An Introduction to Automatic Pipe Bending Machine

Posted on Apr 21, 2021

Automatic Pipe Bending Machine

An automatic pipe bending machine, also called the tube bending machine, tube bender, or pipe bender is designed to permanently form pipes or tubing into desired shapes by utilizing mechanical force to press stock material tubes or pipes against the die.

What Is an Automatic Pipe Bending Machine?

An automatic pipe bending machine, which is also called the tube bending machine, tube bender, or pipe bender, is designed to permanently form pipes or tubing into desired shapes. Pipe bending processes can be classified to form bound bending or free-from bending, and heating or cold forming might be involved in these processes. In form bounding type of pipe bending, the pipes or tubes are shaped by customized dies. 

Straight pipes can be bent using an automatic pipe bending machine to perform single or multiple bends with the dies to create unique profiles. The form bound bending includes press bending and rotary draw bending. These pipe bending methods can produce complex shapes and are available for different types of ductile metal pipes. On the other hand, the free-form bending, including 3-roll push bending, forms the workpieces kinematically. As a result, the bending profile does not rely on the bending tool geometry.

Typically, round stock materials are processed in automatic pipe bending machines. In some cases, square or rectangular tubing or pipes are also used to bend in order to fit the specifications. Other factors of stock materials that are important in the bending process include the thickness of stock, tooling, and lubrication of the automatic pipe bending machines to optimize the operations as well as the product quality.

How Does an Automatic Pipe Bending Machine Work?

Typically, an automatic pipe bending machine utilizes mechanical force to press stock material tubes or pipes against the die. The materials will be pushed to conform to the designed shape of the die. The pipes or tubing are usually gripped firmly in place, the end, on the other hand, will be controlled to spin around the die. There are also forming methods like forcing the stock material through the rolls and bend it into desired curves. In some automatic pipe bending machines, mandrels are placed inside the stock materials to prevent the pieces from collapsing. 
In automatic pipe bending machines, there are wiper dies that are responsible for holding the pipes in tension during applying the forces onto the pieces in order to get rid of creases. More about the components in automatic pipe bending machines will be discussed later.

:: Read more: What Is an Electric Pipe Bending Machine?

Structure of Automatic Pipe Bending Machine

With the development and improvements of manufacturing of automatic pipe bending machines, the machine works electromechanically. Automatic pipe bending machines are generally pneumatic powered, hydraulic driven, or driven by electric servo motors. The CNC-controlled pipe benders utilize presses and rollers to guide and form the pipes along with the farming operations. 

The reliable bending machines are able to perform more rapid forming production and ensure better consistency. In addition, they eliminate the errors in forming lines at every scale. The important components of automatic pipe bending machines include bend die, clamp die, pressure die, wiper dies, and mandrel. Most of the tools are made from hardened steel in order to have longer lifespans. Softer alloys like aluminum are used, however, when the dies might cause damage or scratches on the materials.

● Bend Die:

The bend dies in automatic pipe bending machines are also called radius dies or the bend formers, which are the most vital components in rotary draw tube bending machines. The steel pipe will be clamped to the bend die and perform the drawing process.

● Clamp Die:

The clamp dies are responsible for pushing the stock onto the bend dies and preventing the material from slipping.

● Pressure Die:

The pressure dies in automatic pipe bending machines can ensure the stock material follows the pattern of the bend die.

● Wiper Die:

Wiper dies are mostly made from softer alloys, such as aluminum and brass, the alloys can prevent the die from scratching or damaging the steel pipes being bent. The goal of the wiper die is to prevent the formation of humps on the inner surfaces of the stock. Wiper dies in automatic pipe bending machine work just after the bend dies, smoothening the surfaces just after the bending which might lead to wrinkles.

● Mandrel:

When bending aluminum or steel pipes in an automatic pipe bending machine, the mandrel is required for such difficult works. When forming some materials with smaller radius or harder surfaces, mandrels can be helpful to prevent the stock materials from collapsing. 

Different Type of Automatic Pipe Bending Machine

● Press Bending Type:

These are the classic bending methods utilized on cold pipes and tubes. The die will press against the stock material and force it to fit the shape of the tool. Since the materials have no internal support, the oval cross-section might occur in the deformation of the shapes. Press pipe bending is usually used when the operator does not require a consistent cross-section of the steel pipes. 

● Rotary Draw Bending:

This type of pipe bending technology is much more precise because the die sets have a consistent CLR, centerline radius. Available with an indexing plate, the rotary draw automatic pipe bending machine is very popular for applications like frames, automotive parts, handles, handrails manufacturing, and so on. With a CNC system, they can provide complex and sophisticated tooling to perform critical bends and high performance.

● Roll Bending:

The steel pipes will be forced through a series of rolls that apply pressure to the materials and gradually bend and form the profiles. This bending method is very ideal for processing long strips of pipes and long gentle bends. The roll bending machines only produce very little deformation in the cross-section of the stock material.

● Induction Bending:

Induction bending is used for a large variety of applications for larger radius pieces, thin-walled pipes, short-radius bends, and so on. The induction bending machine requires no mandrel. The induction coil will be placed around a small section of stock materials at the bend point. They can provide high-precision bends with desired angles. Accurate spools can be simply manufactured by this type of automatic pipe bending machine.

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