WHY ARE DETROIT SPEED’S SUBFRAMES HYDROFORMED? When we set out to build a new subframe, our primary objective was to design and manufacture the ultimate performance subframe. The foremost structural components in a subframe are the framerails; therefore, much consideration went into the design of the rails. Numerous OEM and aftermarket technologies were considered until a fairly new manufacturing process called hydroforming was selected because of its considerable advantages over traditional manufacturing methods. Hydroforming is a process in which malleable metals (steel, aluminum, etc.) are formed at room temperature into complex shapes using hydraulic pressure. This process produces high-strength, lightweight, dimensionally consistent, and structurally rigid components. Hydroforming enables the production of a single component that would otherwise be required to be made from multiple components joined together. Each framerail of a Detroit Speed subframe starts out as a large piece of thin-walled carbon steel tubing. We then mandrel bend and pre-form the tubing into the general shape of the framerail. The tube is then placed inside a two-piece die whose internal shape matches that of the outside of the final framerail design. The ends of the tube are connected to the high-pressure hydraulic system. The tube is then formed into the shape of the die utilizing a specialized hydroforming process called Pressure Sequence Hydroforming. This process increases the formability of the material by using an initial low-pressure stage while the die is being closed followed by second high-pressure stage initiated after the die is fully closed. Unlike traditional high-pressure hydroforming, this method forms the part shape by forcing the tube to flow into the corner areas of the die without stretching or expanding the tube to fill the die cavity resulting in a formed part that has an average wall thickness equal to that of the starting tube. All of the forming operations are performed at room temperature which “cold works” the material thereby increasing its strength. Once the rail is fully formed, it is removed from the die and trimmed with a 7-axis laser system resulting in a completed framerail. The first widespread use of hydroforming in the manufacturing of an automotive chassis was by General Motors for the C5 Corvette. Today, OE hydroformed chassis components are used industry wide. me p y g g y ed chassis components are used industry wide ed chassis components are used industry wide. NEWS & EVENTS NEWS & EVENTS NEWS & EVENTS WWW.DETROITSPEED.COM WWW.DETROITSPEED.COM 17.0 17.0 6 6