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Tube Forming

A reliable source for Tube Forming information and leading Tube Forming Companies

Tube forming processes are often difficult to separate from tube fabricating processes, since fabrication processes are essentially secondary operations that shape, bend, enlarge and cut tubes. Read More…

Tube Forming Tube forming can refer to several processes that are used to form raw metal materials into tubes.
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Leading Manufacturers

New Berlin, WI  |  800-879-4418

Founded in 1990, Sharpe Products is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company specializing in industrial and commercial pipe and tube bending, laser cutting, end-forming or other custom fabrication services. In addition, we offer a robust line of architectural handrail fittings and accessories such as brackets, connectors, disks, end-caps, flanges, newel caps and spheres.

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Sharpe Products $$$

Davenport, IA  |  563-285-1914

Tube fabrication is our mainstay. Designing, engineering, tube cutting, tube bending, tube end forming, slotting, welding and CNC machining bring your project to realization. We maintain a diverse customer base—retail (fixtures, displays), sporting goods, medical, office furniture, automotive, agriculture.

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Superior Tube Products $$$

Allegan, MI  |  269-673-6636

Allegan Tubular offers experienced tube bending, tube swaging, tube fabricating and many more services in carbon steel, aluminum, copper, brass and stainless steel. Our cnc machining center and our cnc bender cut costs on processes and maximize our capabilities, so bring your most difficult jobs to Allegan!

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Allegan Tubular Products, Inc. $$$

Baton Rouge, LA  |  225-355-8891

For over 40 years, Metal Works has specialized in metal fabrication and manufacturing. We offer pipe and tube bending, coiling, custom springs and bending of structural steel shapes. We also fabricate architectural structures, playground equipment and roller coasters.

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Metal Works Corporation $$$

Louisville, OH  |  800-860-8823

H-P Products, Inc., is North America's leading supplier of air system tubing components with our products used in almost every industrial market, as well as in retail stores, banks, and hospitals. Fueled by integrity and small-town values since 1945, H-P Products has been committed to manufacturing high-quality products that are delivered on time.

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H-P Products, Inc. $$$
placeholder image Sharpe Products Superior Tube Products Allegan Tubular Products, Inc. Metal Works Corporation H-P Products, Inc.

The different tube forming processes are often intermixed and both can be essential to creating the desired tube. For example, tube rolling is technically a tube forming process because it produces tubular parts through heat curing materials that have been wrapped around a circular mold.

Tube swaging, on the other hand, is technically a form of tube fabricating because it is used to reduce or increase the diameter of tubes rather than change the actual tube formation. However, both of these processes can and often do fall under the heading of tube fabrication. Tube forming processes are essential to many industries, as tubes are used in a wide range of diverse applications.

Some examples include: industrial manufacturing, for parts such as heating elements, hydraulic cylinders and heat exchangers; marine and naval, for masts, telescopes and launcher tubes; architecture and construction, for steel handrails, grab bars and floor flanges; and automotive for fuel lines, exhaust pipes and other power transmission applications.

Although there are numerous tube forming processes, there are two that are considered to be the most common: tube rolling and tube extrusion. As one of the two main processes in which raw materials are used to form a tube, tube rolling involves three main steps: cutting pre-impregnated materials and rolling them around a mold or mandrel; wrapping the mandrel in a sleeve or film to eliminate retained air; and heat-curing, after which the mandrel can be removed from the formed hollow tube. The other main process is through extrusion, which is more complex.

In order to begin extrusion, a round metal billet is pressed by a ram through a die, which is a hollow profile that shapes the metal into a specific extruded shape as the billet is squeezed through. Tube forming often requires high temperatures. Hot extrusion is the process in which the metal is fully plasticized by heat; this is often performed in a vacuum in order to avoid oxidation. The metal can be extruded through the die using two different methods of extrusion: indirect extrusion and direct extrusion.

In direct extrusion, the die is held stationary while the ram pushes the metal billet through the die opening. In indirect extrusion, the die is held stationary as the hollow ram moves into the stationary billet from one end, forcing the metal to flow through the die. After the metal tubing has been extruded, it is straightened by a stretcher into the desired length of tube.

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