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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Selecting a welding frequency

December 11, 2003

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Early power supplies for contact and induction welding for tube production, which were introduced in the 1950s, operated at 300 to 400 kHz. Modern power supplied, introduced in the 1990s, are variable from 200 to 400 kHz. While using any frequency in this range can produce acceptable welds for most applications, finite element analysis can be helpful for finding the optimal frequency for a particular gauge and material.

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Laser tube processing

November 20, 2003

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The introduction of lasers to the manufacturing process has changed the fabrication of tubing. Today, many manual processes can be replaced with laser processing techniques. Using the flexibility afforded by lasers, a bundle of raw tubing can be loaded into a laser tube cutter; parts can be cut with high accuracy, quality, and speed; and then finished parts from the machine can be sent directly to the final assembly.

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Zero to sixty in the blink of an eye

November 20, 2003

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The engine roars to life, and Bruce Van Sant inches the motorcycle forward, stopping about 25 feet from the starting line. Alan Geetings, crew member of the Van Sant racing team, sprays the asphalt with water. Bruce revs up the engine. The engine's torque breaks the rear tire's grip on the asphalt and it spins furiously. The air is suddenly filled with a cloud of smoke and the smell of burning rubber. After heating the tire, Bruce approaches the starting line.

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Six-axis tube laser adds new dimension to job shop

November 20, 2003

Since its founding in 1988 as a stamping job shop, the Kooima Co.'s equipment and services have evolved to meet the changing demands of its customers—always with the goal of providing them with one-stop shopping for all their primary metal fabricating needs.

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Using a gel-type tube lube

October 23, 2003

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As one manufacturer of automotive exhaust assemblies recently discovered, selecting the most appropriate lubricant for a tube bending operation can have a dramatic impact on part quality, workplace cleanliness, and economic efficiency. Although the liquid lubricant it was using was reliable and...

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Using finite element analysis to roll-form tubes

October 9, 2003

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Roll forming is a common method for producing steel tubes. It is a continuous process in which a strip is guided through several sets of rolls that form the strip into the desired shape. After the final shape is achieved, tube edges are welded together to form a closed section. After the welding operation, the tube is sized through another set of rolls to obtain the required diameter.

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Getting a handle on work-related hand injuries

September 25, 2003

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The hand is one of the most complex parts of your body. It enables you to execute simple or complex jobs that cannot be performed by any other part of the body. Without your hands, it would be extremely difficult to do even those routine tasks that we take for granted every day.

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The wrinkle-wiper for tube bends

September 25, 2003

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A wiper die is a piece of tooling used in tube bending that helps keep the bend from wrinkling. While there are many reasons and ways to use a wiper die in a tube bending maching, you should also know what types are available, their differences, and how to choose the right one for your application.

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low-melting-point alloy

Pour me a mandrel

September 25, 2003

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To reduce weight and cost for all types of products, design engineers often specify tubes and pipes with thinner walls instead of the previously used heavier-walled tubes and pipes. Shorter tube or pipe lengths also achieve the same objectives, but usually they require sharper or more complex bends. These designs make the tube bender's task more difficult.

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Designing an off-road sport truck

August 28, 2003

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The main component in any off-road sport vehicle is the frame. Frames for mass-produced vehicles usually are stamped and welded. These are suitable for most drivers' needs, but for intense off-road driving and competitions, a sturdier frame is necessary.

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Notching tube and pipe

August 14, 2003

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Tube and pipe can be notched with a variety of tools and machines, from saws to plasma cutters. For the hobbyist, the job shop, and the manufacturer, the most common machine tools used for making weld joints are the hole saw, the abrasive-belt notcher, and the end mill notcher.

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The Bold in Arches

June 26, 2003

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The phrase "obstructed view" is probably most connected with older sports stadiums. For example, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, depending on where your seat is, watching Sammy Sosa in action in right field might be replaced by a view of a rusting steel girder.

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The little-known life of the scarfing tool

June 26, 2003

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Who cares about scarfing tools? There are more important things in life. When the beauty pageant contestant is asked what problem she would like to solve, she's more likely to answer "I'd like to establish world peace" than "I wish I could find ways to help scarfing tools last longer."

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Waste not, want not

June 12, 2003

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Any manufacturing process that goes awry can result in waste in many forms, both obvious and hidden. A simple project in which tube is cut, bent, formed, and welded can result in large amounts of wasted money and time if one of the processes goes wrong.

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Batter up! Turning an aluminum tube into a baseball bat

May 29, 2003

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The roar of the crowd, the shouts of the umpire, the crack of the bat hitting the ball—these are the unmistakable sounds of a baseball game. Over the last few decades, however, one of those sounds has changed; now the bat tends to make a distinctive, resonating ping. It's the sound of aluminum rather than wood making contact with the ball.

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