Monday, March 5, 2012

Mandrel Tube Bending: Type and Uses

In this modern world, no one can survive without the basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. Transportation, communication and some gadgets can be purchased if a person has excess money to spend. Beyond these commodities is the manufacturing and building part of expenses. Metals are the primary components of any industry. With this demand, there are different types of metal fabrication present such as sheet rolling, metal bending and pipe bending. The most used type of metal fabrication is pipe bends. One type of process that a pipe bender does is a mandrel tube bending procedure.

What is mandrel tube bending? First of all, mandrel bending is somewhat a misunderstood term. Many customers or clients and even some bending companies refer to the bending dies shoes as mandrels. On the technical side of things, the mandrel is a part of the tooling set but doesn't exist in most pipe bending applications. The mandrel goes inside the tube where it is held by a mandrel rod that supports the tube at the tangent point of the bend. A mandrel can be a linked ball or a steel rod inserted into the tube. The mandrel used will depend on the type of bend or application needed, radius required, wall thickness and the type of material being bent. The mandrel gives support to the tube to prevent as well as reduce wrinkling and breaking while in the process of bending. The mandrel is extracted after completing the bend. The different types of mandrel that are commonly used are:

· Ball mandrel with cable - usually used for critical and precise bends. It has linked ball bearings inserted into the tube.

· Ball mandrel without cable - these are unlinked steel ball bearings inserted into the tube. It is also used for precise and critical bends.

· Sand - sand packed into the tube.

· Plug mandrel - it is a solid rod used on normal bends.

· Form mandrel - it is a solid rod with curved ends. It is used on bends wherein more support is needed.

This type of pipe bend can create a tighter bend than empty bending and can create an even circumference. The end results are consistent and clean. The pipe bender can produce radii as tight as one times the diameter of the tube. Mandrel tube bending is useful for automotive and motorcycle applications, motorcycle chassis, hand railings, crash barriers, fencing, industrial shelving and medical products. It may also be used when fluid and gas is being flowed through a series of tubes. The use of pipe bend application does not stop here, there some metal bending companies that offer products for mining and resource such as safety barriers, machinery guarding and handrails; oil and gas companies that needs hydraulic tubing. Some manufacturers also offer mandrel tube bending for steel furniture such as chairs. Most steel chair frames are formed using crush bending. This technique weakens the frame and leaves unattractive indentations. It may not be as fast as crush bending but the results are far more superior and aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, the bend maintains the integrity of the steel tubing.