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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tube bending

Tube and pipe basics: How to achieve the perfect bend

February 24, 2014

Although tube bending technology has evolved significnatly over the years, the process still boils down to four factors: the material, machine, tooling, and lubrication.

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Technology Spotlight: Quick-release hose clamp seals 360 degrees

January 13, 2014 | By Eric Lundin

Need to connect a flexible hose to a rigid metal nipple? The worm gear clamp has been the standard for decades, but they aren’t ideal for the soft, thin-wall tubing used in aircraft environmental control systems.

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Shortening the concept-to-market timeline for tube fabricators -

Shortening the concept-to-market timeline for tube fabricators

September 2, 2013 | By A. Erman Tekkaya, Dr.-Ing., Armin Schmidt, Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing., Bernd Engel, Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing., Christian Gerlach, Dr.-Ing., Christian Mathes, Dipl.-Ing., Christopher Kuhnhen, Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing., Matthias Hermes, Dr.-Ing., Michael Rohrmann, Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing.

Fabricators have quite a few bending processes to choose from—rotary draw, compression, hydraulic ram, and so on—and the variety of bent components is infinite. Matching a process to a specific application isn’t easy, and only will become more difficult as the use of tube and profiles continues to spread. This paper shows how fabricators can classify bend criteria to determine the optimal process.

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Process Pipe Welding

Process pipe welding: Filler metal options to improve productivity and quality

August 6, 2013 | By Joe Ryan, Keith Packard

When welding process pipe, welders need to determine which wires can provide the most appropriate results for every weld pass—root, fill, and cap—and be certain that they are selecting the highest-quality filler metal.

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Heavy equipment manufacturer

Better tube bending cuts production time, improves consistency for heavy equipment manufacturer

July 8, 2013 | By Eric Lundin

After decades of using an old manual tube bender with no features, Kress Corp. took a huge leap in technology when it purchased a new bender with CNC, full-color interface, and stacked tooling capability. The result is a 10-fold productivity improvement.

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Fabricator brings smiles to Sunshine State -

Fabricator brings smiles to Sunshine State

June 28, 2013 | By Eric Lundin

After his yacht-building business dried up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, entrepreneur Scott Gerber decided to build a simple sculpture from tubing. Based on a basic stick figure, the first one was a fisherman. Gerber placed a few around town, encountered some interest, and suddenly a new business was born.

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Nets to catch and protect -

Nets to catch and protect

June 3, 2013 | By Eric Lundin

When Industrial Laser Systems was asked to fabricate a tubular frame for a military vehicle, it rose to the challenge to cut, makes some holes, bend, and swage the tube ends. The result is a tubular frame that is affixed to the outside of patrol vehicles; combined with Kevlar® netting, the system prevents explosive projectiles from hitting the vehicle, with great success.

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Material handling in a tube cutting process -

Material handling in a tube cutting process

April 30, 2013 | By Dave Erickson

A tube is a tube, as most in the industry would declare. But getting that tube from point A to point B isn't a simple proposition. That's why fabricators need to keep in mind key factors when looking to set up a material handling system for a tube cutting operation.

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CNC tube bender provides precise bends for monocoque frames -

CNC tube bender provides precise bends for monocoque frames

April 17, 2013 | By Eric Lundin

Industrial Laser Solutions, Atlanta, has carved out a niche as a firm that engineers and develops its own products. During the downturn that followed the financial crisis of 2008, the company decided to take on some additional work, and it found itself in the fabrication business. This article tells the story of its first fabrication project, including some problems and practical solutions.

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Conveyor components manufacturer relies on inverse lathe -

Conveyor components manufacturer relies on inverse lathe

April 8, 2013

Mining equipment has to take a beating more so than most other types of industrial equipment. Constant exposure to heat, dust, dirt, and debris means that mining equipment has to be built to last. When the Goodman-Hewitt branch of Joy Global looked to upgrade the machines it uses to make conveyor components for this industry, it looked for a cutoff machine that would hold tight length and squareness tolerances for this severe environment. Its search led it to Hautau Tube Cutoff Systems Inc.

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Bringing new laser cutting, bending capabilities to market -

Bringing new laser cutting, bending capabilities to market

December 3, 2012 | By Eric Lundin

After getting a start in the handrail business in 1990, Sharpe Fabrication Inc. relaunched itself in 1994 as Sharpe Products and started to offer general fabrication services. Two of the company’s investments, a free-form bender and a fiber-optic laser machine, reflect the company’s interest in staying abreast of technology developments.

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Tips for buying a second-hand bending machine -

Tips for buying a second-hand bending machine

September 10, 2012 | By Hartmut Stöhr, Bert Zorn, Jürgen Korte

The second-hand market can be a good source for a used bender, but buyers must be careful. A thorough evaluation of the bender’s capabilities and condition is necessary before making a purchase. Because modern benders are complex and sophisticated, the evaluation is best carried out by the manufacturer, not the buyer. Another option is buying a reconditioned machine from the manufacturer. However, depending on the bending needs, a new bender might be the only viable option.

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Fabricator trades bend-cut-bend-cut-bend-cut-weld-grind-polish-blend sequence for bend- bend-bend-polish sequence -

Combination bender eliminates multiple setups, welding, grinding

September 7, 2012 | By Eric Lundin

SF Tube Inc., a fabricator that does a substantial amount of bending, found itself facing a perfect storm—it had quite a bit of manual equipment, it often had to use two or three benders to make a single component, its bend-splice-weld-grind-polish-blend process for many components was too time-consuming, its shop floor was crowded with machines, and its niche as a specialty bending house meant it was positioned for future growth. A new bender, one that provides both rotary bending and roll bending, eliminated these hassles and has positioned the company to take advantage of growth opportunities.

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The ins and outs of recutting tube -

The ins and outs of recutting tube

September 3, 2012 | By Eric Lundin

A bit about cutting tube and pipe from an interview with Bruce Benedict and Dave Clarke of Production Tube Cutting.

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Undertaking the challenge of tube fabrication -

Undertaking the challenge of tube fabrication

July 16, 2012 | By Dan Davis

The field of aerospace tube fabricating is one marked by difficult-to-form materials and very tight tolerances. As a result, not too many shops are involved in the business. Tube Specialties, Tempe, Ariz., however, has emerged as a go-to shop for this type of challenging work.

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