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Old 02-19-2016, 11:06 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Default Flow Forming - flowing metal via rivet gun

A thread is now begun on Topic of moving sheet metal into shapes by way of a pneumatic rivet gun.

Note: Since this is aviation procedure, I will stick to the terms used there.
Form blocks (car guys: hammer forms)
clamping
hot working (car guys: hammer welding)
planishing
annealing
I'll try to address each nomenclature variation in turn, as they arise.

(Note: Aviation has an unbroken lineage back to the first aeroplanes, circa 1900 - unlike automotive, which has been broken twice - for the space of two World Wars.

Having a rivet gun is helpful.
P1010049 copy.jpg

For 20 ga steel and heavier, I like this one, to start with.
5X flow form gun_w_gooseneck handle.jpg
5X Gooseneck, CP-old style, iron handle, heavy in the hand - absorbs the impact and stays on target just like the old rotary S&W 9" .44mag.
I add a twist-knob air valve to the air inlet, a swivel for the air hose, and I am a ready-teddy.

Above this level are the black hats - and one Cleco E5, below. The handles are either offset/pistol grip, or gooseneck - allowing wrist/forearm inline with impacts.
(note: during the US national riveting competition, 1944, the winner was a man from Northrop, using a gooseneck 4x gun - don't know the gun mfr and cannot quite remember the craftsman's name.)
Heavy Flow.jpg
Serious players, with some built up by me and others, modified. One 5X gooseneck CP-new style was NOS Northrop. Very tight tolerances. Wrong lube and it seizes.

Richard_9X, Sierra, nacelle.jpg
Richard is a welder with multiple certs: highpressure-pipe, aviation metals, structural, refinery, etc. He is a very capable talent from Sierra Industries and I thoroughly enjoy his company. He is holding a CP-old style 9X gun that is modified to a 12X hit. We are working up a nacelle lip skin from .063 2024. It is great fun.

But it is more fun with two guys - and when the part is large and the metal has to be flowed a great distance.
P1080174.jpg

This takes several minutes because we are increasing the internal edge-circumference by 31%.
nacelle_heat treated_final finish_ready.jpg
Nacelle lip skin is finished, heat-treated, profile-checked, age-hardened, and meets thickness, surface and flatness specs.


On a simpler level, :::

Make a wooden form block and wrap the .040 3003 all the way around it:
Air horn_1.jpg
Clamps slip off while you rattle away on it... so get used to putting them back on.
air horn_2.jpg
Like herding cats.
Air horn_3.jpg
Swoop in the shape where it needs to swoop...
Air horn_4.jpg
Be creative.
air horn_5.jpg
Weld the halves, dress them off and you have your carb air horn on your radial engine cowling.
- rivet gun is a Cleco E5, tools by TM Tech
(http://www.tinmantech.com/products/h.../flow-forming/ )

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Last edited by crystallographic; 02-19-2016 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:35 AM
skintkarter skintkarter is offline
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Inspiring stuff as ever Kent!
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Old 02-20-2016, 04:47 AM
Oldnek Oldnek is offline
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I need to have a go at flow forming, looks very effective at moving metal quickly.
Nice post up Kent,
Just a ?
Is the rivet gun the same as our Air Chisel. To me they look the same or is strokes per/min and hammer length different.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:39 AM
Gsmith Gsmith is offline
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Kent
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and some of tools.
You are a true craftsman.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:35 AM
BTromblay BTromblay is offline
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Hi,
A aircraft rivet gun is different that a zip gun / muffler cutter. A rivet gun will have slower beats per minute and will hit much harder. Aircraft rivet guns come in several sizes from 2x to 4x are the most common. You can find even bigger like a 7x or a 9x. The sizing works like this, a 2x will have a light hit, used for small diameter rivets in thin aluminum, 3/32 dia rivet in .020 aluminum. If you shoot rivets like 5/32 dia in .04 aluminum you would use a 3 or4x gun and so on. You can find them on ebay, aircraft spruce, and several other aviation stores. I like goose neck guns the most, but they are getting harder to find. A good source is the Yard store, look them up on line. They rebuild air tools and get many in from the OEMS or airline industry. You can buy used tools with a fresh rebuild at a good price.

For the flow forming that I have done, I use my 4x gun. For heavy material and roughing in the part, I will start with my 9x gun.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:18 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldnek View Post
I need to have a go at flow forming, looks very effective at moving metal quickly.
Nice post up Kent,
Just a ?
Is the rivet gun the same as our Air Chisel. To me they look the same or is strokes per/min and hammer length different.
Naahhh, two different air motors, as Bill Tromblay mentions.
The zip guns/air chisels/panel rippers do not have distinguishable "hits" - they buzz. And, more importantly, they are not nearly as adjustable/controllable.

Like Bill says, for .032 and .040 - .8 and 1.8mm - aluminums, the 4X is fine.

Rivet gun size in numerical X = hard (Dural) aluminum rivet dia. in 1/16" - 1.5mm, so, a 4X gun will set a solid hardened aluminum rivet of 4 X 1/16" diameter = 1/4inch.

(A pavement breaker can be used for 1/4'' copper .... )
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Last edited by crystallographic; 02-20-2016 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:21 PM
elavir elavir is offline
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How can you tell the difference between a rivet gun and an air chisel. A few weeks ago I bought( yes is it a gun or a chisel) one on a motorcycle market which was for cutting sheets I was told. The brand is Rodac.

Cheers Richard.
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Old 02-20-2016, 07:04 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elavir View Post
How can you tell the difference between a rivet gun and an air chisel. A few weeks ago I bought( yes is it a gun or a chisel) one on a motorcycle market which was for cutting sheets I was told. The brand is Rodac.

Cheers Richard.
Rodac made some good tools. I have a 3/8 air ratchet and a couple of sanders mfd by Rodac. They did make air chisels and they made rivet guns.

Plug it into some compressed air, put in a chisel, push against a "disposable target" and pull the trigger. If it buzzes/growls/burps then it is a chisel.
If it goes bap-bap-bap it is a rivet gun.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:42 AM
elavir elavir is offline
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Hi Kent,

Thanks for the explanation, now I know it's a chisel.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:08 AM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elavir View Post
Hi Kent,

Thanks for the explanation, now I know it's a chisel.
Yeehaw!
The quick/sure tests are the best ....
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