Create a Better Joint and Insert Tubes Faster with these Pre-Expansion Tools

Some of the most overlooked best practices of tube expansion involves the use of pre-expansion tools. In order to create a better mechanical joint and prolong tool life, it is important that the appropriate pre-expansion tools are used.

Tube Hole Gauges

Tube hole gauges make it easy to accurately measure tube IDs and tube sheet holes. Accurate measuring of tube holes ensures that tube expansion requirements are being met. Rolling to the required wall reduction is vital in creating a proper mechanical joint. Proper mechanical joints ensure that the vessel is built to applicable engineering standards and to maintain the efficiency and safety of the vessel.

Tube gauges are also useful for measuring tubes before and after expansion. These measurements will make sure you are achieving the required wall reduction.

Tube Sheet Hole Brushes

It is important that tube hole surfaces are free of debris and minor scratches in order to have a properly prepared tube hole surface. A tube sheet hole brush can aid in the cleaning of these ID surfaces by removing dirt & deposits from tube sheets in surface condensers and heat exchangers. Clean tube sheet holes help to minimize the possibility of leak paths during expansion.

Grooving Tools

Grooving Tools, also known as Serrating Tools, can be used in milling or drilling equipment for OEM tube sheet hole preparation. These tools provide consistent diameter and depth of grooves in the production of the machined tube sheet holes.

Tube Pilots

Tube Pilots, also known as Tube Guides, are used to pilot replacement tubes through tube sheets and tube support plates that are commonly found in heat exchangers and surface condensers. Tube pilots consist of an aluminum tapered nose attached to a replaceable nylon brush. The nylon brush fits in the end of a tube, centering and holding the pilot firmly in place. Additionally, the brush cleans the tube where it will be rolled. The tube guide head is designed with a shoulder for the tube to rest against, eliminating the possibility of belling the tube end as the guide pushes through the support plates.

Overall, there are a wide variety of pre-expansion tools that can be used to increase expansion quality and prolong tool life.