What is Tube Fabrication? Process, Types, and Application

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In the bustling universe of manufacturing and engineering, tube fabrication stands as an indispensable cornerstone. Encompassing a vast array of techniques, tube fabrication facilitates the shaping, forming, and joining of tubes, culminating in parts and components varying in size, complexity, and shape.

This blog post will immerse you into the fascinating world of tube fabrication, elucidating the process, various types, and its far-reaching applications across multifarious industries.Fasten your seatbelts, and prepare for an enlightening journey into the intricacies of tube fabrication!

tube fabrication

Understanding Tube Fabrication

Tube fabrication is a collective term representing a group of processes utilized to shape or mold tubes into specific forms. 

The processes used in tube fabrication are typically automated and make use of advanced machinery such as CNC tube bending service machines, steel tube forming equipment, and pipe bending service tools. By employing these technologies, manufacturers can ensure accuracy, efficiency, and a high level of reproducibility, which is vital in mass production scenarios.

Materials Used in Tube Fabrication


steel tube fabrication

One of the most commonly used materials, steel is known for its strength and durability. It is often used in steel tube fabrication, where the final products are required to endure high stress, such as in automotive and construction applications. In addition, there’s a subset – stainless steel pipe fabrication. Stainless steel, with its additional corrosion resistance, is perfect for use in environments exposed to water or chemicals.


aluminum tube fabrication

Lighter than steel but still robust, aluminum is ideal for applications where weight matters. Hence, it’s frequently used in aluminum tube fabrication and aluminum pipe fabrication, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries.


Owing to its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, copper is a top choice for copper pipe fabrication and copper tube fabrication. You’ll often find it in electrical components and HVAC systems.


pvc pipe fabrication

Plastic materials, like PVC, are chosen for their corrosion resistance, light weight, and lower cost. PVC pipe fabrication is common in plumbing and drainage systems.

Shapes of Tubes in Tube Fabrication

Tube fabrication presents us with an array of possibilities when it comes to the shape of tubes. These different shapes offer a variety of mechanical and aesthetic properties that are critical in a broad range of applications. 

  • Round Tubes
  • Square Tubes
  • D-shaped Tubes
  • Rectangle Tubes
  • Flat Oval Tubes
  • Teardrop Tubes
  • Custom Shapes

Types of Tube Fabrication Processes

1. Tube Bending

tube bending

Tube Bending is a crucial part of the tube fabrication process that modifies the shape of tubes to create smooth, wrinkle-free bends.There are several types of tube bending techniques used depending on the requirements of the application:

  • Mandrel Bending: This method involves inserting a mandrel (a metal rod or ball) into the tube to support its shape during the bending process. Mandrel bending is often used when a tight radius is required, and the tube’s cross-sectional area must remain intact. Applications include the automotive industry, where exhaust and intake systems benefit from the smooth flow achieved through mandrel-bent tubes.
  • Roll Bending: Roll bending uses three roller dies to shape the tube. The tube passes through the dies multiple times until the desired bend is achieved. This method is ideal for creating large-radius bends and is extensively used in industries such as shipbuilding, automotive, and construction.

2. Tube Cutting

Tube Cutting

Tube Cutting involves sectioning tubes to precise lengths and dimensions. This step precedes other fabrication processes like bending and end forming and has a direct impact on the final product’s quality and functionality.

There are several methods of tube cutting, each suitable for different situations:

  • Laser Cutting: This technique uses a high-powered laser beam to melt, burn, or vaporize the material, resulting in precise cuts with a high-quality finish. Laser cutting is ideal for complex shapes and high-volume applications, commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries. Learn more about laser cutting here.
  • Saw Cutting: Saw cutting is a traditional method that uses either a band saw or a circular saw to cut the tube. While not as precise as laser cutting, saw cutting is cost-effective and ideal for simple, straight cuts. It is commonly used in construction and metalworking industries.
  • Plasma Cutting: Plasma cutting involves using a jet of hot plasma to cut through the metal tube. It is primarily used for cutting thicker sections of tubes and for applications that don’t require high precision. You can read more about plasma cutting here.

3. Tube End Forming

Tube End Forming

Tube End Forming is a critical fabrication process that involves altering the tube’s end to meet specific design requirements. It’s a broad category that includes any operation altering the tube’s end shape or adding features like threads, notches, or holes. This process enables tube connections and closures, which are crucial in many applications like plumbing, automotive, and HVAC systems.

