What To Consider While Selecting Pipe Bending Tools?

choose pipe bending tools

Premium tooling is required for a pipe bending machine to work remarkably. It also allows you to complete any pipe bending operation with high precision. That’s why it is quite important to learn about the different types and components of tooling used in a pipe bending machine. 

The most important pipe bending tooling includes bend die, clamp die, pressure die, mandrel, and wiper die. All of these dies perform their unique functions.

Bend Die
Bend die can also be referred to as radius dies or bend formers based on their purpose. They are used to exert a certain amount of pressure on the tube to create a curve.
The bend die usually consists of two pieces called the insert and bend radius. The insert is used for clamping to the bend die before forming. The bend radius forms the arc of the bend as the tube is drawn around the die. 
The ratio of the tube diameter to bend radius is better to be 2D or 3D,in this situation, it is easy to bend without wrinkles.
Clamp Die
Such dies are used to hold the pipe in its position during the bending process. As pipe slipping during the operation can cause many deformities and damages, such as wrinkles, collapse, creases, and wall thinning. So before initiating a bending operation, the pipe should be firmly fixed to prevent slipping. 
Clamps can fix the pipe and it is slowly moving forward to create the desired bend. 
Pressure Die
A pressure die provides certain pressure required to bend a pipe or tube. It pushes the pipe against the bend die to produce desired bends. The pressure die will travel with the tube as it is being formed. The pressure die boost cylinder is attached to the pressure die.
Wiper Die
A wiper die is used to support the exterior of a pipe to prevent bending damages. Wiper dies are either made of tough hard steel or soft alloys. A steel wiper die is used while bending steel copper, aluminum, and bronze tubes or pipes.
Alternatively, soft alloy-based dies are usually made of aluminum or bronze and are used for stainless, titanium, and Inconel tubing. The soft alloys are exclusively used as they are capable of reducing pipe damages and deformities which are quite common during a bending process.
They can avoid damages caused by the friction between the dies and the pipe i.e. scratches and wrinkles. 
A mandrel is exclusively designed to support the interior walls of a tube and prevent any degree of damages during the bending process.
The mandrels are adjusted in the pipe beforehand, to complete any bending operation precisely without any hassle.
Mandrels are also available in a wide range of materials. Steel or chrome tough and sturdy mandrels are designed for bending hard pipes made up of steel, copper, aluminum, and bronze tubing. In contrast, aluminum or bronze mandrels are used for bending stainless, titanium, and Inconel tubing.

The selection of tools or dies completely depends upon the nature of your bending business and the pipes you intend to bend using the machine. 

Here are some factors to consider before selecting bending tools for your pipe bending machine.

  • Material Life Span 

The first attribute to think of before making a selection is the material used for the manufacturing of tools or dies. Tools made from cheap material can break easily and also can’t avoid bending damages i.e. wrinkles and collapse.

High-end materials can be a little pricy but are worth your investment. Such tools are long-lasting and can offer quality bends.

  • Compatibility

You should also check the compatibility of various dies with your pipe bending machines and preferred methods. It can be a little difficult, so you can also acquire expert assistance or consult the manufacturer to determine the compatibility of the tool.

  • Accuracy

It is best to select bending tools and dies with high precision and accuracy. High-end tools are incredibly precise and can create smooth bends for each operation.


Lubrication on a Bending Operation

A certain amount of friction is created between the tube and the tooling in bending operation. The bent tube has different uses, thus the requirements on the section quality are completely distinctive. During the production process, the cross-section distortion and the wall thinning should satisfy their requirements, improving the surface quality and decreasing the abrasion of dies as much as possible.

Decreasing the amount of friction produced between the mandrel, wiper and the tube can enhance the end quality. Increasing the friction between pressure die, bend die, and tube can help enhance the bending quality.

In these friction types the effects on pipe section distortion caused from the mandrel, wiper, pressure die to the bending die is quite significant, while the effect on wall-thinning is significant from the mandrel, pressure die, wiper to bending die.

In actual production, we generally brush the mandrel and wiper die with drawing oil. The drawing oil is mostly made of high-quality mineral base oil, compounded with high-performance sulfurized lard and sulfurized fatty acid ester as the main agent. It has excellent abrasion resistance and extreme pressure, and will not cause the workpiece to pull or strain,  improve the smoothness of the workpiece and effectively extend the life of the equipment.


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