Structural Systems

Our unique stretch forming equipment provides
extraordinary capabilities

Stretch Forming
Stretch Forming is a process of elongating aluminum sheet and extrusions into complex structural configurations using various shape dies. Ducommun possesses some of the largest and most unique stretch forming presses in the United States.

In 1951, Ducommun began stretch forming sheet metal components for major aircraft companies. Along with the forming services, Ducommun began developing some unique approaches for both hydro and stretch forming to solve specific problems. These "unique approaches" led to the development of some rather extraordinary stretch forming machines. A typical example is one Ducommun press that can form sheet metal components up to .280 inches thick, 100 inches in width and 30 feet long, as well as 30 foot extrusions. From our 1100-ton Sheridan Gray and 3200-ton hydro press to our smaller ERCO and Hufford presses, we possess the versatile capability to meet the most exacting requirements.

Our personnel are trained to handle all types of alloys, including polished materials, assuring you of the highest quality products.

Your selection of Ducommun as your stretch forming supplier means you have chosen not only an experienced company, but a very innovative one as well.

This thermal form vacuum box can form
titanium plate up to 3in. thick

Thermal Forming
Thermal Forming is a metal forming process conducted at high temperatures for the production of close tolerance titanium components. Ducommun equipment is capable of forming large components in excess of 20 feet in length.

Titanium alloys (i.e. Ti-6AL-4V) are the popular choice for aeronautical services. Their high-strength to low-weight ratio and comparatively high yield strengths are the basis for their use as an aircraft material in either sheet or extrusion shapes. However, the high yield strengths and low modulus of titanium alloys make them difficult to form at room temperature.

When precisely controlled, elevated temperatures are employed along with specifically designed tooling, dies, and the appropriate forming press; warpage and springback problems are greatly minimized. Also, costly preforming, secondary sizing, hand straightening and extensive machining to achieve the final contour are usually unnecessary.

In 1970, Ducommun became a pioneer in the development of the vacuum box for forming large titanium plates up to 3 inches thick. The parts are removed from the vacuum box with clean and smooth surfaces. The contoured shape is produced by a combination of heat, (usually 1150 deg F to 1400 deg F) and vacuum pressure. The compound contours can be so exacting that additional surface machining is eliminated.

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