Fingers align tubes for perfect joining
Perfect welding of tubular components requires lining them up and keeping them lined up during the process
Problem: . Clamping tubes side by side in a vice has a strong tendency to squash them and render them oval. Even then, gripping is along a line contact only so there is always a chance that something will slip.
Solution: The German company Orbimatic has come up with an internal clamping system which ensures a perfect line up every time with no need for adjustment or possibility of error.
The 'OrbiLine' system uses an expandable internal mandrel. When the handle at the end protruding from the pipe is rotated, two sets of inclined fingers are axially forced towards each other. As they are moved inwards, the fingers act on the insides of clamp elements, pushing them outwards and pressing them against the inside diameter of the pipe. This ensures alignment of the parts to be welded. A range of accessories allows the system to be used to clamp up inside long lengths of tube and pipe.
Also designed into the clamping head is a series of holes that may be used to distribute backing gas to the weld joint area. As the gas is applied directly to the joint area, purging times are drastically reduced as is gas consumption.
When the welding cycle is complete, the system is un-clamped and extracted from the tube. Un-clamping retracts the fingers so that the system may easily be retracted pass the weld, even when this includes an internal weld bead.
Applications: Such an internal clamping mechanism is useful is lining up any tubes or pipes which have to be joined by any means or otherwise processed or assembled. TS
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