Tube Bending

Tube Bending Machines

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Frequently Asked Questions

We know that deciding to invest in a machine tool for your business is a big decision. We want all of our clients to be absolutely sure of their purchase, so we’re always at the ready to answer any questions about our machine tools and which may benefit you. For convenience, we have listed the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about tube bending machines here.

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What Is a Pipe Bending Machine?


The terms tube bending machine and pipe bending machine are used interchangeably. They both refer to machine tools used to bend pipes or tubes in order to produce a finished part. A tube is a structural, hollowed out flow line used to transmit fluids or gases for a variety of process applications.



What Is CNC Bending?

The abbreviation CNC stands for a computer numerically controlled device. A CNC bending machine is made to produce tight-radius bends, elliptical bends, and large radius bends, and it can perform all these actions on the same part. This allows CNC tube bending machines to create complex tubular parts using automatic precision features.

What Is An ERW Tube?

ERW tubes, or electric resistance welded tubes, are tubes made according to a specific welding process that utilizes both spot welding and seam welding. An ERW tube is typically made out of SAE 1010 materials that come in an “as-welded” condition.

Can I Bend an ERW Tube?

There are two types of ERW tubes: Hot Rolled ERW and Cold Rolled ERW. Hot rolled ERW requires extremely high temperatures, and creates a more malleable tubing, although it is not as durable. It’s the less expensive option, but does require the correct type of machine too. Any cold rolled ERW tubing can be used in a tube bending machine.

Can I Bend A Mandrel Tube?

Mandrel tube bending is the process of bending a metal tube while a steel rod is inserted into it. This allows the tube to bend, while upholding the structural integrity of the tube at the bending point. A CNC tube bending machine is the ideal machine tool for this process for creating thin tubing without deformities and keeping a tight radius.


Which Is Stronger: Round Or Square Tubing?

A round tube is going to have a much higher resistance when it comes to both flex and torsional twisting. All other things being equal, a square tube will be weaker overall. Additionally, ERW tubing is vastly stronger than CHS tubing.

Are There Benefits To Mandrel Bending?

Mandrel bending creates a finished product that can handle more pressure, and is more durable. For instance, a mandrel bent exhaust pipe is going to be able to achieve more horsepower and torque than a pipe bent using other methods.

What Is The Difference Between A Pipe And A Tube?

While the terms pipe and tube are mostly used interchangeably by the general public, they do have a technical difference for manufacturers. Here is the difference between a pipe and a tube:

  • Tubes – Tubing is generally used in structural applications, and is focused more on the total diameter of the tube because tubes tend to be used for more precision necessary work like medical devices. That’s why the diameter is the most important factor when it comes to tubing. Tubes can also come in a multitude of shapes: round, square, and rectangular.
  • Pipes – Unlike tubes, pipes are generally used in construction and other more mainstream industries, and therefore rely more on factors like capacity rather than total diameter. This is because the job of a pipe is to carry liquid or gas from one place or another for a specific purpose, and often that purpose requires a high transport capacity. In the case of pipes, it’s mostly important to know how much pressure they can handle. Unlike tubes, pipes are only round in shape.

What Is CLR Tube Bending?

CLR tube bending refers to center line radius tube bending. This is jargon in the tubing industry used to denote the radius of a bend. Unlike other fabrication processes that use Outside Radius or Inside Radius measurements, tubing measures from the center due to the circular nature of a tube.

What Is A CEW Tube?

Welded tubes are cold, meaning they’re created with a mandrel bend. These are what are referred to as CEW Tubes or CDW Tubes. CEW Tubes are used broadly within the automotive industry, especially in regards to gears, exceptional reason machines, material apparatuses, water powered hardware, etc. These tubes are useful because they have low carbon content and are thus very flexible, and can be used for bowing. Additionally, the tubes can be toughened after the drawing.

Does Bending Metal Weaken It?

Bending metal can definitely weaken it depending on its ductility. Ductility essentially refers to a material’s ability to bend before it cracks or breaks. Adding carbon to a material actually determines how ductile that steel is. Materials with low ductility tend to crack from residual stresses and impact the strength of the material.

What Is Cold Bending?

As we mentioned, some materials require heating in order to be bent without breaking. Cold bending refers to any type of tube or metal bending where heat is not used in order to bend the material. A pipe or other material is wrapped around the machine die, which moves and causes the pipe to bend.

What Does A “5D Elbow” Refer To?

The term 5D Elbow is easy to understand once you know what each part means. An Elbow refers to the bend of a material. D refers to the nominal diameter. And the number that precedes D refers to the factor of the nominal diameter. Therefore, a 5D Elbow would refer to an elbow with 5 times the measurement of the nominal diameter.

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Hopefully some of these questions proved informative. If there is any information that you are looking for that you couldn’t find here, please do not hesitate to give us a call for more information about our company. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

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