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Superplastic Sheet Thermoforming Parts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000073839D
Original Publication Date: 1971-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bradlley, RB: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

To thermoform superplastic sheet material into a part including a deep return flange, a tool is utilized which has an upper section 2 including a billow chamber 3; a lower forming tool 4 having a nonstick material such as a coating of a fluorocarbon on surface 5; and an intermediate split ring 6. Opening 7 in upper section 2 and opening 8 in lower section 4 are connected to sources of compressed air for selective application during the forming process.

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Superplastic Sheet Thermoforming Parts

To thermoform superplastic sheet material into a part including a deep return flange, a tool is utilized which has an upper section 2 including a billow chamber 3; a lower forming tool 4 having a nonstick material such as a coating of a fluorocarbon on surface 5; and an intermediate split ring 6. Opening 7 in upper section 2 and opening 8 in lower section 4 are connected to sources of compressed air for selective application during the forming process.

In practicing the forming operation a sheet of heated superplastic material 9 is placed between split ring 6 and upper section 2 as at A and clamped together as seen at B. Compressed air is introduced through opening 8 to cause the unconfined center portion of the sheet to preform into billow chamber 3 as at B. Compressed air is then introduced through opening 7 and air below the superplastic sheet is permitted to vent through opening 8. The superplastic material thereupon moves downward into the forming cavity and in doing so folds upon itself to from wrinkles 10 as shown at C. Normally the material in contact with the forming surface would cease to elongate and only the material free of contact with a forming surface would continue to elongate into the unfilled flange forming portions 12. The presence of the nonstick surface 5 permits the superplastic sheet 9 to unfold and continue to elongate until either the forming cavity is filled or contact is made with an untreated for...