Assessing the potential benefits of manufacturing gas turbine components by utilizing hydroforming technology

Colin Bell, Jonathan Corney, John Storr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Hydroforming, which utilizes hydraulic pressure to manufacture metallic components, is a near net shape forming process that could offer many potential advantages in terms of cost, mechanical properties, weight reduction and manufacturing time over traditional production methods. Through the use of two case studies with components similar to ones used in gas turbine engines, this paper presents different ways in which hydroforming technology could be exploited to reduce both the part count and operations required to manufacture certain aerospace structures by using methods which have already shown to be effective in other industries. It is shown that cost, manufacturing operations and manufacturing complexity can be reduced while maintaining the function of a component by switching the manufacturing process from a conventional method to one that includes hydroforming. These parts illustrate a method for assessing hydroforming manufacturability from reported theory and heuristics in the available literature. The results provide an example which engineers can use as a case study for how to start assessing how easily a given component can be adapted to the hydroforming process and how the benefits can be assessed.

The reason for these results is that hydroforming offers a greater level of material formability compared to other forming processes and as individual components become geometrically more complicated the overall part count can be reduced as it takes fewer components to make an assembly, which in turn reduces weight as fewer nuts, bolts, seals and welding flanges are needed. The automotive industry has already demonstrated that this approach can deliver tangible benefits and hydroformed components are already used in larger airframe structures, but the hope is that the same approach can facilitate similar weight and cost savings in gas turbine engine components.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th International Cold Forming Congress
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2015
Event13th International Cold Forming Congress - AFRC (Advance Forging Research Centre), TIC (Technology & Innovation Center) building of University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20154 Sep 2015


Conference13th International Cold Forming Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • gas turbine manufacturing
  • cold forming
  • hydroforming


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