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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GTAW

GTAW electrode selection and preparation

April 25, 2011

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Selecting the right tungsten electrode, and preparing it to match the welding process, aren't just good ideas to maximize welder productivity. They are necessary to prevent weld defects and all the time necessary for troubleshooting and rework.

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Copper tubing part diagram

Ironing the wrinkles out of copper tubing

March 10, 2011

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A wiper die is helpful for making wrinkle-free bends. Understanding how one works can help you decide if you need to use one.

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Plasma cutter

Tube, pipe cutting equipment - Part II

March 10, 2011

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Lasers have been in use for industrial purposes for decades, and their capabilities continue to develop. Many machines these days can cut sheet and tubular sections, and fabricators are finding that the laser’s programmability really broadens their capabilities.

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9 questions about tube bending software - TheFabricator.com

9 questions about tube bending software

February 1, 2011

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Bending simulation software offers a way to improve workshop efficiency. It can save time and money as well as reduce the risk of accidents or damage.

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Get the slug out - TheFabricator.com

Get the slug out

January 31, 2011

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Punching a hole in a tube is one thing; getting the slug out is something else altogether. Even if most of the slugs exit without a problem, the occasional hanging slug can cause a serious problem. Two methods are mechanical force and air pressure.

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Tube, pipe cutting equipment-Part 1 - TheFabricator.com

Tube, pipe cutting equipment - Part I

January 24, 2011

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Tube and pipe cutting advancements include saws that are programmable to cope with varying cross sections and a variety of material hardnesses; a rotary axis for waterjet cutting; and automation.

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Tube bending with no straights? No problem - TheFabricator.com

Tube bending with no straights? No problem

November 1, 2010

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A Wisconsin tube shop invests in an unusual, freeform bending technology that can bend tube sections with no straight sections between bends. Different radii requires no tool changeouts or complex tooling setups. Instead, an operator changes the code in the controller.

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Tube bender

All-electric, multisense tube benders enhance design freedom for OEMs, add flexibility for job shops

October 21, 2010

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Challenged with shorter product life cycles and increased global competition, OEMs and job shops are looking for more flexible design and production equipment. All-electric, multisense tube benders are designed to meet their needs.

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The axis of safety - TheFabricator.com

The axis of safety

September 16, 2010

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A tube bender can be considered a collection of power presses and, as such, it needs more than just a few conventional barriers between the operator and the machine. Safety mats, interlocked switches, emergency-stop switches, and interlocked side plates are a few of the safety devices available to machine tool manufacturers.

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Cold sawing turned inside out - TheFabricator.com

Cold sawing turned inside out

September 10, 2010

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Cold sawing, widely used for cutting tubes, pipes, bars, and profiles for decades, has evolved steadily over time through advances in materials, coolants, coatings, tooth forms, and cemented carbides. However, new tube, pipe, bar, and profile materials are harder to cut than conventional materials, so some factors such as sawing speed and noise haven't improved much. A new machine and blade design has the potential to help fabricators substantially.

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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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