meters). Since flowforming poses no limitations on the relationship between component diameter and wall thickness, we can produce large diameters with precise, thin walls.

The specified minimum and maximum wall thicknesses for a given diameter range, as well as other shown limits, are not fixed and can be varied to meet your requirements. It should be noted that the degree of dimensional accuracy is highly dependent on the material of the component, its size and thickness, as well as possible distortion caused by the requirement for any post-forming heat treatment. As such, applicability of dimensional tolerances is on a case by case basis.

Geometries

Flowforming produces dimensionally precise, round, seamless, hollow components. We use forward flowforming, reverse flowforming and shearforming techniques to create tube, closed cylinder, conical, parabolic and other geometries.

Materials

ATI Alloys

  • Titanium
  • Nickel/Cobalt
  • Stainless Steel
  • Zirconium
  • Niobium, Hafnium, Tantalum, Tungsten, and Vanadium Alloys
  • Armor Materials

Other Alloys

  • Aluminum Alloys
  • Bearing & Tool Steels
  • Copper Based Alloys
  • Magnesium Alloys
  • Precious Metals
  • Refractory Alloys
  • Carbon Steel Alloys

We can flowform more than 50 metals from more than a dozen different alloy groups, from aluminum to zircalloy, including the ATI alloys linked above. We have the experience to bring this efficient and versatile process to even the most challenging materials for high-performance applications.

Methods

Our flowforming equipment can be configured for forward flowforming, reverse flowforming or shearforming, depending on the application. Typically, a cylinder with one closed or partially closed end is forward flowformed. A cylinder with two open ends is reverse flowformed. A conical or ogivial component is shearformed. In some cases, a combination of forward and reverse flowforming is used to achieve the desired geometry.​​​​​​

Flowform Manufacturing Capabilities

ATI uses the precision flowforming process to produce hundreds of different thin-walled components to net or near-net shape from a variety of high-strength and hard-to-form metals. A chipless cold forming process, flowforming can be a cost-effective alternative to conventional machining, and has its own dimensional, mechanical and metallurgical advantages over other machining processes.​

Our Flowforming Capabilities

Our components range in size from diameters of 0.866" to 25.600" (22-650mm), wall thicknesses from 0.006" to 1.500" (0.15-38mm) with lengths up to 40 ft. (12 meters). Since flowforming poses no limitations on the relationship between component diameter and wall thickness, quite often we produce large diameters with precise thin walls. To date, we have successfully flowformed a myriad of geometries in more than 50 different metals ranging from aluminum to zirconium.

Dimensional Advantages

Precision flowforming is capable of dimensional accuracies well beyond those of other forming methods. Since flowforming tooling is subject to little or no wear, the CNC controlled process offers consistent and repeatable accuracies. The precision of the flowforming process often eliminates the need for finishing operations such as turning, grinding, honing, straightening, balancing or polishing. It can generate very thin and precise wall thicknesses economically and without difficulty. Unlike other forming processes, flowforming can vary the wall thickness of a component at any point and as many times as desired along the length of the component. Flowforming is also unique in its ability to form to size a pre-hardened workpiece, achieving high dimensional accuracies with a minimum of required finishing.

Metallurgical Advantages

Finished flowflormed components tend to have superior mechanical properties compared to pre-formed materials, as the process realigns grain structure in a very uniform, axial direction. Flowforming creates a uniformly oriented crystal texture, increasing the biaxial strength of the metal. These effects can be enhanced through post-flowforming annealing.

Mechanical Advantages

Through its strain hardening of the base metal, flowforming increases yield strength and tensile strength of the formed material, making it possible to design thinner walls that yield lighter components. Flowformed components can also be solution annealed to remove residual stresses, and heat treated or aged to alter levels of achieved strength, hardness and ductility.

Cost Advantages

Flowforming reduces cost in a variety of ways. It is a chipless process with minimal material waste and labor cost. In almost all cases, we can flowform to net shape, maximizing material utilization while eliminating post-forming machining. The seamless nature of flowforming saves money by incorporating components like flanges into a single integrated design and eliminating welding. And flowforming can eliminate the costs of finish-machining and/or grinding by forming net-shape components from pre-hardened metal.​​​​​​​

Flowform Tools & Resources

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Technical Services

Following a systematic engineering approach, ATI’s full-service Failure Analysis provides a thorough laboratory analysis, detailed explanation of the failure cause, practical advice and guidance for failure prevention, and expert-witness testimony if necessary. Learn more