Some of our most frequently asked questions revolve around how to bend tube accurately. Because each situation and application is different, often the best place to begin bending tube accurately is with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of bending, how you bend tube and the tooling that is necessary for bending.
What Happens When a Tube is Bent?
When a tube is bent, there are two things that happen to metal. The first is that the outside wall is reduced in thickness. This reduction is caused by the stretching of the material. The second thing that happens is that the inside wall becomes thicker due to the compressing of the material.
The material that forms the outside of the bend has further to travel, which causes the stretching. The inside of the bend has less distance to travel and is compressed.
Understanding what is happening to the material as it is being bent is critical for accurate bending. Setup and troubleshooting both require you to have a good grasp of this basic concept.
What Do You Need to Bend a Tube
Now that we understand the basics of what bending is, it is important to understand how we bend. To bend tube accurately, there are a few basic pieces of tooling you will need.
A bend die, clamp die, and pressure die are the minimum essentials for bending tube. However, there is often other pieces of tooling that are also used. The bend, clamp, and pressure dies, however, are the necessary pieces of tooling needed.
The bend die helps to prevent the tube from flattening and forms a given radius of the bend.
The clamp die holds the tube in position while bending.
The pressure die forces the tube into the bend die.
Wiper dies are also often used. Wiper dies support the inside of the tube to help prevent the formation of wrinkles during bending. Mandrels are also used to prevent other common bending problems like tube collapse, kinked, or buckled bends.
Understanding the tooling you are working with is also crucial to accurate tube bending. You can learn more about the most common types of tooling here.
How to Bend Tube Accurately
Once you have gasped the fundamentals of how a tube is bent and are familiar with the tooling necessary to bent tube accurately, the most important thing you can do to bend accurately is set up your tooling correctly.
So often the reason for common bending problems is improperly set tooling. Checking the positioning of the tooling is almost always the first step in troubleshooting any bending problem.
Precise tooling setting is key to accurately bending tube.
Click here or follow the link below to download a free introduction to tube bending to learn more, troubleshoot bending problems, or contact us at any time with any questions or comments you may have.