Induction heating is the preferred solution for tube and pipe manufacturers looking for more effective, cost-efficient heating technology. Whether you are involved in hot bending, weld stress relieving, heat treating, coating or brazing, induction heating may be the ideal approach for your operation.
- Tube and pipe coating and curing
Ambrell induction heating solutions are a fast, efficient choice for all stages of the curing operation. In preparation for coating, induction heating can be used to remove surface moisture from pipes, preheating the pipe to the correct temperature for coating.
In addition to requiring less floor space than traditional furnaces and ovens, induction systems offer ergonomic benefits, are environmentally friendly, and have the unique capacity to selectively heat only portions of a tubular product. Beyond these operational benefits, induction heating also delivers a higher quality coating solution. Unlike furnaces that rely on heating the coating first, induction heats the metal substrate beneath the coating – curing the coating from the inside out – leaving the surface soft and allowing solvents to evaporate and any outgassing to occur.
- Pre- and post-weld heating
With the use of more thin-wall steel alloy pipes in today’s oil and gas pipelines, manufacturers and installers are turning to the fast, accurate and uniform heating of Ambrell induction heating systems.
During the process of butt welding, induction heating is commonly used to preheat the joint area to 150-200°C (302-392°F) to prepare the area for a consistent quality weld. After welding, the joint area is heated to 600-650°C (1112-1202°F) for thermal stress relief of the weld area. Traditional gas flame and resistance heating systems are often impractical when these higher temperatures are required. Not only are they too slow to meet the cycle times demanded by the industry, but also the heating can be inaccurate and can lack uniformity around the full circumference and bandwidth of the weld joint.
- Hot pipe bending
Induction heating is the preferred heating method for bending of larger thicker walled pipes due to the narrow band focused heating offered by the induction process with the resulting higher quality bends with lower ovality and wall thinning than other bending methods.
Because of this quality and accuracy, induction hot pipe bending is the preferred alternative to traditional fit-and-weld procedures, and can help companies meet the rigorous safety demands of the chemical and energy industries. Ambrell induction heating systems are available in the frequency and power levels to optimally heat any pipe for hot bending. Typically, induction hot bending is used on pipes from 2” (50mm) to 36” (915 mm) diameter, with wall thicknesses from Schedule 5 up to 2.5” (64mm).
- Drill pipe heat treatment
Induction heating offers many benefits over flame or resistance heating during the manufacturing processes in drill pipe heat treating and welding of the tool boxes onto the pipe ends including:
- Consistency: Heat is generated within the part for precise, rapid, even heating
- Quality: Temperature variations that are seen in flame heating are eliminated
- Productivity: Faster heating enables single-part processing
- Safety: No exposed flame for a safer working environment
- Economy: Heat is applied only where it is needed
- Brazing diamond or carbide inserts onto oil and gas well drill bits
In drill bit manufacturing operations, multiple tool inserts (typically between 40 and 60) are individually brazed onto a single drill bit. These inserts may be a polycrystaline diamond compact (PDC) or tungsten carbide inserts (TCI)
Induction heating is an excellent technique for pre-heating the drill bit to 600°C (1100°F) in preparation for the torch brazing of the diamond inserts.
Drill bits come in a range of different sizes ranging from 8-20” (203-508mm) diameter. It takes 10-30 minutes for the heat to fully soak through the drill bit, which prepares the insert area for the brazing process. The torch is then used to raise the temperature of each individual joint to 790°C (1454°F) to flow the braze.