Tubes and pipes are both tubular products. They’re meant for moving the likes of steam, air, gas, fuel, and water. In addition, they serve purposes in construction, working as railings and columns. Tube bending services are appropriate for both. Although, there are differences between the two. These distinctions dictate capabilities. They also have an impact on if finishing processes such as threading will be viable. What we are going to do here is look more closely at these two utensils and how bending differs between them.
Metal pipe is a product often manufactured from aluminium and steel. It is normally available in greater numbers than tubing, but in fewer standard sizes. They are made to less exacting specifications for mechanical properties and chemical composition. It is the same for finishes and dimensions. Wall thicknesses and sizes of pipe were first standardised to allow threading the end for joining lengths with couplings. Also, a huge quantity of pipes are utilised without screw threads or fittings attached.
With metal tubes, you have more options. They can be aluminium, steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, and more. Compare to pipe, they are lighter and simpler to work with. You’re able to bend them into shape without needing elbows or similar fittings. You connect tube to valves, pumps, and other components.
Considerations for bending
Tube and pipe bending can come with complications despite the straightforward nature. These include collapsing or flattening because of thin walls, improper material choice, and wrinkling. This last one comes as the result of wall thinness and misalignment. You should understand your materials, tube bending services, and bend radius. By doing so, you can halt problems that cause lost production time and materials.
Before starting any bending project, you must think about what your product must do. Consider whether your application needs a light or heavy material. Figure out if it needs to resist corrosion or has to conduct thermal energy.
Another detail you have to think about is the outside diameter (OD) and inside diameter (ID). These measurements dictate wall thickness. This itself determines the bend radius your tools can handle.
As you bend a pipe or tube, the outside radius stretches. The result is your material thinning. If you stretch a wall too thin, your utensil will collapse into an oval shape. This can influence your tube’s or pipe’s functionality, particularly with precision applications. To stop the problem, make certain your wall thickness is enough for the radius you’re bending.
The Centre Line Radius is another consideration. This is the distance between the centre of the curve and the centreline of tubing or piping. The CLR you want to gain will be a key factor in deciding what tube bending services you use.
Basic bending processes
There are a handful of basic processes utilised for tube and pipe bending. They are standard for multiple materials and diameters. Although, the configuration and radius of your component is a deciding factor in what approach would work best.
When picking a bending method, the desired radius and wall thickness are the most substantial factors. Tooling costs are a consideration as well. To obtain the leading results, the bending radius should be 3x the pipe or tube diameter. It is possible to have smaller radii, but complications can happen. This is particularly true if the walls are too thin. The uses of mandrels and dies can help stop problems, at the cost of a more expensive production.
We will finish by talking about a couple of the processes you can use for tube bending services.
Ram bending is the first, and arguably the most cost efficient and simplest. Here, you drive a hydraulic ram into short pipe segments that you brace against a roller or pivot block. Then, the pipe gets shifted. Next, you repeat the procedure in several areas until you obtain the necessary radius. Ram bending’s simplicity means there is less control. This means it isn’t the best for applications needing tight tolerances.
Then there is compression bending. This operation involves clamping your tubing, then pulling it around a bend die to produce the right radius. If you compare to some other methods, it is more limited. So, you should not use it for applications that need a tighter radius.
We will satisfy your needs with our tube bending services
At Multiform Tubes Engineering Ltd, we use up to date machinery for our services. It allows us to work with outstanding accuracy. Our clients receive better results and we minimise the risk of issues. Whatever it is you need from us, we aim to deliver it, so get in touch.