Should You Weld or Bend Pipes?

Frankenpipes: Why It’s Better to Bend than to Weld

Tubes and pipes undergo treatments that form them into usable materials after initial fabrication. Pipes are typically used for plumbing and electrical piping. Because of the nature of these uses, the pipes need to be bent in different directions and around surface obstacles.

Pipes that are fresh from initial fabrication are straight and unwieldy. To be able to use them, the pipes undergo either pipe bending or welding. The latter is often an essential part of processing pipes, but welding tends to be a longer, more expensive process. Pipe bending, on the other hand, is a process that saves not just time, but production costs, too.

Welding vs. Bending

To fully understand the benefits of pipe bending over welding, you should first know the difference between the two.

People have been practicing the process of welding since the Middle Ages. Welding consists of joining two or more metal parts of a steel pipe by melting materials that, when joined, will create a seam and form one long structure.

Meanwhile, tube or pipe bending basically involves the use of mechanical force (computer numerically controlled machinery) to push a pipe against a die, forcing the tubing to conform to the die’s shape. There are other types of pipe bending, as JMC Equipment outlined.

With that, let’s discuss why you should choose pipe bending over pipe welding.

To Bend or Not to Weld?

What happens when pipes are welded or fitted?

  • Welded pipes require numerous steps to produce the desired shape or pipe direction. This makes the process time-consuming.
  • The process of cutting and welding tube segments, apart from being time-consuming, also increases the labor needed. Labor alone can drive up manufacturing costs.
  • Because of the need to melt and join various sides of the pipes, you’d have to spend thousands on welded fittings and weld fillers.
  • Joint welding increases the chances of defects. The joint parts, when not appropriately welded, are prone to cracking and, consequently, leaks.
  • Welded sections are more likely to be defective based on the quality of the pipes’ cuts and the quality of the weld.
  • Fitted or welded pipes also add resistance to the flow of fluid inside the tube.

What happens when pipes are bent?

  • Pipe bending allows for a cheaper bent pipe manufacturing because the process doesn’t require as much labor as welding.
  • There’s little waste involved in pipe bending because no part of the tube is cut off and no fillers are needed.
  • Computers controlling the pipe bending machine makes for a quick setup, shorter cycle times, and faster throughput.
  • The options for the type of bend are far more vast than the limited amount of curves welded pipes can make.
  • Finally, pipe bending produces quality, clean-looking bent pipes that have high wear resistance without looking like a pipe version of Frankenstein.

If you’re looking for tube and pipe benders, look no further than Baileigh pipe bending machines here at JMC Equipment, Delaware’s provider of high-quality automotive equipment.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the Baileigh equipment available here at JMC Equipment.