Metallic tubular micro-components play an important role in a broad range of products, from industrial microsystem technology, such as medical engineering, electronics and optoelectronics, to sensor technology or microfluidics. The demand for such components is increasing, and forming processes can present a number of advantages for industrial manufacturing. These include, for example, a high productivity, enhanced shaping possibilities, applicability of a wide spectrum of materials and the possibility to produce parts with a high stiffness and strength. However, certain difficulties arise as a result of scaling down conventional tube forming processes to the microscale. These include not only the influence of the known size effects on material and friction behavior, but also constraints in the feasible miniaturization of forming tools. Extensive research work has been conducted over the past few years on micro-tube forming techniques, which deal with the development of novel and optimized processes, to counteract these restrictions. This paper reviews the relevant advances in micro-tube fabrication and shaping. A particular focus is enhancement in forming possibilities, accuracy and obtained component characteristics, presented in the reviewed research work. Furthermore, achievements in severe plastic deformation for micro-tube generation and in micro-tube testing methods are discussed.
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