Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From Rounders Bats to Royal Navy Warships

When we think of Royal Navy Warships, we think of their damaging capacity and rich history more than their technology. However, technology has a monumental part to play in ensuring the Navy Warships are safe and effective. Customised 2m stainless steel tubes are used for Royal Navy type 45 Destroyer Warships. These tubes and their customisation reduce the rotation that is caused by the seas movement. This is integral for the ships to operate at maximum efficiency and safety. The process used to ensure this? A process called tube end forming.

At the other end of the scale, believe it or not, tube end forming is used to produce children's sports equipment. Ever wondered how metal rounders bats are made? Look no further. Tube end forming is used in the production of rounders bats, creating a firmer, more durable bat. This means that the sport is being actively influenced by Tube end forming and its benefits.

What is Tube end forming?

Tube end forming is a process in which a tube of any material is altered at its end to achieve a specific functional or aesthetic effect. The tube can be flared outwards, pinched inwards, expanded outwards; tapered...the list goes on. These varied individual tube end forming all serve a purpose, but specifically seem to be important within the engineering and technological world.

The companies that create tube end forming contribute largely to our development of engineering and technology, and indeed to everyday life. The amount of different products generated by tube end forming is astonishing, uses from engineering and machinery parts to the putting together of marquees and tents!

What is the significance of varied Tube end forming?

Tube Endings come in various different forms from expanded tube endings, which are used to fit on different parts in machines to tube end reduction, which is used for tube layering. This allows tubes of different materials to be reduced into each other causing a 'sandwich' effect.

Micro tube end forming can be immensely useful, used to alter tubes less than 2 mm in diameter.
This can be used to create effective needles for IV fluid in the medical world and also can be used to make throttle components for jet engines.

All of these different types of tube end forming enable engineers and designers alike, to produce and create innovative technology and indeed develop current patents making them easier to produce. For example, if 2 or 3 components of a machine can be replaced with something as simple as a modified tube end then this will save money on production, increase efficiency of the machine or product and even increase profit with money being saved in the production process.

What materials are used by tube end forming?

The answer is just about anything. The materials can all be customised to different tube ends, to name a few; aluminium, brass, carbon steel, copper, kovar, nickel and ni alloys, rodar, stainless steel and titanium. With this range of materials available, we can see how the uses of tube end forming and the variation of things they can be used in is vast.

Tube end forming is found all over the UK and indeed the world.

Tube end forming can be found in a number of different industries, mainly technology and engineering based, but a few that would certainly surprise you. The eclectic nature of the business is shown in this list of different industries it is used in:
  • Aerospace and Aircraft
  • Air Compressor
  • Air Conditioner
  • Automotive
  • Beverage
  • Electronics
  • Engine
  • Gas and Appliance
  • Heat Exchanger
  • OEM
  • Utilities (Power/Sewer/Water)

This is just a list of the more practical uses for tube end forming. There are other uses for this process which can be used even artistically. Last year in the 2012 Olympics, tube end forming was used to make the absolutely iconic Olympic torch. Made of 204 flared and customised tube ends or 'petals', the torch represented a beacon that toasted not only the Olympic Games coming to the UK but the celebration of the possibilities of engineering, customisation and design.

Contributed by:
Dean Ronnie

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