Metal products, anything from steel through any of the common copper alloys are manufactured in a host of different shapes and sizes. Depending upon the finished product and its unique shape characteristics it is prepared for delivery. The common shapes are solid round bar, solid square bar, hollow pipe, hollow square and rectangular tubing, rolled shapes and flats either in bar or sheet form. Small diameter copper tube is delivered as a level wound coil which is a unbroken length of tube which has been wound in layers and is produced in standard and jumbo bare coils and standard level wound coils on a cardboard reel.
The standard level wound coil tube is from 6 to 28 mm in outside diameter whereas the jumbo coils have tubing OD of 18 to 40mm. The tubing which is wound on cardboard reels is 6 to 20mm in diameter but the shipping weight does not exceed 150 Kg; standard and jumbo coils can be as heavy as 560 Kg.
Once the coils of tube have been produced and wound either on a reel or bare center, they are loaded horizontally onto pallets for shipping. Although the tube can be paid out in the manufacturing process from a vertical attitude, it is common practice to pay the tube out as received, horizontally. This increases the manufacturing efficiency of whatever product is being produced from the tube; it also reduces any distortion stress. When the tube is paid out as received there is no need for any further handling steps which help to prevent physical damage to the tube from handling equipment.
Level wound coils are used extensively for heat transfer applications in the refrigeration industry. The coils are also used in the manufacture of tube bends, electric water heaters, cable lugs and electrical fittings. The beauty of coil to the product manufacturer is the elimination of scrap which is something difficult to avoid when using straight, short lengths of the same tube spec.
Level wound coil goes through a number of steps in manufacturing. It starts out as a billet from a continuous caster, the billet is extruded and then the raw result is cold drawn a number of times until it reaches the final dimensions. In some cases the finished tube is heat treated before it is level wound for shipment.
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