tube expanders from 1/4"OD up to 5.0"OD.
3 and 5 roll configuration.

The selection process

This page is just a general look at the different sizes and configurations available. On the right side of this page there are links to the various models and the selection will be based on the Tube Outside diameter (OD), Inside Diameter (ID),Tube wall thickness and the thickness of the tube sheet. Also, you will have to take into consideration if a tube projection is required out side of the tube sheet and any procedure required if step rolling is necessary.

Tube expanders of different size and configuration.

principles of tube expanding

Tube Expanding is the art of reducing a tube wall by compressing the O.D. of the tube against a fixed container, such as rolling tubes into tube sheets, drums, ferrules or flanges. To assure a proper tube joint, the tube wall must be reduced by a predetermined percentage. The following chart can be used for determining the correct tube wall reduction.

The chart below shows a typical 3/4” – 16 gauge tube. Before rolling this tube you would find the proper rolling dimension as shown.

  • A.    First determine the tube hole size.
  • B.    Then determine the tubes outside diameter.
  • C.    Subtract the tube outside diameter from the tube hole dimension.
  • D.    With a tube gauge, determine the inside diameter of the tube before rolling.
  • E.    By adding the dimension found in “D” to the clearance between the tube O.D. and the tube hole, you will then know the tube’s inside diameter at metal to metal contact.
  • F.    Roll the tube to what you feel is a good tube joint. This example was rolled and then the I.D. of the tube was checked
    with an accurate Tube Gauge.
  • G.    By subtracting “E” from the rolled diameter you determine the actual amount of expansion (tube wall reduction) on the inside diameter of your tube. This can be converted to a % of wall reduction by dividing the actual wall thickness (“B minus D”) .130” into the amount of roll .009.

You can use this chart to your advantage by predetermining both the % of wall reduction required and the actual inside diameter which should be rolled. After the completion of “E” you realize any additional increase of the inside diameter of the tube will result in actual wall reduction. Since the amount of wall reduction greatly determines the quality of the tube joint, you should arrive at the % required for your application prior to tube rolling.

By subtracting the tube inside diameter “D” from “B”, you determine actual wall thickness. This example would therefore be .130”. If you then take the 7% wall reduction times the wall thickness, you arrive at .0091”. Adding .0091” (“G”) to .627” (“E”) we get “F” the inside diameter of the tube after rolling (.636”).

Tube expanders of different size and configuration.

The complete document on tube rolling procedures can be found here:

The 2017 condenser tube expander catalogue is available here via this link: