Metal tubing can be formed to almost any angle.
But how do we do it? We use a tube roller! The science of bending tubes to the exact angles we need for every project is both complicated and simple at the same time. To form metal tubing into the shapes that we need, we utilize specialized equipment.
Metal tubing can come in either round or square shapes, depending on its purpose. Most tubes, though, are bent one of four ways: ram-type bending, roll bending, compression bending, or rotary draw bending. At PTL, we most often use roll bending. In general, this type is best suited to our purposes.
When it is time to start bending, we calculate the exact angle required of each tube in order to create the correct shape. Next, using mathematical skills and our technical expertise, we set the tube roller to the specifications of each job. This involves moving three separate rollers that are a part of our tube roller into the correct position. Once these rollers are set to the proper dimensions, the pipe is inserted and the machine helps us bend the metal to meet our requirements.
There are a few problems that can occur during the process of bending pipes to the correct angle:
- Elongation – Elongation occurs during bending. The outside radius stretches, causing wall thinning. This causes the outside surface of the bend to cave in, resulting in ovality, or a distortion of the cross section from its original round shape. Some ovality is acceptable for certain applications, but it is unacceptable for precision work.
- Springback – A tube, depending on the metal, will stretch past the original angle of the bend. The harder the tube and the smaller the bend’s centerline radius, the greater the springback and resulting radial growth. Copper undergoes less radial growth than steel, which has less springback than stainless steel.
- Seams – Most tubes are produced with a longitudinal weld. The quality, size, and consistency of a weld seam all matter. If the two edges of the joint don’t align perfectly, or if the weld bead is too large or inconsistent, these discontinuities will affect the tube’s roundness.
Once we have bent tubes into the proper shape, they can be used for all kinds of jobs. Bent tubing is used for everything from plumbing, HVAC systems, wiring, and gas lines, to musical instruments, industrial frames, and decorative elements. At PTL, we have a team with the exact experience you need able to handle any size job. Contact us if you need custom metal tubing and for all of your upcoming projects. Our reputation for customer satisfaction and quality, as well as competitive pricing and experience, makes PTL a trusted source for businesses of all sizes.