Tube bending and pipe bending services produce finished parts from tubes and pipes. Tubes are hollow, usually cylindrical objects that are used as flow lines for fluids and gases in pneumatic, hydraulic, process, medical, and food processing applications. Tubes are generally smaller and less rigid than pipes, larger devices that are used in transport systems for fluids and solids in a variety of applications and industries. Tube bending and pipe bending services specify tube size by outside diameter and pipe size by inside diameter. Typically, diameter is measured in inches (in). Although most tubes and pipes are cylindrical, products with oval, round, square, and rectangular cross sections are available. Bendable tubes and pipes are made from materials such as aluminum, brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, nickel alloys, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plastics, titanium, and superalloys. Some tube bending and pipe bending services produce finished parts from products that are made of Inconel® , a nickel-based alloy that contains chromium and iron. Inconel is a registered trademark of Special Metals Corporation.
Tube bending and pipe bending services perform many different bending processes. CNC bending produces tight radius bends, large radius bends, and elliptical bends - all on the same part. Hydroforming uses fluid pressure to form ferrous or nonferrous materials to the shape of a die. Mandrel bending or rotary-draw bending inserts a mandrel into a pipe or tube during bending so that the shape is maintained and the bends are not deformed. Ram bending or pressure bending places a tube or pipe in a die and uses a hydraulic ram that contains the other half of the die to press the tube or pipe. Roll bending uses three powered rollers in a triangular arrangement. Unlike mandrel bending, the inside of the tube or pipe is not supported. Heat bending places an induction coil around the tube or pipe and applies a bending force as the object passes through the heated coil. Sand packing or hot-slab bending packs a pipe with sand, caps the ends, and applies heat. Specialty bending processes include coiling, thin wall bending, and the production of hypodermic or needle tubing. Additional manufacturing capabilities for tube bending and pipe bending services include annealing or heat treating, buffing or polishing, cut-to-length capabilities, roll forming, end forming, end flattening, machining, painting or powder coating, plating or coating, slotting and notching, piercing and punching, swaging, welding or brazing, and the production of telescopic tubes.
Certification and Quality Requirements
Tube bending and pipe bending services are located across the United States and around the world. They meet certification and quality requirements such as ISO 9000, ISO 14000, AS-9100, QS-9000, and ISO/TS 16949:2002. The International Standards Organization (ISO) provides a framework for quality management systems in ISO 9000 and a framework for environmental management, measurement and auditing in ISO 14000. The term "ISO 9000" refers to a family of standards that includes ISO 9000:2000, ISO 9001:2000, and ISO 9004:2000. Similarly, the term "ISO 14000" refers to a family of standards that includes ISO 14000:1996, ISO 14001:1996, and ISO 14004:1996. AS-9100 is a set of quality guidelines and requirements published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in cooperation with major aerospace manufacturers. QS-9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. Both AS-9100 and QS-9000 are based on older ISO standards. ISO/TS 16949:2002 is an automotive standard that supercedes QS-9000 and includes the process approach from ISO 9001:2000. Tube and bending services that meet U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC) and other quality requirements are also available.