Condenser Tube Expanders

The world standard on tube expanders

Airetool heat exchanger and condenser expanders have long been recognized as the standard to which all other brands are measured. The extra time spent manufacturing Airetool expanders results in consistent performance and incredible durability that OEM Heat Exchanger Manufacturers expect.

Series AN Expanders from Airetool

Series AN Expanders

  • "AN" expanders have 1" (25.4mm) long rolls and will accommodate tube sheet thicknesses from 1/4" to 1" (6.3 to 25.4mm).
  • Captive mandrel retained on the rear of the cage instead of an acorn nut on the tip of the mandrel.
  • Heavy duty mandrel for improved durability.
Series G-800 Expanders from Airetool

Series G-800 Expanders

All G-800 Series tube expanders are supplied with a flip collar with a 10-32 UNF auto-lube port. The flip collar allows for flush and recessed tube rolling. The standard expander is supplied with a recess of 1/8" (3 mm). Other recess lengths are available.

Series G-900 Expanders from Airetool

Series G-900 Expanders

O.D. Range: 1/4 — 3/8 Inches (6.3 — 9.5 mm)

  • Expander with 3/4 in. (19.0 mm) long rolls will accommodate tube sheet thicknesses from 1/4 in. to 3/4 in. (6.3 mm to 19.0 mm)
  • Expander with 1-1/4 in. (31.7 mm) long rolls will accommodate tube sheet thicknesses from 3/4 in. to 1-1/4 in. (19.0 mm to 31.7 mm)
Series G-1200 Expanders from Airetool

Series G-1200 Expanders

All G-1200 Series tube expanders are supplied with a flip collar with a 10-32 UNF auto-lube port. The flip collar allows for flush and recessed tube rolling. The standard expander is supplied with a recess of 1/8" (3 mm). Other recess lengths are available.

Series G-1300 Expanders from Airetool

Series G-1300 Expanders

O.D. Range: 3/8 Inches, 9.5 mm

  • Expanders with 3/4 in. (19.0 mm) long rolls will accommodate tube sheet thicknesses of 3/4 in. to 3 in.(19 mm to 76.2 mm)
  • Expanders with 1-1/4 in. (31.7 mm) long rolls will accommodate tube sheet thicknesses from 1-1/4 in. to 3-1/2 in. (31.7 mm to 88.9 mm)
Series G-8012 Expanders from Airetool

Series G-8012 Expanders

O.D. Range: 1-3/4 — 4 Inches, 44.4 — 76.2 mm

  • Expanders with 2-1/4 in. (57.1mm) long rolls will accommodate tube sheet thicknesses from 1/2 in. to 4 in. (12.7 mm to 101.6 mm)

NOTE: Step expanding becomes necessary if the tube sheet thickness exceeds the length of the roll. Specify "S" Type rolls for step expanding applications.

Special Tube Expanders from Airetool

Special Tube Expanders

Tube expanders for specific applications, including:

  • Linsen Flaring Expanders — These special expanders are designed for making tubing connections without fittings. Using a drill press, lathe, or other power-driven tool, the Linsen expander enlarges the end of the tube leaving a .015" clearance for slip-fit and soldering of another tube of the same size. Can be used on copper, brass, aluminum, and thin steel tubing. Always specify tube gauge when ordering.
  • SR Expanders — The "SR" Short Reach Expanders incorporate a rapid taper on the mandrel that allows full expansion of a tube with minimum travel of the mandrel. The mandrel is retained at the rear of the expander to shorten the mandrel length which allows use near sharp tube bends. These expanders are made to order so application details must be provided ahead of time.
  • Diesel Engine Expanders — Diesel engine expanders are a special line of expanders designed for rolling the injector sleeves into the heads of diesel engines. Detailed drawings of the injector sleeve and engine head must accompany the order to insure proper design. These expanders are made to order for each application.
  • "PST" Pipe Sizing Expanders — The "PST" Expanders are designed to true pipe ends and enlarge the pipe end diameter in two easy steps, providing the correct clearance between the pipe O.D. and the I.D. of a fitting before making a silver solder or brazed welded joint.
  • Collins Expanders — Collins self-feeding tube expanders are tough, durable, and powerful. These nonparallel rolling, self-feeding expanders are suitable for close quarter tube installation and repair work.
Tube Installation Accessories from Airetool

