Seam integrated tubes
Seam integrated tubes are the ideal solution for customers who want the positive attributes of both seamless and welded tubing within the same precision product.
Seamless tubes offer the assurance of a completely uniform structure and are manufactured from an extensive range of materials derived from extrusions or bars. They are made to a broad range of sizes and specifications, with thick or thin walls, and can be made in small or large quantities.
Meanwhile welded tubing offers the benefit of high quality, cost-effective tubing manufactured in large volumes. Tubes made from strips of metal that are cold rolled then welded offer a high degree of tolerance control, and it’s possible to produce such tubing from alloy grades that are less suitable for the extrusion process – either due to quality or cost economics judgement.
Seam integrated tubes
Seam integrated manufacturing employs elements of both the welded and seamless processes. A seam integrated tube is welded in conventional manner but then transferred to our seamless mill, located in the same factory. Here the product is redrawn to achieve a seam integrated finish.
How the welded tube is integrated with the seamless process is very much determined by the requirements of the customer. A range of cold working processes can be used to integrating the weld. The general objective is to achieve homogenisation of the weld following annealing by cold working both the outside and inside diameter of the tube. This refines the structure of the weld resulting in improvements that include
- better corrosion resistance
- improved fatigue life and
- higher mechanical integrity.
Whereas the seamless and welded domains are well delineated in terms of both how the tubes are manufactures and how they’re used, the situation is a little less defined for seam-integrated products. Consequently, at Fine Tubes we aim to fully understand the product characteristics required by the customer when coming up with seam-integrated solutions. We use that information to generate a bespoke specification which is fully shared with the customer, and is used as the basis for production.
Ultimately, our seam-integrated processes will result in one of three different outcomes: a welded and sunk product; a welded and bead worked product; or welded and fully redrawn product.
Seam integrated tube profiles
Welded and sunk
Welded and bead rolled
Welded, bead rolled and roll sunk
Welded and drawn