Tube fabrication, manufacturing finshed parts from tubes and pipes
Tubes are cylindrical, hollow items used in tube fabrication, the size of which is indicated by an outside diameter usually in inches. Pipes are more rigid than tubes, with their size indicated by the inside diameter usually in inches.
Tubes are usually used as flow lines for gases and fluids in the food processing, medical, hydraulic, pneumatic or process industries. Pipes could be used for transporting fluids and solids in many types of industries. Some tubes can be found in square, rectangular, round and oval shapes. Tubes that can be bent are made from carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, polyvinyl choride (PVC), titanium, superalloys, nickel alloys and plastics.
Tube fabrication includes bending. This process develops a curve in the item with a designated degree of bend (DOB).
The degree of bend, the length or position of the bend and the plane or orientation of the bend is some of the information required to complete the tube fabrication process. Other specifications required includes the wall thickness, the outside diameter referred to as the O.D., the inside diameter referred to as the I.D. and the radius of the bend.
Tube fabrication tooling can be reduced by opting for the bend radii that is considered a standard size and readily availabe at the tube fabricator of choice. Also opting to use the same radius for several bends will reduce set-up costs for tube fabrication.
Tube fabrication includes swaging, beading or flaring, also referred to as end forming, are processes used to interconnect tubes or eliminate the need for connectors. Swaging reduces or increases the end diameter by using a compressive force to reshape the tube. The medical, automotive, aerospace, and commercial industries utilize swaging in the tube fabrication process.
Tube beading is used in the fabricatiton process to amplify the efficiency of a connection and to lessen vibrations in exhaust systems or fuel systems. Tube flaring increases the efficiency of liquid or air tight connections in the automotive, aircraft, cooling, hydraulic or heating industries.
Once the tube fabrication process is completed, the end product can be heat treated, annealed, buffed, polished, powder coated or plated.