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Flow forming technology has emerged as a promising, economical metal forming technology due to its ability to provide high strength, high precision, thin walled tubes with excellent surface finish. This paper presents experimental observations of defects developed during flow forming of high strength SAE 4130 steel tubes. The major defects observed are fish scaling, premature burst, diametral growth, microcracks, and macrocracks. This paper analyzes the defects and arrives at the causative factors contributing to the various failure modes.

Leakage from the top of a fire-extinguisher case, made of 1541 steel tubing and closed by spinning was observed during testing. Three small folds were observed on the surface by visual examination and one was sectioned. A very fine transverse fissure through the section was revealed. Streaks of ferrite were observed by metallographic examination. It was concluded that cracking of the top of the fire-extinguisher case was the result of ferrite streaks formed due to metal overheating. The temperature of the metal was recommended to be controlled so that the spinning operation is done at a lower temperature to avoid formation of ferrite streaks.

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