Extruded aluminum tubes are turned into seamless or non-seamless tubes through a hot extrusion process. While there is a distinctive difference between seamless aluminum tube and non-seamless tube, the former is closely similar to structural pipes.
Each of them has pros and cons. This is an important consideration when choosing your option in relation to the task at hand. Here are some of the advantages seamless extruded aluminum tube has over others.
No weld seams
Most non seamless aluminum tubes have weld seams and that’s not the case with seamless tubes. They don’t show any marks of welding.
Preferred option for pressure vessels
The structural design and features of seamless aluminum pipes makes them ideal for the development of pressure vessels. Allowable working pressure and corrosion resistance are some of the factors you must consider when designing pressure vessels. Joint efficiency and design temperature must also be achieved in the process. All these qualities are possessed by seamless aluminum tubes and that explains why they’re preferred.
Less chances of splits
Weld seams increase chances of aluminum tubes splitting. Aluminum alloy seamless tube have no weld seams and therefore has very minimal chances of splits happening. If such happens, it could lead to major damages. The inexistence of seamless tubes makes the aluminum extruded pipes ideal for the role they play.
Increased structural integrity
Heavy structures that carry heavy load increase chances of collapsing or losing their ability to operation at optimum levels. When that happens, the structure is said to have reduced structural integrity. Seamless aluminum tubes have been designed to stay at optimum leaves despite the weight of its structure and load. This means efficiency and more output.
Increased structural integrity also reduces safety issues. Structures that lose their optimal ability when factors like weight, pressure, and temperature changes also have poor outputs. Besides, chances of hazards happening increase.
How To Produce Extruded Seamless Aluminum Tube?
Extruded seamless aluminum tubing process is complete by indirect extrusion. A short rod is used under higher temperature at a slow paced extrusion process. The slow speed aids with temperature control. During the extrusion process, aging time is adjusted accordingly and this is based on the diameter of the tube’s wall.
It’s also important to note that unlike structural tubes, the billet doesn’t separate when manufacturing seamless tubes. This explains why seamless aluminum extruded tubes have no weld seams.
Ideally, the seamless aluminum tube manufacturing process starts by heating the billet and putting it into the extrusion press. The billet is then put into the extrusion container. After that, a mandrel is pierced through the billet. The tip of this mandrel has a very significant role in the formation of a seamless aluminum tube.
Seamless Aluminum Extrusion Tube Shapes And Alloys
Our first consideration is seamless aluminum round tube. These tubes have three parts including the wall, inner and outer diameter. Inner and outer diameters are commonly referred to as ID and OD respectively.
Our next point of focus will be seamless aluminum square tube. These are used for structural applications as well. Their light weight and good strength as well as corrosion resistance attributes make the shape a desirable one. For that reason, its production levels continue to increase but subject to the manufacturer’s production mix decisions.
In most cases, alloys 2024, 5052, 5083, 7075, 6060, 6061, and 6063 are used to produce seamless aluminum tubes. This is partly because of the role these tubes play. They offer structural support, are used to make automotive accessories, and other critical applications. The alloy has special features that allows the tubes to deliver its mandate well.
Extruded Seamless Aluminum Tube Applications
Hydrogen storage for hydrogen fuel vehicles
The fact that hydrogen is of the lightest gases in the world means that it can easily leak even through the tightest of spaces. Seamless extruded aluminum tube used as hydrogen gas storage tube has enough thickness between the inner and outer diameter.
This thickness is enough to prevent leakages and breakages. As a result, the light gas is kept inside the tube safely. Large diameter aluminum seamless tubes are used to store as much hydrogen as possible. Even at that, the manufacturers have to factor in the lower and upper flammability limits of the gas.
That will help prevent pushing hydrogen to its blow off limits. Extruded aluminum is also non sparking. This helps prevent irritating the gas past its blow off limits. That way, the vehicle user will move around safely.
Air separation systems
The difference in temperatures for gases forms the basis of their separation. The process used is referred to as fractional distillation. This process heats the gases and they are separated when one reaches its boiling points.
Another gas harvested during the separation is oxygen. This is important for the steel industry and is also required in huge amounts. Large diameter seamless aluminum tubes are utilized in the process to make the most of it.
The third gas sought for through the fractional distillation process is nitrogen. It’s an important one for inert gas functions. Besides, it has the biggest contribution of all the gases separated. Other gases sought after include neon, xenon, and krypton. But these ones are found in small amounts.
Seamless aluminum tube is a very important material in the separation process. Its thermal and electrical conductivity features make it one of the most suitable in the game. The separation process starts by turning the air into liquid.
Liquified air is passed though the seamless tubes and the warm lower bottom completes the separation process. These large aluminum tubes have the heat well spread at the lower part and this helps separate argon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Once a metal reaches its boiling point, it leaves for collection.
Aluminum extruded seamless tubes also play an important role in the storage of gas. The extruded metal is preferred because of its improved ability to deal with friction and wear characteristics. Gas cylinders are mostly made using aluminum alloy 6061.
The high thermal conductivity and low density of aluminum makes it a suitable material for gas storage. Besides, the metal has high density and excellent castability which allows it to serve its function effortlessly.
Seamless aluminum metal plays an important role in the construction industry. The tubes are specially designed and fixed together to form strong solid structures. In offices, the seamless aluminum metal is used to partition the building.
Drawn Seamless Aluminum Tubes
Extrusion isn’t the end of seamless aluminum tubes production. The tubes can be drawn further to manufacture more defined seamless tubes for different purposes. During this conversion process, a number of things are considered. There must be a reduction in the wall thickness. This is achieved by reducing the outside diameter.
The drawing process may be repeated several times to make very thin seamless tubes. The repetition also turns the tube into a malleable structure that can be converted into almost anything the manufacturer wishes.
The end product aluminum is mostly used in the aircraft and aerospace industry. Aviation and plant machinery industries require more of these drawn seamless to make specialized plane parts and other machinery. Besides, malleability enables the manufacturers have an easy time meeting client needs because the drawn aluminum is easy to deform and turn into the desirable shape.