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What is End Forming?

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What is End Forming?


Tube end forming is the process whereby tube ends are flared, reduced machined and shaped into various configurations. In tube manufacturing and processing, tube end forming is a critical component which allows the tube to be joined as necessary to many other components. It also can be a process used to cap, seal or terminate a tube for a particular application. End forming often follows the tube bending process and in some cases can even be a part of that very same bending and forming process.

 

One of the main purposes of end forming in tube and pipe fabrication is to link two pipes together in some way, shape or form.  Typically, you are either EXPANDING one pipe end to fit over another, or REDUCING one to fit inside another.

 

These tips will help design engineers to compensate for potential problems with the end forming process:

 

Wall changes: As the formation become more extreme, the wall of the tubing can thin (expanding) or thicken (swaging). The percentage of change will be based the severity of the formation.

Spring back: This is the condition in which metal, when formed or bent, wants to return to its original state or condition. Spring back is a major consideration when selecting end formation tolerances. A shape can be formed exactly, but when the force of the tooling is removed that material will spring back more or less based upon the physical properties of the material.

Distances: Extremely long or extremely short end formations can cause issues during forming. For example, a swage can be easily ram end-formed, but if the distance is longer than the stroke of the machine, then a specialty process and equipment called rotary end forming is required. This method is far slower and costly.

Angles: Be cognizant of transition angles when designing shapes. Extremely long or short angles, or radii can present a challenge in forming.


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