Pipe rolling: stages and technology

The formation of a pipe product suitable for construction needs is not limited to the manufacture of a basic shaped base. To integrate the workpiece into the general network of the plumbing or heating system, an initial calculation of the dimensions of the specific pipe is necessary. But even after preparing a segment suitable for its parameters, a rolling operation may be required. This procedure is necessary to give the product the desired bend. However, tube rolling is different from conventional bending. So, if the pipe is deformed by means of ordinary physical force using plumbing tools, then the output will be a narrowed section that can disrupt the circulation of the serviced medium. This is due to the complexity of rolling and the specific tools for its implementation.

pipe rolling

Technology Overview

This operation is one of the most common in the field of metalworking. It is distinguished by a special technological approach to the implementation of the deformation process. Also, unlike many operations that implement a change in the structure of a rigid material, pipe rolling practically does not imply additional external influences. That is, the procedure is performed purely by mechanical action without thermal radiation or pressure injection. This allows, in the course of rolling, not to change the structural state of the metal and fully maintain its positive qualities. In addition, not only metal, but also plastic, and even rubber products are subject to rolling. Another thing is that softer blanks can be deformed with the help of other machining actions.

Tool to perform the operation

rolling for copper pipes

As already noted, the standard plumbing tools this work can not be performed. That is, in principle, the result is possible, but its quality will be extremely low. Therefore, the masters use a special tool for rolling pipes, which provides an optimal fold line while maintaining the solid basic structure of the material. There are two categories of such tools: manual models and machine tools. The first option is distinguished by a simple design and is designed to perform bends of thin metal pipes.

The machine is more suitable for use in professional needs. With its help, on a stream, qualitatively deformed parts suitable for use in various fields are obtained. At the same time the machine for rolling pipes has several types. They differ mainly in the possibilities of working with one or another pipe diameter. However, there is a classification of the characteristics of materials suitable for rolling on specific equipment.

Stages of rolling

profile pipe rolling

The procedure begins with the cleaning of the place of rolling. The metal in this zone is carefully processed with light abrasives and, if necessary, with chemical compositions. Next, the workpiece is integrated into the place of fixation. At this stage, it is important to ensure high-quality fastening, which will allow to continue the workflow without serious flaws. The place of fixation is usually a platform with holes of a standard size suitable for a specific format of blanks. At the next stage, the active tool is connected to work in the form of a pneumatic or electric screwdriver. The purpose of this device is to mechanically deform. Thus, the rolling of the profile pipe will be performed during the rotation of the nozzle inserted into the internal space of the product. It is very important to choose the right tooling, otherwise there will be a risk of rupture of the pipe surface.

Features of rolling copper pipe

Working with copper, on the one hand, has advantages, since the material is soft and pliable in machining, on the other - it is its plastic structure that imposes on the master a high responsibility. The fact is that the slightest deviation from the normative parameters of deformation can irrevocably spoil the workpiece. Therefore, rolling for copper pipes is a manual mechanical tool with a design that allows you to smoothly change the shape of the product. As a rule, such devices have a screw-shaped handle, the control of which slowly changes the shape of the pipe. Again, high caution in such operations is due to the fact that copper pipes are often used in technological equipment such as refrigerators, air conditioners and split systems.

Features of sheet metal rolling

pipe rolling tool

Externally, the operation of rolling pipes and sheet metal are similar, but the result is a slightly different format of blanks. In this case, the master is faced with the task of obtaining a cylindrical or semicircular segment of metal, which will be distinguished by uniformity, relative smoothness, taking into account the radiality, as well as the absence of hillocks and dents. Such a result can be obtained using forging or sheet bending machines. It should be understood that rolling a sheet into a pipe has another difference from the deformation of finished rolled products. If traditional milling mechanisms mainly work with thin or, in any case, soft materials, then the bending equipment qualitatively serves both stainless steel and galvanized products.

Flaring operation

Flaring is an operation that results in an expansion of the edges of the pipe. This action is required if a particular segment is planned to be connected to a branch pipe of a different size. The procedure is also carried out either by hand-tightening tool or by using automatic equipment. It should be noted that the rolling of pipes often mates with this operation if you need to obtain different parameters of the product at opposite ends. However, another nuance should be taken into account. Frequent mechanical deformation of the metal is harmful to its technical condition.

pipe rolling machine

Technology Applications

Among the main industries can be identified utilities. Engineering systems, in the infrastructure of which pipelines are used, first of all need to refine new pipes and modernize old ones. The technology is also used in narrower areas, among which the manufacture of household and industrial appliances. If for the said refrigerator or air conditioner, tube rolling allows machining of copper with high precision, then equipment for manufacturing areas performs similar operations with stainless steel and even some tool steel alloys.


sheet rolling into tube

Despite the external lightness and simplicity, the implementation of rolling requires a lot of experience. Of course, in some cases, for example, when upgrading an old pipeline, deformation of high precision is not necessary, since its mounting adapters will hide it. But there are other situations where even millimeter bending matters. For example, the rolling of stainless pipes, which will further form the provision of the gasification environment, can only be done on professional equipment. But in this case, you should choose the optimal model of the drum. There are versions that work with aluminum and copper, as well as high-tech installations that can serve in an automated mode, corrosion-resistant and titanium alloys.

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