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Pros and cons of commercial specifications for tubular products

February 10, 2016

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Modern, mass-produced tube and pipe products come in three main varieties: extruded, welded, and drawn over mandrel. The standard specifications that apply to the most common type, welded, occasionally come under scrutiny. Are commercial tolerances tight enough? Editor Eric Lundin captured a discussion on this topic at TPA’s 2015 conference, Pipe & Tube Lincoln (Sept. 23, Lincoln, Neb.)

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Refueling, repairing, refurbishing, redeploying a supercarrier

February 10, 2016

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Every aircraft carrier is built to last, and the nuclear propulsion systems mean they don’t need port calls to fuel up, but even the most well-built and durable carriers need an overhaul after 25 years at sea. Editor Eric Lundin visited the USS Abraham Lincoln, CVN 72, to learn about the refueling and complex overhaul process from contractor Newport News Shipbuilding.

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Improving 400 series weld seams in tube, pipe production

February 3, 2016

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Chromium is a miracle element when added to iron, combining with oxygen to form chromium oxide, the compound that prevents rust in stainless steels. The downside is that it also impedes bonding, making stainless difficult to weld. Using a flux can help by improving weld quality and allowing faster welding speeds.

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Industry 4.0 arrives in Düsseldorf and in the manufacturing sector

January 27, 2016

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The term Industry 4.0 has been a frequently used buzzword for several years, but these days it’s more than a buzzword: It’s a reality, and it has begun to make inroads in the tube and pipe industry.

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Cutting processes displayed and debuted at FABTECH®

January 27, 2016

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A tour of FABTECH revealed that many changes are afoot regarding cutting, especially among laser manufacturers. Editor Eric Lundin provides an overview of some of the technologies that were display at the 2015 expo.

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Sound waves determine weld soundness

January 19, 2016

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Traditional ultrasonic systems use piezoelectric transducers to generate sounds waves and a couplant—a liquid—to provide a pathway for the sound waves to pass from the transducer to the material under test. An electromagnetic acoustic transducer is an alternative technology, one that uses two electromagnets to generate the sound wave in the part to be inspected. This eliminates the couplant, which can interfere with the test process.

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Acoustic mapping finds defects on tube, pipe ID

January 14, 2016

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Acoustic microimaging has long been used to find inclusions and voids between two bonded tubes or pipes. A new application for this technology precisely measures the wall thickness along the entire length of a tube or pipe.

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Not just for analyzing metals anymore

December 17, 2015

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Used for many years to analyze metals, XRF analyzers have been improving over the years. The latest models can detect elements at less than 10 parts per million and are equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, and built-in digital cameras, providing many additional capabilities compared to the analyzers of years ago.

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Using a purge dam to cut welding time for UHP applications

November 4, 2015

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In welding high-purity and ultrahigh-purity piping systems, quite a bit of the welder’s time is idle, time spent waiting for the purge system to remove the oxygen from the system. Most purge dams mark or scratch the pipe’s ID, neither of which is acceptable on HP and UHP systems. This led to the development of a purge dam specifically for these applications.

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Custom-made tube bender handles challenging shapes, eliminates scrap

November 2, 2015

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Exercise equipment manufacturer Cybex International makes workout machines with tubular frames from parts it bends in-house. The company has quite a bit of bending expertise, but one problem it couldn’t resolve was the bending of short lengths. A custom-made bender from Unison provided Cybex with the capability it needed.

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Small-scale laser cutting for stent, tube fabrication

October 27, 2015

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Metal fabricators have been using CO2 lasers for decades and fiber lasers for years, but these technologies aren’t optimal for making the ultrafine features needed for medical devices such as catheters and stents. Femtosecond disk lasers recently have emerged as a viable technology for such applications.

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Electropolishing applications and techniques

October 27, 2015

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Electropolishing isn’t necessarily a standalone process; it often complements mechanical finishing. This article examines how two processes provide levels of smoothness, cleanliness, and corrosion resistance beyond those provided by mechanical finishing alone, as it applies to stainless steel base materials.

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Detecting steel tube and pipe corrosion using SEM analysis

September 8, 2015

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Although the causes of corrosion have been researched and documented, advanced tools are helping to expand the understanding of corrosion behavior. Magnification by a scanning electron microscope and analysis by energy dispersive spectroscopy are modern tools that help to improve the understanding of corrosion mechanisms.

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Don’t be drawn in by an offer too good to pass up

September 3, 2015

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Evaluating a new lubricant for drawing tube can be a lot of work, but breaking it down into a series of small evaluations can make it easier to manage. A complete trial involves applying the lubricant, drawing the tube, removing the lubricant, and disposal.

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A little fabricator grows up

September 2, 2015

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Under the stewardship of founders Larry and Gloria Dlouhy, Superior Tube Products grew from a small proprietorship into a midsized fabricator. It is entering its 25th year in business with a new management style, a new strategy, and a new outlook on the future.

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