<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - GM Uses Hydroforming
General Motors
GM USES HYDROFORMING


Hydroforming Video
VIDEO

Detroit, MI - April 2002 - What does it take to build a car that can perform like a racecar, or a truck that can take on anything?

In the highly competitive world of automobile manufacturing, companies are always searching for the latest technology to give them the upper hand. One technology yielding significant improvements in performance is hydroforming. An alternative to metal stamping, hydroforming uses water to bend steel and is causing many automakers to reevaluate the way they produce parts.

"The hydroforming process, where you inject a pressurized fluid into the tube, integrates parts into a single part," says Jay Baron of the Center for Automotive Research. "You have higher dimensional integrity and that translates into a better quality vehicle -- you will get better finish on the vehicle, that translates into lower squeaks and rattles."

In the case of the Chevrolet Corvette, General Motors replaced fourteen stamped parts with one hydroformed part, streamlining the production process and increasing the Corvette's body stiffness 450 percent.

"You can actually feel the improvement," says Charles Bruggeman of General Motors. "The components are more integrated and it gives you, in a frame application, a better ride and handling."

In addition to added strength, hydroformed parts are typically lighter than the parts they replace and can be produced with less waste -- benefits that appeal to environmentally conscience consumers and manufacturers alike.