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Hydraulic Tubes

Fine Tubes is a leading supplier of hydraulic tubes to the aerospace industry where they are deployed in the engines and airframes of both commercial and military aircraft. Our thin wall tubes are used to actuate flight control surfaces such as flaps and slats, and are also crucial components in landing gear and brakes.

The high quality tubes we manufacture provide the extra force required to move large control surfaces that bear heavy aerodynamic loads, and are critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. As such they have a high strength to weight ratio. Their functioning is important when it comes to the operating costs of an aircraft, particularly where fuel consumption is concerned.

Pictorial representation of our hydraulic tubes as deployed in the engines and airframes of the aircraft Airbus A320

Fine Tubes is one of only a handful of tube mills worldwide qualified to produce the titanium tubing used for the high pressure hydraulic system of the Airbus A380. The A380 system operates at 5,000psi as opposed to the standard 3,000psi of previous commercial airliners. There is approximately 1km of hydraulic tubing in each Airbus A380. The use of titanium provides a weight saving of 42% compared to the equivalent quantity of traditional stainless steel tubing. We are also involved in the development of high pressure hydraulic tubing for the A350XWB.

Here are some key milestones in our history in aerospace hydraulic tubing:

1982 Fine Tubes was the first EEC producer of seamless titanium 3AL/2.5V hydraulic tubing.
1999 We supplied the Eurofighter programme with titanium tubing for hydraulic systems and the EJ200 engine.
2002 Fine Tubes began manufacture of seamless Ti 6Al/4V tubing for hydraulic control systems.
2006 We became a qualified supplier of Airbus A380 with Ti 3AL/2.5V for 5000psi hydraulic systems.

Fine Tubes supplies high temperature hydraulic tubes as straight lengths primarily in the following grades:

Titanium - 3Al2.5V, 4Al2.5V, CP Grade 2
Stainless steels - 21-6-9 (welded), 347, 321, 304/304L
Nickel alloys - 75, C263, 600, 625, 718 (high temperature)

Sizes of our hydraulic tubes range from 5mm to 38.1mm outside diameter and we can supply to imperial or metric standard measurements.

Current projects at Fine Tubes demonstrate our commitment to continuous innovation. We are currently working on the development of new, higher strength grades of titanium for hydraulic systems.

Fine Tubes is one of the few tube mills worldwide to have achieved NADCAP approvals including AS 7114 for nondestructive testing, and AS 7102 for heat treatment and the mechanical/laboratory testing of tubes.

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