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Metal Tubes Bending Technology

March 19, 2021

Metal Tubes Bending Technology; Modes And Tips

Metal tubes find extensive use in industries including maritime, refineries, and everywhere where bends are necessary. Specifically designed machines are capable of imparting bends to the tubes according to the applications. There is no concept of equipment without metal tubes. Many types of equipment used in industries employ metal tubes like heat exchangers, pipelines to transfer fluid, etc. Therefore, bending technology plays a vital role in providing bends to metal tubes.

This article emphasizes the modes of metal tube bending and several essential tips in tube bending applications.

Metal tubes

Modes Of Metal Tubes Bending

Several modes of metal tubes bending are available to attain the perfect bend. The manufacturer must be familiar with all these modes to understand the applications of each technique better.

Compression Bending

For speedy and timely production, manufacturers employ compression bending. This technique is more suitable when the bend attainment is not critical. Moreover, to achieve sustainability, i.e., Maximum output at minimum cost, compression molding is preferable. Another prominent feature of compression molding is that it does not require oiling while bending tubes.

The bending of metal tubes is time-consuming, and post-cleaning is another factor that consumes a lot of time. Therefore, as this technique does not require oiling, it saves post-cleaning efforts and time. Most tube benders restrict the manufacturer with bending angles.

However, compression bending can help produce both 45 and 90 degrees angles. The bend's diameter should be twice the diameter of the pipe to achieve a perfect curve. For instance, for a 2-in diameter pipe, the bend radius should be 4 inches.

Rotary Bending

Rotary bending is one of the most common types of metal tubes bending methods. However, the tooling requirement is much more than compression molding. It requires three tooling pieces. Firstly, to achieve a specified bend, it requires an angle die. Secondly, to hold the tube in its place while bending, you need a clamp die. Thirdly, bending of tool imparts extreme pressure on the tube, and withstand the pressure, you will need a force die.

Metal tubes, while bending, tend to change their shape from being round to irregular. Therefore, to keep it perfectly round, the manufacturer needs a mandrel. The number of balls in the mandrel depends on the thickness of the tube. For multiple bends in a tube, it requires a collet. It keeps the tube robust and prepares them to withstand the pressure due to the next angle.

Roll bending

The roll bending technique is effective for large-angle bends. For instance, you want the tube to bend at a radius much greater than the tube's radius, and you should opt for roll bending. This machine widely finds its use in the rolling of channels and angles.

The machine uses round tooling for metal tubes and pipes. There are three rollers, and the central roller determines the radius of the tube bending.

Freeform Bending/

The freeform bending employs the CNC techniques and can fabricate bends of almost any radii. This technique utilizes a ceramic ring that imparts design to the tube and gives it a round tube shape. The tube moves along the ceramic ring, and the CNC technique controls the operation to form the tube.

Since this technology employs a ceramic ring, half of the work does not require any marking as the tube acquires the shape by moving around the ceramic ring. Moreover, the tubing does not need oiling. Therefore, the final product is always clean and is always ready for use.

Metal Tube Bending Technology

Metal tube bending technology is highly useful in industries. To perform bending on a tube, you need to consider several tips to make your operation easier. Here are a few tips that will help you understand a better idea of metal tube bending technology.

Managing Time Schedules

Production time is a highly essential tool. The sooner the product acquires completion, the sooner the suppliers launch it in the market. The tool changing is a critical process and consumes time. Therefore, the latest blending machines can change the tools to help save time. The latest techniques are efficient enough to bend tubes with multiple diameters without refitting on one device. Therefore, due to the enhancement of production and technology, manufacturers have noticed a significant reduction in tight time frames.

Computer Control

For successful completion of products, the manufacturer must have raw materials ready for employment. For instance, in shipbuilding, all the components must be prepared so that assembly of parts becomes effective. Bending needs to be perfect and ready beforehand. Therefore, it is essential to use software that sketches all the steps in the process.   Moreover, it should ensure the assembling of pipes according to the sequence. This software provides the availability of all the components beforehand.

The software must be capable of keeping all the records required in the production. It should contain all the information regarding the necessary changes to make to ensure accurate manufacturing. The software must provide any information regarding repairing if required in the process.

Material Strength

The applications of metal tubes require them to be robust. The bends bear incredibly high pressure in fluid flow and other applications. Therefore, the materials must have a high tensile strength to endure and withstand high pressures. This practice will result in reduced maintenance and cost.

The longer your metal tubes work, the more significant time you will be saving. Therefore, to reduce maintenance time and efforts, fabricators use materials with the higher tensile strength to bear the stresses and extreme conditions. The manufacturers are switching to stainless steel and corrosion-resistant alloys. However, bending is not easy with these materials, and the process requires highly effective and efficient machinery.

Effective Machinery

While bending metal tubes, the manufacturer has to deal with many deviations. Therefore, the bending machine should be adequate to deal with all the changes coming their way. For instance, if the tube's actual diameter is more significant than prescribed, the machine will need to have greater clamping force.

Adequate Schedule Number

A schedule number of a pipe is its strength to bear high pressure during flow. It determines the thickness of the tube. For instance, if a relatively high-pressured fluid flows through a thin-walled tube, the tube would not be able to withstand the pressure and would wear out. Therefore, the tubes must be strong enough to bear the high pressure of flowing fluids.

Smaller Radii

Achieving smaller radii is a highly complicated job for machines. Manufacturers are moving towards smaller radii to save space. However, it is not easy as it seems. The clamping force is the force that helps to bend the metal tubes. Therefore, to achieve smaller radii, the machine has to apply a relatively greater clamping force. Therefore, manufacturers should use effective devices to achieve the desired bend with small radii.

Summary

To sum up, metal tubes find extensive use in many industrial applications. They find significant benefits in fluid flow applications and maritime industries. Tube bending is not easy as it appears, and therefore, manufacturers regard it as black art.

Thus, the manufacturer must equip himself with all the tips and information while performing tube bending. Any negligence in operation would result in loss of material and financial damage. Therefore, these tips will them to analyze the perfect way to operate.

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