The essence of bending tubes

Tube bending and manipulation has evolved over the years thanks to the development of efficient machinery capable of achieving higher tolerances and more precise bends. Even with these developments, the process still boils down to the same four factors that have always been important: the material, machine, tooling and lubrication. If all of these are correct the tubing can be bent effectively and finished to a high standard.

Before tube bending begins, regardless of the dimensions or the angle of bend needed, it is important to get to know the properties of the material. This is crucial to achieve an accurate, high quality finish. The most critical variables to know are the centreline radius, the outside diameter and the wall thickness, which can vary slightly. This needs to be accounted for, particularly if a precise bend is needed or if tight fitting tooling is being used.

One thing to keep in mind when tube bending is that the material will spring back after bending. This occurs with all materials but is usually more pronounced with harder metals and when the tubes have smaller centreline radii. For example, stainless steel will spring back more than mild steel and copper will spring even less than that. You’ll need to compensate for the spring if you want to get the right angle.

At Multiform Tubes we have a huge amount of experience with processes including tube swaging, bending, reduction and expansion. We work with a wide range of different materials to ensure we can meet the needs of clients in all kinds of industries. We have spent years developing our tube bending services, catering for all kinds of unique requests along the way. You can rest assured that we will provide a service to suit any need, whether it is a bespoke piece of tubing for a prototype product or a production run. We can manufacture products efficiently and ensure each piece is the highest quality. If you would like advice about tube bending please don’t hesitate to contact us.