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A review of common nondestructive tests

June 13, 2006

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Five types of nondestructive testing are common for tube and pipe weld inspection, and each has advantages and disadvantages that may make one more suitable than another for your inspections.

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Flushing out four-letter words: rust, dirt, and wear (Part II)

June 13, 2006

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A tubular assembly is cleaned in an Alliance Aquamaster CD-3000 rotary-drum cleaning system with wash and heated blowoff. The drum is constructed of stainless steel and includes spiral flights and part "kicker" bars. Photo courtesy of Alliance Manufacturing Inc., Fond du Lac, Wis....

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Envelope, please!

June 13, 2006

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Bud Graham revisits his January/February column on problems that plague tube mills (or nearly any manufacturing company, for that matter) and shares some reader feedback. Also, he provides the runners-up and winner of a caption contest for a photo that also appeared in the January/February issue.

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Die building

June 13, 2006

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In any stamping process including progressive dies, transfer dies, or line dies, three factors are essential to consider when processing a piece of flat metal into a finished part: What is the metal? What is the metal's thickness? What are the part tolerances?

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SUVs: A profit center in flux

June 13, 2006

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As oil hovers around $60 per barrel, SUVs aren't that cool anymore. Many view them as dinosaurs, remnants of '90s excess that have no place in a thriftier, more environmentally conscious century.

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Saving money by spending on safety

June 13, 2006

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Although the upfront costs of installing machine safeguards can be expensive, it is far more expensive to put your company at risk for employee injury and the resulting medical expenses, lost production, fines, and lawsuits.

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Introduction to Tube Hydroforming

June 13, 2006

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Under the right circumstances, hydroforming can be a viable, cost-effective manufacturing process. Tube hydroforming often produces stronger structural components than can be achieved with more conventional methods. This article explains tube hydroforming, describes its evolution, and discusses the factors that should be considered when deciding whether to use the process.

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Die Basics 101: Part VIII

June 13, 2006

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Figure 1 Part VII of this series introduced two basic types of metals used to manufacture stamped parts—ferrous, metals that contain iron, and nonferrous, metals that do not contain iron. This article discusses the specific mechanical properties of these metals in more detail.The metal's...

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Measuring the plastic strain ratio of sheet metals

June 13, 2006

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Determining how much a metal can deform before thinning or fracture occurs is necessary for designing a reproducible forming operation. Testing the incoming sheet material is also essential because material properties may vary from coil to coil and affect the part quality and scrap rate. Understanding a material's plastic strain ratio and how to measure it are crucial in accurately establishing a material's formability.

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Warm forming titanium parts

June 13, 2006

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Senior Editor Eric Lundin visited a fabricator that specializes in aircraft components, M-DOT Aerospace, to learn how the company uses warm-forming of titanium to manufacture a cradle for an auxiliary power unit, or APU. Understanding titanium's characteristics is the key in forming this durable, corrosion-resistant, tough material.

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Not a one-stock shop

June 13, 2006

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After years of working in fabricating and machining, Shawn McFadden struck out on his own to start a fabrication shop, which later evolved into a custom motorcycle shop. He doesn’t use the latest CNC machines with digital readouts and other state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. He uses manually controlled machines and ingenuity.

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The wiper die's feathered edge

June 13, 2006

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The mechanical aspects of rotary draw tube bending haven't changed since modern tooling was developed 50 years ago. Likewise, the role of the tooling (mandrel, pressure die, bend die, and wiper die) hasn't changed. However, tube fabricators these days have many choices in regard to the tooling, especially wiper dies. Choices include material, rake angle, and whether the wiper die's feathered edge is fully machined or honed by hand.

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A closer look at self-piercing riveting

June 13, 2006

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Self-piercing riviting, an alternative sheet joining method, is being used more to join aluminum sheets. The finite element method can be employed to study the SPR process and joints, perhaps even leading to the elimination of physical testing of these mechanical joints.

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Implementing Press Automation

June 13, 2006

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To compete in a global market, all stampers need adapt their manufacturing processes. By mixing automation with electronic controls, job shops can increase output and exceed past manufacturing goals.

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What associations really do

June 13, 2006

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Ever wonder why associations exist—what purposes they serve and why people join them? This article explains just what an association is, traces the history of associations, and describes how these organizations benefit members and the general public.

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