Leader in Stretch Forming

Stretch forming machines from Ajax/CECO/Erie Press offer all the advantages you would expect from a company with more than a century of experience in designing and building presses and forming machines. From improved uptime to reduced maintenance, Ajax/CECO/Erie Press Stretch Forming Machines help you maximize your productivity while ensuring a lower total cost of ownership.

Stretch Forming 101

When applicable, stretch wrap forming methods provide several unique advantages over pure bending and other Stretch Forming Machine types of metal forming. Stretch wrap forming machines operate by stretching the metal to its elastic limit, then wrapping the part around a forming die. This process increases the metal’s yield strength and actually results in a stronger part. Since stretch forming machines also keep the metal under constant tension, they minimize imperfections such as “cans” or “buckles.” Stretch forming machines also perform a task in one step that would otherwise require several machines and multiple steps, improving efficiency and saving time and money. For some parts, where it would otherwise be impossible, stretch forming machines allow for production runs of that part.

Sheet Stretch Forming

Stretch forming machines for sheets are designed to meet all tonnage, length, and width specifications. Historically, these machines have been widely used in stretch forming aluminum fuselage, wing, and engine cowl panels. Still, the process has now evolved to forming exterior panels on a high-speed locomotive, recreational vehicles, and buses, as well as proprietary aerospace and commercial rocket applications. Additionally, a special adaptation of high tonnage stretch forming machines can manufacture the main structural support spar used on large commercial aircraft. Heavy cross-section beam material is gripped in specially designed jaws, stretched to its yield point, and bent over a die that follows the plane’s curvature.

Extrusion Stretch Forming

Extrusion stretch forming machines were developed within the aircraft industry to bend and form complex aluminum, Titanium, and stainless steel structural components that have been challenging to work with using other manufacturing processes. Due to highly accurate and repeatable part production, extrusion stretch forming machines have also gained wide acceptance in structural applications within high-speed locomotive, rail, transit, and automotive industries.

Contour Roll Forming

Contour roll forming machines offer another type of bending process that goes beyond stretch forming. Specifically designed to apply curvature to aircraft stringers and frames, contour roll forming machines can operation on three planes of space, instead of two. Contour roll forming also requires less force and offers the advantage of theoretically unlimited length as the materials need only pass through the rollers. However, they still employ the basic principle of bending the metal beyond its elastic limits. As a result, contour roll forming machines strengthen the metal just like stretch forming machines.

In additional to building superior quality contour roll forming machines, we can rebuild or refurbish existing machines. If you have an old contour roll forming machine this process can save you money on buying a brand new machine and can save time in the manufacturing process. A rebuild also allows you to upgrade the old machine with new components to improve its performance.

ASF Bumpers

Superplastic forming (SPF) was developed for forming large, complicated metal parts difficult to manufacture with traditional forming processes. SPF takes advantage of the metallurgical properties of certain alloys to undergo large plastic strains without creating microvoids or necking. Pressure from inert gas and dies are used as a stretch forming tool to create complex shapes. SPF equipment allows the production of larger, stronger, lighter parts without welds or joints. Multiple components can be built into one part, all in one operation, with this advanced forming process.

Customized to Your Needs

Ajax/CECO/Erie Press will customize any of our stretch forming machines to meet the unique challenges and specifications of your unique operation. Customization opportunities include:

  • Machines and jaws
  • Rebuilds and refurbishes of any machine

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