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Thread: Pressing a steel pipe

  1. #1

    Bang Head Pressing a steel pipe

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this form but I bring a question that has been troubling me.
    As a donation to the city, I am designing, prototyping and manufacturing emergency kiosks at-cost.

    I am having some issues determining the best manufacturing process and assistance would be appreciated.

    The body of the kiosk is made from 12" steel pipe with 1/4" walls. Here is where I run into my issue.
    (side view with angles and measurements)

    (front view, to get a idea of whats going on)

    I have no idea how that shape should be made. So far I have come up with two possible methods.

    The first method I thought of was to have the control surface portion MIG welded in.
    The second method was to have the unit cold pressed with a die.

    The first method seems to be easy enough, but I would like to avoid welds for cosmetic and labor reasons. Is there another welding method that is easier to conceal?
    The second method seems better if it were to be mass produced but I am worried as to what the excess steel would do. What would the excess steel do?

    I would enjoy anything I can learn from. For the design and prototype phase of this project, I am a one man army.
    Last edited by wyattwic; 02-24-2013 at 12:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    I would first have to ask, why are you crushing or changing the shape of the pipe? By squishing it down to such a shape and dimension you are losing an enormous amount of strength as a support member. Are you sure this is what you need to do?

    I would want to know a lot more about this style of connection before offering a suggestion on how to make them.

    I suggest you rethink the method as it is not what I would regard as a good use of materials regarding load carrying etc.

    Just one old fart's opinion.
    Last edited by PinkertonD; 02-24-2013 at 12:02 PM. Reason: speeling

  3. #3
    Thank you very much PinkertonD for your input,

    I understand that compromising the shape of a pipe decreases its load bearing ability but the unit is not designed to support extreme weight, it is simply a reinforced, vandal resistant enclosure.

    The purpose of that shape is to facilitate an array of items (itemized list follows).
    The lower flat is to facilitate a emergency pull station or a few buttons.
    The middle flat is to facilitate a camera, a intercom, status lights and/or a keyed switch. Possibly even an LCD screen.
    The upper flat is to facilitate LED lights.

    In the way of weight, there is estimated to be between 30-60 pounds of equipment internally and 50-100 pounds of equipment mounted on the top (400 watt speakers, strobe lights, cameras). Keep in mind that before the upper array is attached, this main body is only 9 feet tall.

    For mounting, the unit has a base that facilitates five 3/4" by 24" concrete anchors and an opening for power 5" in diameter. Once the base is anchored, the unit is inserted and MIG welded.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. #4
    Thank you very much PinkertonD for the thought,

    The unit is not meant to hold extreme weight, only the equipment inside (40-70lbs) and the equipment to be mounted on top (50-100lbs). Possibly the occasional idiot that wants to go climbing.

    The flat portions are to facilitate an array of items. The lower flat is to facilitate a pull station (think of something similar to a fire alarm) or various buttons. The larger-middle flat is to facilitate an intercom, a IP camera and possibly a LCD screen. The upper flat is to facilitate lighting.

    The unit stands at 8 feet without the alerting array (strobes, 400watt speakers, additional cameras).

    Thanks in advance for the assistance.

    EDIT: To mount the unit, there is a separate mounting plate (it resembles a PVC end cap made from 1/2" steel) that facilitates five 3/4" by 24" anchors and a 5" opening for electrical. Once the plate is properly mounted, the unit is inserted into it and welded.
    Last edited by wyattwic; 02-24-2013 at 03:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Just got finished brainstorming with an old friend of mine, he is one of the few remaining "old fashion farmers". Remember when farmers had to be engineers, biologists, electricians and mechanics all at once?

    Our idea was that the hole be cut just a hair smaller than it should be, grind it out to the exact size, afterwards weld the flat surfaces in a little hotter than they should be and grind the welds for concealment.

    Any idea if his suggestion is good or not? We have all been wrong one time or another, so I would like to get a second guess.

  6. #6
    Technical Fellow
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    OK, a "kiosk" to me is something someone sells stuff from and that would have made it a structure.

    Now, 8' (or 9' you seem undecided) 12" x 1/4" steel pipe sounds like way overkill for what you need to do. Have you priced it yet?

    I am sure there are many alternative designs you could come up with that would provide the vandal-proof-ness (is there such a word?) you need and outrageous costs.

    If I now understand what you are aiming at, I have to say a design rethink should definitely be on the table.

  7. #7
    Steel is a must in this situation, and the reason why I chose a larger thickness is for durability and resistance to extreme shock. I want to make it so that a vehicle hitting it will not damage the internal equipment.

    When it comes to a redesign, do you have any suggestions?

  8. #8
    Technical Fellow
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    My local gas station has 2" pipes filled with concrete to protect the pumps from errant drivers. I would hazard a guess that 12" pipe would safely ward off a Sherman Tank. The impact area is down very low with a car so 7'-6" of the "durability" is wasted.

    Suggestions? Only about a zillion but that should be your job. A control box welded to a length of 3" pipe?

  9. #9
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Rochester Pennsylvania
    You can skip the idea of forming the tube. Huge tooling money given the limited number of these you suggest. There's nothing wrong or cosmetically unpleasant about a professionally run weld bead. (In my humble opinion anyway...)

    You ought to make up some finished drawings and send them out for quote to a few places before you embark on this adventure. You might find that paying somebody with a plasma cutter could be realtively inexpensive and save you a lot of grinding time. You could go to work at your normal day job to make the $$ required to pay the shop to fabricate these up for you and possibly end up ahead of the game... far as hour spent anyway.

    Also keep in mind that the gadgets will need to easily installed and serviced...

  10. #10
    Pinkerton, I agree that 12" is overkill, but the idea was to have all components enclosed inside the unit then have it fastened to the concrete. Keep in mind that this unit is going to be subjected to wash down environments, desert and extreme cold environments, hostile activity (.22 LR, 9mm), vandalism (baseball bats, spray paint) and incoherent drivers (lots of small trucks out there). The goal lifespan is 30 years.

    RWOLFEJR, Thanks for the idea on the plasma cutter, I didnt think about it before. I will check with a fabrication shot tomorrow and see what the situation is.
    In the way of servicing, the openings on the front will have panels in witch the "gadgets" are secured to, then the panel is secured to the frame with "Tamper-Resist Flat Head Machine Screws, 10-32 Thread, 3/4" Length" screws. There will also be an additional upper and lower rear access hatches for power and communications maintenance held by the same type of screws.

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