Group Rhodes is delighted to announce it has been granted patents in Europe and China, adding to its already extensive intellectual property protection of its industry leading Superplastic Forming (SPF) and Diffusion Bonding (DB) technology.
This technology, which is used in the production of large, complex components can involve the diffusion bonding of multiple layers of titanium sheet at selected points, which in turn can then be superplastically formed using inert (argon) gas to inflate the sheets into the shape of a hollow die. This process is extremely temperature and pressure sensitive and allows for the creation of much more complex shapes, no spring back and significantly higher elongation in comparison to other traditional metalforming methods.
At the point the ambient temperature argon forming gas is admitted into the heated component, the gas expands, increasing its volume and hence its pressure if not adequately controlled. The new Group Rhodes patent enhances the control of this process by compensating for atmospheric pressure.
Applied extensively to the lightweighting of components within the aerospace and automotive industries, Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding play an integral part in performance improvement, carbon reduction and effective implementation of low-emission technologies.
Speaking on the achievement, Technical Director Peter Anderton commented: “This new innovation serves to enhance Superplastic Forming accuracy, reduce scrappage and improve productivity. The recent grant of patents in the new geographies of Europe and China reinforces Group Rhodes’ position as a leading global provider of this technology.”
Group Rhodes has been at the forefront of developing and manufacturing the SPF/DB process for over forty years and actively manufactures and markets its state-of-the-art machinery to both domestic and global markets. The company boasts extensive capabilities in the design, development and manufacture of bespoke equipment and providing turnkey solutions.
Rhodes is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2024 and is proud to nurture a dedicated workforce in a traditional yet dynamic manufacturing environment.