Ian's Guide to Industrial Manufacturing

Factors That Affect the Choice of Pipe Bending Methods

Several factors are considered when selecting a pipe bending method from the different options available. This article discusses some of the factors that can affect the quality of a bend in a pipe. Those factors may determine which pipe bending method will be suitable for your DIY project. Use this information to decide which pipe bending method will produce the best bends for your pipes.

The Weld Seam

Some pipes have weld seams that were created as the pipe was fabricated. Others pipes do not have a weld seam. The presence or absence of a seam can affect the quality of a bend. For instance, a weld seam may lose its integrity when a pipe is subjected to rotary draw cold bending. This is because the stress exerted on the seam by the bending tool may cause that weld seam to loosen. The same pipe may have a high-quality bend if induction bending is used. This is because the selective heating of the section to be bent makes it more workable so that excess strain isn't exerted on the seam.

Pipe Wall Thickness

Pipes differ in the thickness of their walls. You need to consider the thickness of the pipe wall before picking an appropriate bending method. For instance, pipes with thin walls may crack during the formation of bends with small radii. This is particularly possible if the pipe is being bent using cold bending techniques. Mandrel bending may be more suited to bending pipes with thin walls. A pipe with a thicker wall may be able to withstand the stresses of cold bending.

The Distance Between Bends

You may also need to consider the distance between desired bends before you choose a pipe bending method. For instance, it may be hard to make several bends that are close together using mandrel bending. This is because the close proximity of the bends leaves little room for anchoring the pipe before a bending force is exerted on it. Induction bending can do a better job in that case since the pipe may only need to be anchored at either end.

Material Hardness

Metals springback depending on how hard they are. Springback refers to the tendency of a material to resist being bent by trying to regain its original shape. Harder metals springback at a higher rate than soft. For instance, aluminium is softer than steel. Consequently, aluminium may have a lower rate of springback than steel. The chosen bending method should take into account this characteristic of materials.

Talk to a pipe-bending expert in case you are unsure about the best bending method to use in your DIY project. This will save you from ruining your materials when you erroneously select an inappropriate method.