Tube Installation Accessories

Airetool offers a diverse line of accessories for tube installation, including:

  • GT Serrating Tools — An innovative line of serrating tools that re-defines grooving technology. The GT Serrating tools efficiently cut grooves in tube sheet holes which increases the strength of the rolled joint between the tube and tube sheet.
  • Cleco 135DPV and 15DP Hand Drills — Tool solutions for various applications and materials. For use with Airetool Tube End Facers and push-type tube cutters.
  • Tube End Facers — The Airetool TEF Tube End Facer is ideally suited for facing tube ends on heat exchangers and condensers. Tools can also be used to remove welds until they are flush with the tube sheet during tube removal and re-tubing processes.
  • Flaring Tools — The Airetool FT-515 –60° flaring tools are designed to flare 1/2 - 1-1/2 inch (12.7 - 38.1mm) OD tubes. Furnished with Type 01 or Type 06 round shanks for use with standard chipping hammers.
  • Belling Tools — Pilot end fits tube I.D. with Type 01 shank. Specify tool OD, gauge, radius in tube sheets.
  • Beading Tools
  • Sleeve Type Extensions — Designed for use where tubes are close to the shell of the condenser. Small diameter of female end allows access to these tubes.
  • Extensions with Quick-Change Chuck — Varying extension lengths are used for hard-to-reach tubes. Quick-change chuck enables operator to change expanders quickly. Specify size of square drive and extension length.
  • Universal Joints and Extensions — Designed for hard-to-reach tubes, the universal joint performs smoothly without binding. Specify size of square drive and extension length.
  • One Piece Tube Plugs — Ideal for sealing leaky tubes in condensers or heat exchangers. Just drive a plug into each end of leaky tube.
  • Two Piece Tube Plugs — For sealing leaky tubes in condensers or heat exchangers. The two piece design has more sealing area and reduces the risk of damaging the tube sheet.
  • Hole Gauges — These easy to use inline hole gauges feature three-point contact for self-centering and direct reading scale. All hole gauges furnished with test ring for scale verification. Standard reach tools up to 1" (25.4mm) include carrying case.
  • Tube Sheet Hole Brushes — Tube Sheet Hole Brushes are used to clean and polish the inside surface of the tube sheet holes prior to tube stuffing process.
  • Tube Guides — Tube guides have a tapered aluminum pilot with a replaceable nylon brush and are used to guide tubes through tube sheets and support plate holes.
  • Tube Testers — The advanced design of the Airetool "ATT" Tube Testers enable an operator to test the entire length of the tube between the tube sheets for leaks, merely by pressing a button. Air pressure is induced through the gun causing the seals to expand. Easy to read gauges will display and hold pressure if there are no leaks. The tester comes complete with two #ATT‑15-312 support tubes, two #ATT-15-405 support tubes and two seals for the tube size specified. Specify tube O.D. and gauge when ordering.
  • Joint Testers — The Airetool "AJT" Joint Tester is designed to test for leaks between the tube and the tube sheet on both rolled and welded joints. Easy to use push buttons activate, test and reset the Joint Tester for quick verification. Joint testers comes complete with one manifold assembly and one seal for the tube size ordered. Specify tube O.D. and gauge when ordering.
Heat Exchanger and Condenser Cleaning Systems from Airetool

Heat Exchanger and Condenser Cleaning Systems

Complete Cleaning Systems

  • Complete cleaners consist of an air motor with integral water feed valve couplings; up to 22 ft. of shafting with necessary couplings (please specify shaft length required); motor shaft wrench and an extra set of motor blades.
  • The CC 475 Cleaner Complete includes two drills of any type or size up to 1", three spiral brushes up to 1" and 15 feet of 3/8 inch water hose.
  • The CC 475-PS Cleaner Complete includes two drills of any type or size up to 1-1/2", three spiral brushes up to 1-1/2" and 15 feet of 3/8 inch water hose.
  • CC-375-1, 325-1 & 325-HP: Includes Ball bearing trolley and rope block.


