Tube bending is utilized in a range of applications for OEM manufacturing industries including medical device manufacturing, semiconductor fabrication, chemical manufacturing and alternative energy processes. Bending tubes to exact specifications for simple and complex assemblies ensures that chemicals, gases, liquids and other products can be transported efficiently and effectively through production operations.
Industrial tubes come in various metals, including Inconel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, titanium, and brass. They may also come in different shapes such as round, square, rectangular, oval and custom forms. Many OEM manufacturers select tubes that are seamless to allow for a clean look in complex assemblies as well as for other reasons. However, most tubing will have a longitudinal weld seam running along its length.
The location and condition of the weld seam is critically important when successfully performing precision tube bending. If there are any problems with the seam, it can negatively impact the durability and strength of the tube as it is bent to the desired angle.
Deformities Can Be Caused by Weld Seams
Most people wouldn’t account for the type or condition of the longitudinal weld seam when bending metal tubing to form a shape. They merely place the pipe into the bending tool and then are surprised by the negative results. Yet in the component manufacturing industry, knowing where the seam is, the condition of the seam, and positioning it correctly on the bending tool is essential to prevent deformities in the tube.
Alignment of Seam Edges Can Cause Tube Irregularities: The seam along tubes must have the edges aligned perfectly. If the edges are not aligned, the round tube can lose its shape when bent resulting in the bend looking warped or oval in nature. This can restrict the amount of chemicals, liquids and gases that can be efficiently transported through the tube. These restrictions can impact the productivity of operations while slowing down your production lines.
Condition of Weld Bead Can Cause Tube Wrinkling: Another factor that has to be taken into consideration is the condition of the weld bead running along the seam. The size of the weld bead can also cause issues when metal tube is bent. If there is an insufficient amount of weld bead in some places, or too much weld bead in other locations, the tube will not bend evenly. The walls of the tube can thin out too much when stretched and cave in on itself; wrinkling can occur in addition to an increased probability of potential leaks.
CNC Tube Bending Offers Repeatable Precision Bending Solutions
At Axenics, we perform precision tube bending using the latest Horn Metric TBRE Hybrid CNC Bender. This type of CNC bending tool offers mandrel bending and roll bending combined to better meet OEM manufacturers’ specifications for components and tube assemblies.
Our CNC bending tools in the hands of our qualified technicians provide consistent, high-quality tube bends while avoiding many of the problems that can arise from weld seams. We position the weld seam at the correct location, normally on the neutral axis of the bend (the centerline) to maintain the tube’s roundness. The tube can then be bent the required angle repeatedly along its length for a uniform look.
This method allows for accuracy of the tube bend up to 0.005″ to 0.010″. In addition, we can bend a single part per minute with our CNC tube bender, which allows us to perform large volumes of tube assemblies and meet customer deadlines.
Precisely bent tubes are vital to your OEM operations. Utilizing the tube bending capabilities provided by Axenics can ensure your tubes are free of deformities, are bent accurately to your desired requirements, and delivered on time.