Tube and pipe bending comes down to tube material, tooling, lubrication, and the machine used. These factors have to work together to create the perfect bends.
Types of Bending
Ram-Type – This type of bending is an old and simple method that uses a hydraulically driven ram to force a tube against rollers. It’s not the most controllable and aesthetic way to bend a tube and pipe, especially if the application includes a tight bending tolerance.
Rotary Draw – Rotary draw bending is normally used for tube and pipe bending applications. It gives you a maximum degree of control over the ovality and wall thickness of your tubes and pipes. They effectively control the inside and outside diameters of tubes during the bending process.
Creating the perfect bend is dependent on a good tooling setup. Paired a hard tube with a hard mandrel or a soft tube with a soft mandrel will cause the mandrel to stick to the insides of a tube. It’s important to maintain a combination of both hard and soft material.
The tools you use should also consider radial growth. Excessive radial growth creates a difference between the radius at the beginning and at the end of the pipe bend. You can manage this inconsistency by using bend dies with a smaller radius.
Where you position the wiper, die is crucial. It should be at an angle and not positioned parallel to the tube. This way, its end connects with the tube at a point outside the radius tangent point. The end of the wiper die should be sharp and pointed.
Ideally, your clamping die is at least three times as long as the diameter of the tube. The clamp die is responsible for connecting the work-piece to the bend die. A shorter clamp takes on more pressure and can increase the risk for deformation. The longer the clamp, the more pressure spreads across a larger area.
Typically, there is a small clearance between a mandrel’s articulating balls and the tube’s inner diameter. The tightness of this fit can cause friction if the right type and amount of lubrication is not applied. Nonpetroleum-based synthetic lubricants are commonly used to reduce this friction. They can be diluted to fit a specific machine’s required consistency. Bending with thick walls and a tighter radius generally requires more concentrated lubrication.
Newer electric machines come with greater available axes of control. Essentially, machines have a greater range of movement and ability. The machine you use for tube and pipe bending depends on factors like material grade, wall thickness, and the work-piece itself.
Pipe bending capabilities have become a lot more precise with modern machines incorporating the latest technologies and controls. It becomes even more important to use the right tools and employ the right equipment to achieve the bend you want.
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO SEE HOW A PIPE BENDERS WORKS
JMC Automotive Equipment has Baileigh pipe bending machines available for sale. We carry a wide selection of high quality automotive products at affordable prices. We also distribute products from the biggest brands in the industry. We have a comprehensive line of automotive equipment and tools for passenger vehicles, light trucks, and heavy-duty trucks.
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