Tube Expanders

Tube expanding is the art of cold working the ends of tubes into intimate contact with the metal of the containing tube holes to form a leak proof mechanical seal and/or joint. In other words, it is a mechanical method of establishing a mechanical joint between a tube and a tube hole. Airetool manufactures condenser/heat exchanger expanders, boiler expanders, furnace expanders and many special application expanders.

Tube expanders consist of:

  • Mandrel — A tapered pin through the center of the expander to which the power is attached. When advanced, it pushes the rolls against the tubes.
  • Rolls — A set of 3 (or more) of tapered cylindrical parts which are driven by mandrel and contact the tube wall to be expanded. The taper on the rolls is in the reverse direction and one-half the taper of the mandel if it is a parallel roll expander.
  • Cage — This is the expander body (or housing) that holds the mandrel and rolls in place. The slots which contain the rolls also provide a feed angle which helps pull the mandrel in to provide expansion of the rolls.
  • Mandrel, Rolls and Cage are the three things common to all expanders. Other parts added further classify the type of expander.
  • Thrust Assembly — This assembly attaches to the cage and allows adjustment of the expanding depth. The thrust collar will remain stationary against the tube sheet or tube end while the cage, mandrel and rolls expand the tube. A thrust assembly is used on condenser/heat exchanger expanders, some furnace expanders and special boiler expanders.

Condenser/Heat Exchanger Expanders

Airetool Condenser Heat Exchanger Expanders are self-feeding, parallel rolling, ball bearing thrust expanders. They are available in standard sizes for 1/4" O.D. through 3" O.D. for tube sheets up to 6-3/4" thick. Other sizes and lengths are available upon request. We supply most of the air conditioning manufacturers with expanders up to sixteen feet in length.

To select the correct tube expander, the following information is required:

  • Tube OD
  • Tube wall thickness or BWG
  • Tube sheet thickness
  • Tube material
  • Longer reach expanders are available upon request
  • Special Conditions, i.e. enhanced tubing, thick tube sheets, double tube sheet, baffle sheets, tubes close to tube sheet channel or other tubes, protrusions, welded tubes, and tube bends close to the tube sheet.

Primary Tube Sheets

Setting the Tube Expander Example from Airetool

It is very important to set the tube expander’s collar in the correct position inside the tube sheet. The expander’s roll high point should be positioned ~1/8" (3mm) from the inner side of the tube sheet as shown in the figure below. The purpose for setting the expander’s collar this way is to allow for thermal expansion and contraction of the tube while it is in service. If the tube is expanded beyond the tube sheet, thermal expansion and contraction of the tube will cause stress on the tube, which may cause the tube to crack or rupture at the inner tube sheet location. When tightening the set screw on the expander’s collar, be sure it is aligned with the cage grove.

Double Tube Sheet Applications

Double Tube Sheet Applications from Airetool

In a double tube sheet application additional information is required. The thickness of the outer tube sheet (primary tube sheet) and inner tube sheet (secondary tube sheet) and the distance between the two must be known. When expanding the tube in the primary tube sheet the expanders collar is positioned as in the figure above with an 800 series tube expander. For the secondary tube sheet a 1200 series expander is required with "S" type (double radius) rolls. The "S" type rolls are required to allow the expander to have clearance on each side of the secondary tube sheet as shown in the figure below. The purpose of using "S" type rolls on an inner tube sheet and setting the expander’s collar this way is to reduce stresses in the tube due to thermal expansion and contraction of the tube while it is in service.


Five Roll Expanders vs. Three Roll Expander

Many manufacturers prefer the five-roll expander for applications using tube materials that work harden quickly such as stainless steel and titanium. The five-roll expander inherently has more contact area with the tube than the three‑roll which reduces the amount of work hardening and spring back effect that is common with these tube materials. They are also used in applications with closely spaced tubes having triangular pitch. The thinner the tube walls, 18 BWG (.049"/1.25mm) and thinner, the more apt work hardening is to occur.


