For auto exhaust repair professionals, the pipe expander is an essential tool. In order to repair or install exhaust systems, the repair professional often begins with stock parts that must be adapted to custom sizes in order to finish the job. The tubing expander also allows the repair professional to stock fewer numbers of tubing sizes and adaptors, thus reducing inventory overhead costs, and creating a more efficient and productive repair centre.
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Manual Tubing Expanders
Manual tubing expanders function well for the do-it-yourself auto mechanic, or the shop that completes a minimal amount of exhaust repair. The manual expander fits into the end of the receiving pipe, and with the turn of a wrench, will expand the inner diameter of the exhaust pipe to accept the new part. While expanding a metal pipe could weaken the tensile strength of the materials (because the expanded pipe will be clamped over another part), the two become essentially one piece of metal tubing. This process eliminates any concerns over weakening, which may occur in the expanded tube. These tools typically retail for less than £32.
A more versatile solution for the busy exhaust repair facility is an air-powered expander that will adapt into the existing shop's compressed air system. These models are typically bench-mounted, or come mounted onto a portable cart. In addition to expanding tubing, pneumatic systems can also create custom-bent exhausts hangers, ball joints and many other essential exhaust system replacement parts. Portable and cart-based models range in price between £650 and £1,625.
Hydraulic Pipe Expanders
The most efficient model of pipe expanders, hydraulic expanders create smooth, fast, custom-made pipe joints. These cart- and bench-mounted tools grap the pipe firmly, and the hydraulic ram slides into a pipe, enlarging the diameter in one smooth motion. Hydraulic tubing expanders can be purchased for £975 to £4,225.
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