Hydroforming and Laser

MSM aero comes up with a novel alternative method for the manufacture of a complex, titanium bleed air duct manifold using their specialist hydroforming, laser cutting and welding processes.


Above: Hydroformed titanium pressing prior to laser trim

MSM aero has used their expertise to manufacture a complex, titanium manifold from just two half pressings. The finished component is used to distribute high temperature bleed air for aircraft anti-ice systems. Fondly referred to as the Jellybaby, MSM’s engineers were involved with the customer right at the beginning of the design stage in coming up with this novel alternative to the traditional solution of a central manifold body plus multiple individually welded branches.

Advantages are greater integrity of the part due to far fewer component parts and fewer welded joints, and lower cost of manufacture. MSM employed their specialist skills beginning with running the CAD model of the part through their bespoke simulation software package which does a “virtual” forming cycle. This enables MSM’s engineers to optimise the process, design the net shaped blanks and design the press tools. Then they use their hydroforming technology to cold form the two individual half- pressing from 0.9mm/20swg thick titanium, after which the two pressings have their outer profiles accurately trimmed on MSM’s new Trumpf 7040 Laser to ensure a perfect fit-up, and finally the two halves are manually TiG welded in MSM’s NADCAP approved welding facility. Quality is confirmed via dimensional checks on a CMM and NDT checked in MSM’s NADCAP approved PFD facility.

This represents a perfect example of how MSM can add value through the whole cycle from design to production. The company manufactures many other similar ducting type components from complex manifolds to tight radii elbows. A member of MSM’s engineering team would be more than happy to discuss a bespoke solution for you.

To view a video of our 5 axis laser cutting titanium click here


Above: Two pressings fitted together (note perfect fit) 


Above: Welded assembly

Above: Individual jellybaby pressing undergoing CMM verification