Steel tubing is typically manufactured through a process called tube manufacturing or tube forming. The specific method used can vary depending on the desired shape, size, and properties of the tubing. Here is a general overview of the common processes involved in steel tubing manufacturing:
- Raw Material: The process begins with the selection of appropriate raw materials, which are typically steel billets or steel coils. These materials should have the necessary chemical composition and physical properties suitable for the intended application.
- Tube Formation: There are several methods used to form steel tubing, including: a. Seamless Tube Manufacturing:
i. Piercing: A steel billet is heated and pierced by a piercing mill to create a hollow tube called a shell.
ii. Rotary Sizing: The shell is further elongated and shaped to the desired diameter and thickness using a rotary sizing mill.
iii. Finishing: The tube may undergo additional processes, such as straightening, heat treatment, and surface finishing, to meet specific requirements. b. Welded Tube Manufacturing:
i. Electric Resistance Welding (ERW): Two edges of a steel strip are heated and pressed together to form a longitudinal weld. The strip is then passed through a series of rollers to shape it into a tube.
ii. High-Frequency Welding (HFW): This method is similar to ERW but utilizes high-frequency currents for the welding process, resulting in a stronger bond.
iii. Laser Welding: Laser beams are used to weld the edges of a steel strip to form a tube. This method allows for precise control and is often used for high-quality tubing.
- Sizing and Shaping: After the tube is formed, it may undergo further processing to achieve the desired dimensions, shape, and tolerances. This can involve passing the tube through sizing or shaping rolls or using additional cutting or forming operations.
- Finishing Operations: Various finishing processes are performed to improve the surface quality, remove any imperfections, and enhance the tube’s properties. These may include processes like heat treatment, straightening, cutting, deburring, and surface coating or plating.
- Testing and Quality Control: The manufactured steel tubes are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure they meet the required standards and specifications. This may involve non-destructive testing, such as ultrasonic or eddy current testing, as well as dimensional inspections and mechanical property testing.
- Packaging and Distribution: Once the steel tubes pass the quality control checks, they are usually cut to specific lengths, bundled, and packaged for shipment to customers or further processing, depending on the intended application.
It’s important to note that different manufacturers may employ variations of these processes, and specialized applications may require additional steps or specific manufacturing techniques.