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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Feeding the process - TheFabricator

Feeding the process

July 9, 2010

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Whether a bending process starts with a cut length of tubular product or a coil, gravitational or torsional forces can lead to unwanted variations in the finished product. In the case of gravity, tube supports can counteract it; for torsion, it’s a matter of matching the coil’s output to the bender’s input.

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Small components, big plans - TheFabricator

Small components, big plans

June 4, 2010

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Since its start as a supplier of a single fabricated item in 1936, Zeman Manufacturing Co. has expanded its fabricating services to include all manner of cutting, bending, end forming, and finishing processes. In response to growing competition from companies in low- cost-of-manufacturing countries, it took a journey down the lean path and became a nimbler company in the process.

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tube cutoff machine

Doing more with less

April 29, 2010

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Loading and unloading tube for fabricating often is a manual process. Because labor rates in the U.S. are higher than those in many other countries, manual loading and unloading isn’t competitive. Using an automatic loader/unloader can change that, moving an operation from red to black.

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standard tooling

Selecting the right mandrel and wiper

April 1, 2010

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Tube bender operators could rely on complex mathematical formulas and rules of thumb, but it’s much quicker to use a tooling chart. This sort of chart lists the two main bending criteria, D of bend and wall factor, on the X and Y axis, respectively. However, these charts have just two axes, and usually are based on bending mild steel to 180 degrees. Tube bending comprises many more variables, materials, and bend angles. Knowing how to make adjustments to compensate for additional factors is critical for successful bending.

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tube benders unannealed

No need for annealing

February 9, 2010

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Tube benders work with unannealed material and deliver better-performing products to customers.

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vertical compression benders

Making a workhorse run

February 9, 2010

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Vertical compression tube benders have been around for more than 50 years (see Figure 1). Historically associated with high-volume bending, these benders continue to play a role in production environments where parts have just one or two bends. Also known as press benders, they have stood the...

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Manufacturing motorcycle mufflers

Manufacturing motorcycle mufflers

September 15, 2009

Like all manufacturers, Woodsage Industries is always on the lookout for a better way to manufacture the many components it produces for OEMs. It recently devised a way to make one-piece external muffler shells for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

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manufacturing motorcycle mufflers.jpg

Manufacturing motorcycle mufflers - Fabricator finds improvement with rotary swaging

September 1, 2009

Like all manufacturers, Woodsage Industries is always on the lookout for a better way to manufacture the many components it produces for OEMs. It recently devised a way to make one-piece external muffler shells for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

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mandrel basics extractor application

Shaping profits with a mandrel extractor

September 1, 2009

Using a mandrel is helpful for maintaining a tubes profile when bending. Without a mandrel, bending forces tend to distort and flatten tubular workpieces.

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To think 'in tube'

August 1, 2009

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A tube laser spurs a shop to think about design and metal fabrication in a new way.

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bending nonround tubing.jpg

Bending nonround tubing

August 1, 2009

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While bending round tube and pipe involves many variables and challenges, the difficulties in bending nonround shapes are more numerous and complicated. Among the most common shapes are square, rectangular, and oval (elliptical and flat-sided). None react to the bending force in the same way that round shapes do, so understanding how the material reacts is the first step in learning about bending nonrounds.

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marman bead.jpg

Making a 20-degree Marman bead

July 20, 2009

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Two forming methods can make a bead for an airtight seal on a metal tube: rotary (spin) forming and progressive ram forming. Each has advantages and disadvantages in bead profile, cycle time, amount of wall thinning, and so on.

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photogrammetry measurements

Focusing on bent tubing

June 29, 2009

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Measuring the bends and straight sections of a bent tube can be tricky and time-consuming, especially if the tube has a large number of bends in several directions. Photogrammetry, also known as optical measurement, uses a booth equipped with several digital cameras to make a digital image of the part, allowing fast, easy measurements.

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orbital welding unit

Orbital welding technology breaks new ground

June 4, 2009

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Automated orbital welding technology has evolved to the point where one welding system can perform multiple processes and adapt welding parameters in real-time.

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teeing up orbital welding

Teeing up orbital welding

June 3, 2009

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Two technologies improve the quality and decrease the cost of fabricating high-purity systems, such as those used in the food and beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor industries. These two techniques are mechanically formed T connections and orbital welding. A common question is this: Can orbital welding be used on mechanically formed T connections? The answer is yes, but fabricators need to understand the limitations and restrictions of this combination.

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