Terms & Machines: The Basics of Pipe Bending | JMC Auto

Know Your Metalwork: The Elements in the Pipe Bending Process

From high-rise towers to small things like metal straws, pipe bending has become an important process in the engineering and manufacturing industries. One example of its applications is in the manufacturing of automotive tools like the air-conditioning tube and the torsion bar.

When doing this job, you have to be knowledgeable about the physics behind the process. Although it has no specific formula, pipe bending can be calculated so the bend of the pipe is precise. If you are relatively new to the process, there are some common terms and factors you need to familiarize yourself with.

Apart from these technical terms, you also have to consider the wall thickness, the bend radius, the bend degree, and the material variability, among others. There’s a lot to factor in, really, especially if you want to perfect the bend (which you should).

The Jargon of the Process

  • Intrados: Inside bend radius.
  • Extrados: Outside bend radius
  • Centerline radius: This is also called the neutral line, where there should be no stretching or compression.
  • Distance Between Bends: This is the distance between two tangent points of two connecting bends.
  • Tangent Points: The sections of the pipe where the bend started or ended.
  • Spring back: This is the result of the material’s stretching and shrinking during a bend. This occurs when the centerline radius is resisting the bend but is constrained by the unyielding materials on either of the neutral line’s sides.
  • Elongation: It occurs when the material is deformed during the bending process and the extrados stretches, causing wall thinning.
  • Ovality: It is the distortion of the original circular shape of the pipe.

The Machine and the Tools of the Process

There are a lot of machines you can use for this process. But, one which we highly recommend is our Baileigh pipe bender. This machine, with its cutting-edge design, ensures a precise and reliable result for your metalwork even after decades of use.

  • If you need to bend big pipe—and we mean really big pipe —then this is the industrial hydraulic rotary draw bender for you.
  • Digital auto-stop lets you specify the desired bend degree for ease and accuracy.
  • Covered by a 1-year parts warranty and lifetime technical support.
  • If you have technical questions just contact us and our sales team can help you. 

Today’s pipe bending machines don’t run with “stalled axes,” meaning they can do simultaneous bending processes. And, along with more advanced software, these machines give you more options for axis control. Because of this, pipe bending machines are easier to use for newbies and professionals alike.

Apart from an efficient machine, you also need a good tooling setup. Consider the mandrel, for example. You may take it for granted, but the truth is, the rigidity of the mandrel matters if you want a precise bend. When choosing the correct mandrel, it has to be aligned with the material. A soft metal requires a hard mandrel while a hard metal requires a soft mandrel.

You also don’t want to overlook the wiper die. It may be little, but its role in the bending process is crucial. Its purpose is to prevent wrinkles on the metal which may have been caused by uneven compression along the intrados. In addition, the tool can wear over time, so it is good practice that you always keep a spare one nearby.

Along with high-tech equipment, your knowledge of the process and the business is invaluable for accurate metalwork. This will not only help you save time but also help you save the resources you have.

If you’re looking for pipe bending equipment, we can supply it for you. Contact us today.