Pipe bending is a process in fabrication that forms tubes into different shapes. These bent pipes are used in various industries, from automotive to construction. In addition, they are used to design structures like musical instruments, car parts, hydraulic systems, and pipelines.
A pipe bending spring is a metallic spring used to support the tube during the manual bending process. It is mainly used to bend pipes with a 15mm – 25mm diameter. They aid in the bending process by keeping the internal and external structure of the metal stable. This prevents the tubes from distorting or creasing under pressure and strain.
The spring has to be strong yet flexible to work effectively. Hence, you should only get springs and metal products from reliable and experienced manufacturers. So, without much ado, here's everything you need to know about pipe bending springs.
There are two types of pipe-bending springs – internal and external – and they all work differently. While internal springs are suitable for bending larger tubes, external pipe bending springs work best with smaller tubes (15mm or less).
The rule of thumb when pipe bending using a spring is to stick to a minimum bend radius four times the size of the tube's outside diameter.
These springs do not have many parts like other tube bending equipment. But, they have two features that are worth noting.
· Tapered end – the pointy end goes into the tube for internal bending. So, it has to be smaller to fit into the tube. For external bending, the pipe goes into the tapered end. Thus, the end has to be wider to accept the pipe.
· Ring end – the ring end is common in most internal pipe bending springs. It is the part where a wire/string is attached to help retrieve the spring after the tube is bent. External pipe bending springs do not need a ring end.
When using a pipe bending spring, you should first identify the copper pipe you want to bend. Long copper tubes are easier to bend because they offer you more leverage than small pieces.
If the copper piece was previously cut using a cutter tool, it might have a slight inward curve when you start bending it. In such cases, the next step is deburring the edge of the copper pipe. Deburring is essential because it facilitates uniform bending.
You can also cut off the tube's end with a hacksaw or use a reamer to widen it. After the copper pipe is wide enough, feed the pipe bending spring-tapered side first.
Oiling the tube lubricates it and allows for easier spring removal after complete bending. Olive oil is a good lubricant as it can be used even on drinking water pipes. In addition, remember to leave a part of the spring outside the tube – this will let you retrieve it afterward.
Finally, bend the copper tube by placing it against your knee and retrieve it. Because copper is relatively soft, please do not use too much pressure when pulling it back. Otherwise, you may crease the metal.
Quick Tip: you can overbend the tube a little over your desired angle to make retrieving the spring easier. Consequently, you can use a screwdriver or tommy bar to pull out the spring.
Are you searching for premium tube bending springs? Below are a few factors to check before placing an order.
An effective pipe bending spring should possess high yielding strength. Most springs are made with hard-wearing steel or sturdy alloys with a carbon medium. A high yield strength guarantees that the pipe bending spring retains its shape after twisting.
Next, a quality spring should be resistant to corrosion. A lot of spring manufacturers add a polish that prevents pitting and oxidation. Polishing also enhances the efficiency of the spring and increases its lifespan.
Third, a pipe bending spring needs to have an even cross-section. Manufacturers use square metal bars with uniform thinness to coil the springs. The square cross-section stabilizes the spring’s external and internal area, thus creating a smooth tubular structure.
Pipe bending springs can bend copper tubes, PVC piping, and electrical ducts.
There are many other bending techniques aside from bending springs. However, the ones primarily used during fabrication are:
· Mandrel bending – The mandrel technique is used when bending tubes with minimal diameters. Mandrel benders are designed to keep the pipes from collapsing.
· Rotary Draw bending – This technique is used to shape hollow pipes that have varying cross-sectional areas. It uses interlocking dies to bend the tubes.
· Press bending - This is the oldest technique in the industry, and it is perfect for turning pipes into symmetrical parts. No lubrication is required.
· Compression bending – It works like the rotary draw technique and is more economical. However, bending is only limited to circular, hollow shapes.
· Heat Induction – The tube passes through an induction coil under a working temperature of 430°C – 1200°C. Heat induction is used to bend pipes with a wide range of diameters and sizes. However, it is more expensive than other techniques.
· Hot Slab bending – Hot sand is filled in the pipe and heated at temperatures above 870°C. After the tube becomes malleable, it is mechanically shaped using pins placed on a slab.
· 3"Roll bending – Roll bending is ideal for bending pipes to spiral structures. It seamlessly creates bends for large tube structures.
By the end of this post, you should be well-versed in how the pipe bending process works, how to use a pipe bending spring, and different bending techniques.
There are many factors to consider before hiring a pipe bending spring manufacturer.
You can find assorted pipe bending springs, garage door springs, torsion springs, coil springs, extension springs, and other metal products at GL Metals. Also, you can browse their extensive selection of spring models for your preferred needs.
Contact the team at GL Metals today for high-quality metal works and pipe bending springs.