AP is vertically integrated and manufactures vast amounts of strong steel tubing for use as straight and bent exhaust-pipes, tail-pipes, and muffler and catalytic converter components. AP forms and bends tubing from 1.50-inch to 5.00-inches in diameter for use in automobiles, light-trucks, medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.
Tube Bending is required in nearly every exhaust system. AP employs many types of bending; mandrel bending and compression bending are most common. Mandrel bending results in a premium pipe product. The process uses a precision mandrel positioned inside the tube during the bending process. This end result is a smooth, aesthetically pleasing appearance as it maintains the full inside tube diameter throughout the bend area. The use of mandrel bend pipes aids in reducing exhaust system back pressure. Compression bending results in some loss of inside tube diameter and is used where high-pressure flow is less critical.
Tubing begins as large rolls of steel that are cut into widths for the multitude of pipe diameters needed. The base material is either stainless or aluminized steel. As the process begins, the steel is drawn into the tube mill and pulled through a series of dyes that slowly curve the steel into a uniform round circumference. The seam is welded, by an automated Electric Resistance Welder. Weld flash irregularities are removed from the outside or inside surfaces using a “scarfing” blade. Once the weld bead is scarfed the seam is re-aluminized to prevent corrosion and improve appearance. Tubing is cut on the mill to the precise lengths needed in support of future manufacturing requirements.