Tips for Tube Bending – and Why It’s Okay to Call in a Pro

by | Mar 22, 2019 | Metal Fabrication

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If you’ve ever tried bending a tube or pipe to fit your needs, you may have noticed how difficult the task can be. Here are some tips from industry experts on how to get a great-fitting, custom-bent pipe:

Ensure a Proper Fit

When using pipe bending tools to create custom-bent tubing, it is important that your tools are set to the right specifications for your pipe. Both the bender roller and former should be adjusted accordingly to ensure a snug fit during the bending process. Failing to make this adjustment before using a hydraulic pipe bender or any other tool may result in slippage, improper bending, damage to the pipes or bending device or even injury to the operator.

Practice Makes Perfect

Tube bending seems like it should be a simple task, and for those who are experienced in the industry, it does come easily. That isn’t because the task is inherently simple, but instead because of many hours of practice. If you’re looking to make tube bending part of your business offerings, it’s important to log hours of practice for every staff member who will be working with tubes.

Some key points to remember:

  • The tubes you will work with are typically joined or fixed at one end, so getting an accurate measurement entails measuring from the middle point and moving outward.
  • Piping often rebounds slightly after bending, so over bending – just the right amount – is part of the proper technique.
  • Smooth motions make for better pipes, so practice making fluid, simple motions to create the customized designs you need.

Reinforce Weaker Pipes

Pipes that are made of weaker metals such as aluminum tend to ripple or crimp during the bending process. To prevent this, reinforcement of the tube before bending can give you a firmer piece to work with. This is typically achieved by filling the pipe with water, then adding sand to fill and weigh down the tube. It’s important to note, however, that this technique should only be used when the pipe in question will not be heated during the process. Heating water-filled pipes can cause the resulting steam to destroy the tubes or damage the machinery.

If you find that tube bending is too difficult a task for you to handle alone, you aren’t the only one who thinks so! Get the great-fitting, customized pipes you need by consulting a tubing and metalwork professional, and put the worries of your piping project behind you!

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