Step Rolling

Step Rolling Procedure from Airetool

Step rolling is required when expanding tubes in thick tube sheets. Typically the first expansion is made at the innermost location, away from the inner side of the tube sheet. This is extremely important when rolling the opposite end of the vessel. This allows the tube material to grow in the proper direction towards the operator and keeps the tube from being stressed. After all the tubes have been expanded in this location, adjust the expander’s collar to overlap the previously rolled area. Repeat as necessary until the complete thickness of the tube sheet has been expanded. "S" type rolls (double radius) are recommended for step rolling to provide a smooth transition on the I.D. of the tube.


Care and Maintenance of Tube Expanders

Tube expanders are precision tools and should be treated as such. The service demanded of them is severe. Therefore, they must be given a reasonable amount of care to insure satisfactory operation and long life.

All Tube Rolling Applications

  1. Before using, clean the expander thoroughly to remove any dirt or foreign matter.
  2. Check thrust bearing and grease if needed. This should be done daily.
  3. Proper lubrication of the expander during the rolling operation is a must in order to keep the rolls and mandrel cool, to extend their life, and to insure uniform tube to tube sheet joints.
  4. Inspect rolls and mandrels for scarring or chips regularly and if found, replace them immediately. One small chip in a roll can cause the complete set of rolls and the mandrel to be damaged in a single rolling cycle. Always replace rolls and mandrels at the same time.
  5. When the rolling job is complete, wash the expander thoroughly and then oil and grease generously to prevent rusting during storage.

Lubrication & Cleaning

Hand-Held Rolling Applications

Depending on the severity of the rolling application, the expander should be washed periodically (every 25-100 tubes) in any commercial solvent. For best expander life, the expander should be left in solvent to cool while a second expander is used to continue rolling.

DAS Automated Tube Rolling Applications

An optional automatic lubrication system is offered for the automatic tube rolling systems. Hand cleaning is virtually eliminated with the use of the automatic lubricating system as the air pressure that blows the lubrication into the expander to cool it also blows away dirt or foreign matter during each cycle.


Collars

Flip Collars

Flip Collars from Airetool

All G-800 and G-1200 Series tube expanders are supplied with a flip collar with a 10-32 UNF auto-lube port. The flip collar allows for flush and recessed tube rolling. The standard expander is supplied with a recess of 1/8" (3 mm). Other recess lengths are available. Contact your mdi sales representative for details.


Fixed Recess Thrust Collars

Fixed recess collars are available for tube projections between 3/16" (4.7mm) to 7/8" (22.2 mm) from the tube sheet for special applications and require a quote from your mdi sales representative.


Full Recess Thrust Collars

The full recess collar accommodates tube projections up to 7/8" (22.2 mm) from the tube sheet.


Adjustable Recess Thrust Collars

Adjustable Recess Thrust Collars from Airetool

The adjustable recess collar accommodates tube projections up to 1/2" (12.7 mm) from the tube sheet.


Thin Wall Thrust Collars

Thin wall thrust collars are recommended when expanding 20 BWG .035" (0.9 mm) or lighter wall tubes. This design limits the possibility of the tube being drawn up inside the thrust collar. Removing the collar’s collet allows the expander to be used as a full recess style compensating for various length tube projections from the tube sheet. These collars are application specific and require a quote from your mdi sales representative.


Small Diameter Thrust Collars

Small Diameter Thrust Collars from Airetool

Small diameter thrust collars are recommended for rolling tubes in confined areas, close to tube sheet channels, or if there is interference from adjacent tubes.


Tube Expander Lubricant "LUBE-A-TUBE"

  • A water soluble lubricant especially compounded for use with tube expanders. It prevents rust and acts as a coolant providing longer life and smoother rolling.
  • 5-gallon container: LAT-5 (order number 2981695)