Tube and Pipe Fabrication Articles

The tube and pipe fabrication technology area covers sawing (band, circular, and friction) and other cutting processes, such as abrasive, flame, laser, oxyfuel, plasma, and waterjet. It also discusses forming processes, including bending and end forming. Finally, it includes a handful of miscellaneous processes, such as trimming, beveling, finning, grooving, threading, and spinning.

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A big leap into big tube cutting

June 2, 2016

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If Richards Sheet Metal Works had taken the conventional path, it would have invested in a new flat-sheet cutting laser, especially considering its 5-kW workhorse was more than a decade old. But Richards isn’t a conventional metal fabricator. Today it has one of the largest tube cutting lasers in the country.

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What’s new in the tube and pipe industry?

May 26, 2016

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Eric Lundin provides an overview of many of the technologies displayed at the 2016 Tube Düsseldorf expo.

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Advanced GMAW processes help in welding P91

May 26, 2016

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Alloy P91 has excellent high-temperature strength and creep resistance, making it a favored alloy for piping systems for power boilers and other applications that work at elevated temperatures and pressures. The conventional welding processes, gas tungsten arc welding and shielded metal arc welding, do a good job on P91, but modified gas metal arc welding (GMAW) processes and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) have deposition rates three to four times faster.

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Tips on designing tubular parts for bending

April 18, 2016

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Designing components, assemblies, and finished products is one thing; designing them for ease of manufacturability is something else altogether. Designers and engineers can use the tips in this article to design bent tubular parts to be as simple, and therefore as economical, as possible.

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Heartthrob finds a less exhausting way to clean parts

April 18, 2016

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Cleaning the inside of long, bent tubes is a chore, especially when it has to be done outdoors in inclement weather. Nobody knew this better than the staff at Heartthrob Exhaust Accessories, Litchfield, Minn., when they had to use a pressure washer outside during winter months. An ultrasonic cleaning machine brought the process indoors while making it faster and less labor intensive.

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Plasma provides pleasant parting process for pipeline project

March 17, 2016

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Oxyfuel has been the process of choice for cutting and gouging for field repairs for many years, but the crew on the Seaway 2 project found that a prototype model from Hypertherm provided a faster, quieter, more precise process.

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Two bending processes, two directions, four tooling sets, one machine

March 16, 2016

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As design software becomes more complex, and as engineers strive to differentiate their products from those of their competitors by developing increasingly complex, unique, and aesthetically pleasing products, manufacturers have to keep up. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, found that its conventional tube benders weren’t always up to the task, and invested in a twin-head servo-driven machine.

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Swaging a war on piping system leaks

March 16, 2016

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While welding and threading have their place in pipeline systems, mechanical connectors can be a good alternative, especially in applications subject to shock loading, constant vibration, and thermal cycling. Bolt-on flanges are one example; for small diameters, radially swaged connectors can be even better.

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Refueling, repairing, refurbishing, redeploying a supercarrier

February 10, 2016

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Every aircraft carrier is built to last, and the nuclear propulsion systems mean they don’t need port calls to fuel up, but even the most well-built and durable carriers need an overhaul after 25 years at sea. Editor Eric Lundin visited the USS Abraham Lincoln, CVN 72, to learn about the refueling and complex overhaul process from contractor Newport News Shipbuilding.

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Improving 400 series weld seams in tube, pipe production

February 3, 2016

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Chromium is a miracle element when added to iron, combining with oxygen to form chromium oxide, the compound that prevents rust in stainless steels. The downside is that it also impedes bonding, making stainless difficult to weld. Using a flux can help by improving weld quality and allowing faster welding speeds.

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Structural tube fabrication: Getting a solid connection for HSS

February 1, 2016

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One architectural fabricator has developed a connection and fabrication system for the modular construction of hollow structural sections, or HSS. Such connections show just how efficient modular construction can be.

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Acoustic mapping finds defects on tube, pipe ID

January 14, 2016

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Acoustic microimaging has long been used to find inclusions and voids between two bonded tubes or pipes. A new application for this technology precisely measures the wall thickness along the entire length of a tube or pipe.

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Custom-made tube bender handles challenging shapes, eliminates scrap

November 2, 2015

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Exercise equipment manufacturer Cybex International makes workout machines with tubular frames from parts it bends in-house. The company has quite a bit of bending expertise, but one problem it couldn’t resolve was the bending of short lengths. A custom-made bender from Unison provided Cybex with the capability it needed.

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Don’t be drawn in by an offer too good to pass up

September 3, 2015

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Evaluating a new lubricant for drawing tube can be a lot of work, but breaking it down into a series of small evaluations can make it easier to manage. A complete trial involves applying the lubricant, drawing the tube, removing the lubricant, and disposal.

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A little fabricator grows up

September 2, 2015

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Under the stewardship of founders Larry and Gloria Dlouhy, Superior Tube Products grew from a small proprietorship into a midsized fabricator. It is entering its 25th year in business with a new management style, a new strategy, and a new outlook on the future.

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