From tube collapse to tooling marks, tube bending machine problems can happen even with the best tube bending machinery. Like many problems, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, so the most important step in any bending operation is preparation.
So, here are two tips for preventing tube bending machine problems.
Tube Bending Tooling
Before you attempt a bend, your tooling needs to be set properly. The first step in troubleshooting any tube bending machine problem is double-checking that the tooling you are using is correctly positioned.
When using a mandrel for bending, incorrect mandrel placement can lead to humps in the bend, tube collapse, and many other common problems.
On the other hand, a mandrel can also help solve some of the most common tube bending issues. The key, however, is always to ensure that your tooling, whatever it is, is set correctly.
Taking the time to double-check tooling placement is well worth it if it prevents a problem that could make a tube or pipe unusable.
It is also important to ensure you are using the correct tooling. For instance, if your bending application requires that the finished product be free from tooling marks or other visible flaws, then the best tooling to use might be no mar tooling.
While no mar tooling isn't ideal for many bending operations (it tends to have a shorter lifespan so it increases material costs) for applications where aesthetics are essential, no mar tooling can make a big difference. So, while you could accomplish the same bend with traditional metal tooling, the application might warrant the extra cost of specialty tooling.
The Right Formula
Another important step when preparing for a bend is formula calculation. When you take the time to calculate things like the section area moment of inertia of the shape and size of tubing you'll be bending, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort.
Taking the time to work through all of the formulas you will need for a bend will help you set your machine correctly and avoid many of the common tube bending machine problems before they happen.
Need help with bending formulas? We have a Section Modulus Calculator and Tube Bending Formulas Guide that can help!