Patent Number: 6,305,202

Title: Rotatable stuffing device for superplastic forming and method

Abstract: Superplastic forming equipment and processes featuring a rotatable, low-friction stuffing unit for engagement with a blank sheet of superplastic formable metal to optimize the quantity or amount of material that is drawn onto a forming die for improved part forming. The stuffer is rotatably mounted in a chambered upper tool of the forming equipment and is offset from the forming profile of the lower forming die. The rotatable stuffer physically contacts portions of a blank sheet of heated forming material as the upper tool is lowered and effectively pulls the sheet material into the working area and around portions of the profile of the forming die in an intermediate or preforming phase of forming operation. With increased material in operative position in the die, the wall of the formed part will be intact and meet design specifications.

Inventors: Kleber; Richard Murray (Clarkston, MI)

Assignee: General Motors Corporation

International Classification: B21D 26/02 (20060101); B21D 26/00 (20060101); B21D 026/02 (); B21D 009/10 ()

Expiration Date: 10/23/2018