  • Flaring: This technique widens the end of the tube to allow it to be connected with a matching flared fitting
  • Beading: Beading forms a raised or recessed line around the tube end, often used to hold hoses or other tubes in place.
  • Bulging: This method expands the tube end to create a bulged shape, often used for connections. 
  • Swaging: Swaging involves reducing the tube’s end diameter, typically to allow an easier connection with another tube. 

4. Tube Coiling

Tube Coiling

Tube Coiling is a specialized procedure in tube fabrication that involves bending tubes into helical or spiral shapes. This process is primarily employed to manufacture springs, cooling coils, or any other product that requires a coiled tube form. 

The tube coiling process begins with straight lengths of tube, which are then guided through a series of rollers or benders to create the desired coiled shape. Precision is critical in this process, as any deviation from the specified measurements could impact the final product’s performance.

5. Tube Assembly

Tube Assembly is the subsequent step after all the fabrication processes, where the shaped, cut, and formed tubes are assembled into a final product. This step is essential to the overall production process as it combines the individual components into a functional unit, often using techniques such as welding, brazing, or riveting.

Common tube assembly methods include:

  • Welding: This method involves using heat to join metal parts together. There are various welding techniques, including MIG (Metal Inert Gas) and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas), each with their specific advantages and applications.
  • Brazing: Brazing involves the use of a filler metal with a lower melting point than the parts being joined. The filler metal flows into the gap between the parts by capillary action and forms a strong bond as it cools.
  • Riveting: Riveting is a mechanical method of joining parts together using a rivet, a metal pin with a head at one end. The other end is deformed after insertion, holding the parts together.

Applications of Tube Fabrication

Tube Fabrication parts

Tube fabrication finds its application in various industries due to its ability to create custom shapes and designs that cater to unique industrial requirements. Here are a few industries where tube fabrication plays an integral role:

  1. Office Furniture: The role of tube fabrication in office furniture production is crucial. It’s used to create various components like desk frames, chair bases, filing cabinets, and shelving units. 
  2. Agriculture: It’s used in constructing robust frames for machinery, greenhouse structures, irrigation systems, and various tools. The durability and weather resistance of fabricated tubes are vital characteristics for this industry.
  3. Fitness: Gym and fitness equipment such as weight machines, treadmills, and bicycle frames often rely on tube fabrication for their construction.
  4. Retail: Tube fabrication contributes to retail structures like display racks, shelves, carts, and stands. The ability to create custom shapes and sizes is critical in meeting the unique needs of each retail space.
  5. Construction: In construction, tube fabrication is used for scaffolding, supports, railings, and various equipment. 
  6. Lighting: Tube fabrication plays a role in creating different lighting fixtures, from sleek modern chandeliers to outdoor lamp posts.
  7. Outdoor Power: In outdoor power equipment like generators, pressure washers, or lawn mowers, tube fabrication is used to create various structural components. These tubes can withstand the rigors of outdoor use, providing reliable and long-lasting equipment.
  8. Lawn & Garden: Tube fabrication contributes to the creation of various lawn and garden tools and structures, such as trellises, garden arches, or hand tools.
  9. Precision Measuring: Whether it’s for the frames of precision scales or components of advanced measuring devices, the need for accuracy and consistency makes tube fabrication indispensable.
  10. Medical: Intricate components for surgical tools, medical machines, and hospital beds are just a few examples where tube fabrication’s precision and versatility are paramount.


In conclusion, tube fabrication plays a vital role across a vast range of industries, from office furniture to medical devices, contributing to the creation of reliable, durable, and versatile products. Its processes offer an unmatched combination of accuracy, flexibility, and durability, meeting the needs of diverse applications and specifications.

Are you in need of customized tube fabrication services for your business? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today. We’re committed to providing high-quality solutions that meet your specific needs. Partner with us and discover how our tube fabrication services can enhance your product’s performance and longevity. Contact us today to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is tubular fabrication? 

Tubular fabrication is a collection of processes used to shape, form, or join tubes for different applications. These processes include bending, cutting, end-forming, assembly, coiling, and welding.

What is the difference between a pipe and a tube? 

The main difference between a pipe and a tube is how they are measured. Pipes are typically measured by their internal diameter, while tubes are usually measured by their external diameter.

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