Ajax/CECO/Erie Press manufactures several machines dedicated to super plastic forming, both with and without diffusion bonding capabilities. Super Plastic Forming (SPF) processes are especially useful for creating highly complex shapes.
Generating extremely high temperatures, these machines are used for forming titanium, stainless steel and certain types of aluminum. When these metals reach temperatures from 1,4000 F to 1,8500 F (1,0000 to 1,1000 for aluminum), they enter a super plastic state and become highly malleable. Operators can then use pressure from inert gasses (mainly argon) to form the metals. Originally created to manufacture engine blades, a variety of applications now use of SPF processes.
Ajax/CECO/Erie Press Hot Forming and Super Plastic Forming (SPF) presses feature a multi-zone heating process that ensures precise thermal control, uniform platen heating and consistent part production. In addition, highly efficient heat shields and platen designs, as well as superior PLC/PC-based CNC controls offer intuitive and comprehensive interfaces to help maximize production and improve part consistency.
Hot Forming 101
The use of heat in forging and forming offers many advantages. Hot forming presses operate by heating the platens and pressing two halves of a die to form a part. Since metals are more malleable at high temperatures, hot forming presses can mold the same part with less tonnage than it would take to mold cold metals.
Increased malleability also allows for a range of new applications for hot forming presses that would otherwise be impossible or impractical. Hot forming presses for composites require lower temperatures and may use recirculating hot oil, while metal presses implement multi-zone electrical heating implements to bring the metal up to temperature.
Hot Forming Presses
Ajax/CECO/Erie Press custom builds hot-forming presses for both composites and metals. Our hot-forming presses for composites require lower temperatures and may use recirculating hot oil, while our metal presses feature multi-zone electrical heating elements to bring the metal up to temperature.
Our hot forming presses include intuitive controls that allow an operator to monitor the entire process from one panel. Combined with their outstanding mechanical precision, Ajax/CECO/Erie Press Hot Forming Presses have earned their reputation as some of the most accurate and reliable in the industry.
Super Plastic Forming (SPF) and Diffusion Bonding Presses
Super plastic forming (SPF) and diffusion bonding presses operate similarly to hot forming presses with a few important distinctions. They still rely on the fundamental principle of heating the metal to increase its malleability.
The big difference between the two is that SPF presses require exceptional amounts of heat for the metal to reach a super plastic state. Once at this point, the metal is so malleable that SPF presses can use gas pressure to form the part. This gives operators exceptional control to form far more complex parts than possible with standard hot forming processes.
By applying gas pressure between individual sheets and around shapes once the metal has reached a super plastic state, Ajax/CECO/Erie Press Diffusion Bonding Presses form two or more sheets of metal into one part. Since they can form complex shapes such as honeycombs, Ajax/CECO/Erie Press Diffusion Bonding Presses are useful for a wide variety of modern industrial applications.
- SPF and diffusion bonding presses from Ajax/CECO/Erie Press feature state-of-the-art gas management and vacuum control systems
- Extremely accurate and efficient, they don’t need servo valves, eliminating the inherent gas waste associated with them
- Ajax/CECO/Erie Press has also developed superior thermal and press control systems that allow control of hydraulic pressure, gas pressure, and thermal management systems within a single PC/PLC based system, allowing operators to monitor the entire process from one control panel.
- By combining advanced controls with our decades of craftsmanship, Ajax/CECO/Erie Press SPF and diffusion bonding presses offer the best precision, efficiency and reliability in the industry.
Ajax/CECO/Erie Press will customize any of our hot forming presses to meet the unique challenges of your operation. Customization opportunities include:
- Platen design
- Temperature controls
- Interface Design
We can also design in a variety of accessories — such as part and die loaders, shuttle tables, horizontal rams, and more — to further customize and upgrade your Ajax/CECO/Erie Press Hot Forming Press.