How To Use A Tube Bender Tool
Tube bending is a metal forming process that helps to re-form pipes or tubing permanently. You can bend a tube in multiple directions with the help of a tube bender which is a simple tool to provide accurate bends on different types of tubing. There are many different types of tubes such as copper tubes, aluminum-based tubes, steel tubes, and more.
Many automatic tube benders are available in the market which are hydraulically and electrically powered. Many of these machines are bulky though and most on-site locations may not have the appropriate power connections needed to run them. If minimal bending is required then manual tube benders are ideal since they can be used with ease and no training is required.
One of the many applications where tube bending is required is for building off-road race trucks and custom 4wd trail rigs. Tube bending can be used all over a 4×4 truck. The entire frame can be made of bent tubing on trucks that are custom-built from the ground up. When modifying production trucks like Chevrolet S10s, Blazers, Toyota Tacomas and Hilux’s, it is common to build a roll-cage. The roll cage is normally made entirely of accurately bent tube. Custom bumpers, simple rollbars, and sliders on offroaders are also typically constructed of bent tube. These 4×4 trucks usually also have big aggressive mud tires with the coolest fender flares to cover them. So now that you can imagine what tube bending can be used for, let’s get more into how to do it!
Manual tube bending is fairly simple, and these are the important steps that must be followed:
1. Choose the correct bender: Every machine has limitations on which tube or pipe it can bend effectively. This limitation is based on both the material of the tube and also the size. So before bending a pipe, make sure you select the appropriate tube bender for your application.
2. Set up the bender: There is an adjustment dial on all bending tools which needs to be set up according to the radius that you want to bend the tube to. You must know the correct adjustment calculations to achieve the accurate result required.
3. Mark the direction: Mark the tube with a longitudinal line. This is important as you may be making multiple bends on it. These lines are always in the direction that is opposite to the bend direction you want so you will be using them as reference. These measurement and reference marks ensure you achieve the desired results and also monitor the entire process.
4. Insert tube: The proper alignment and insertion of the tube into the bender is very
critical. Swing up the side of the bending tool known as the bending arm and insert the tube inside the die. Make sure that you can see your reference marks. Once the tube is inserted, lower the other arm and place it properly.
5. Start the process: By firmly gripping the roll support on one side, start the bending process. Bring it down until the desired mark is reached on the bending die. Always be aware of the spring back which is presented in most pipes and tubes. Among all the pipes and tubes the copper one has the least amount of spring back. Lift the roll support arm and unlatch the tube from the die. Your work is done!
An important point to consider while bending a tube
Some metal pipes and tubes are very rigid, often made of steel, copper, or aluminium which all have a tendency to spring back. This can be very dangerous if you are not expected it so you need to be careful! Here is a list of the different types of pipe or tube bending that can be done.
Types of Bending
● Compression Bending: Instead of bending a tube directly, this type of bending requires the tube to be clamped behind where the bend will be made. The section of tube past the clamp is then forced around a bend die.
● Roll Bending: Three pyramid-shaped rolls are used in this type of bending. It rolls the pipe through the machine as the first roller pushes the pipe and bends it down. These are used for large tubes and pipes.
● Hot Bending: This type of bending involves heat which is applied by tools such as a blow torch. This heat makes a portion of a metal tube soft so much less force is required to complete the bending process.
● Draw Bending: This is one of the most effective ways of bending a tube or pipe. The tubes with thick walls can be easily bent with this method. You can easily bend hard and strong materials by inserting a bending mandrel in the pipe or tube to prevent kinks.
Always grip the roll support properly to save yourself from spring back. This is very important when doing manual tube bending. There are many other little safety measures that as crucial to know also. If you aren’t very familiar with them then you must have a professional do the job for you. This can be expensive though, especially when you have to bend many tubes or pipes. In this case, self tube bending is a good option. If you follow all the correct safety precautions and follow the steps mentioned above, you can easily bend a tube or a pipe. Be sure to do so in an open area or the garage.