Superplastifc Forming (SPF) under high pressures and temperatures is used for ducting, aircraft wing access panels, nozzles and engine casings and blades, high pressure oil field sample bottles, high pressure plate heat exchangers and rectangular sections.
The Superplastic Forming Process
SPF is a hot metal operation capable of making intricate parts in a single operation. Diffusion bonding is often incorporated between the two halves of a die and heating to a pre-determined temperature. Hot argon gas is then pumped into the die at the appropriate pressure to force the titanium to deform superplastically into the shape of the lower die.
Materials Suited to Suplerplastic Forming
Superplastic forming requires material with a fine grained (less than 10µm, ASTM grain size 10) two phase structure, typically alpha-beta alloys such as Ti6Al4V.
Advantages of the Superplastic Forming Process
Superplastic forming gives the following benfits:
• Complex shapes in a single process
• Reduces weight and cost
• Shorter production lead times
• Elimination of machinery operations
• Elimination of assembly operations