Precision Tube Bending
We offer both manual and Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) bending services, depending on the size and quantity of bends desired. We also provide custom bending services, allowing bending to precise customer specifications.
Experts in Tube Bending Services
Our technicians provide precision stainless steel tube bending services as well as bending in a variety of other metals, including: Inconel, titanium, copper, aluminum and several additional alloys. We are capable of bending tubing that ranges in size from 1/16-inch to 2 inches. At Axenics, our expert bending technicians have years of experience and are highly trained to provide the most accurate bends possible.
All of our bends are leak-tested before they leave the facility as a part of our strict quality policy. Bending reduces the possibility of leaks that can occur with welded joints. With tube bending, there is also a smaller chance that contaminants will enter the high-pressure gas and liquids flowing through pipes.
For larger tubing and/or higher quantities of tube bending services, we use an automated CNC tube bender.
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Perfecting the art of precision tube bending
Precision tube bending is a rigorous process that requires a skilled mechanical mindset and proven processes in order to perform correctly – and consistently. While there are numerous companies that list tube bending within their overall capabilities, few have been able to perfect the art of precision tube bending. To understand the skill required for this type of tube bending, you must first have an understanding of what the end result should look like.
Precision tube bending is the process of creating tubes that are bent without any inside or outside diameter imperfections: no wrinkling, and minimal wall thinning or flattening. Wrinkling is an unsightly feature that can occur on the outside diameter, inside of the bend radius. Wrinkling is a condition that most industries will not tolerate, especially the aerospace, semiconductor and medical industries.
While every aspect of the process requires attention to detail, the most difficult of these requirements is to prevent wrinkling in a bend. The art of cold bending without wrinkles involves a precise combination of many factors, including exact insertion depth of the mandrel; proper clamp die and backing block pressure; and draw speed. Another key factor that results in no wrinkles is the use of the right type and viscosity of bending/drawing oil.
Successful precision tube bending also requires that there be no clamp or backing block marks on the tubing. The tube needs to be held tight as it is being pulled around the radius block during the process. There is a fine line between holding it secure enough to make sure it doesn’t slip, and holding it too tight, putting clamp marks in the outside diameter of the tube.
Since the semiconductor industry does not allow any oils to be used in the bending process, welded tees and elbows are used to compensate for tight-radius tube bending in this industry. This procedure is followed because, in most cases, the inside diameter of tubing for the semiconductor sector is electro-polished. Electro-polishing is required in semiconductor tubing, as these tubes usually carry high-purity gas within them. Hence, the chance of any material flaking off and contaminating the chip-making process would be disastrous.
Wall thinning and flattening
Wall thinning and flattening is another factor that comes into play when performing precision tube bending. The tighter the bend radius, the greater the chances of wall thinning and flattening, so attention to detail is critical. Most industries will only tolerate 10 percent or less of wall thinning and flattening in precision tube bending.
When bending tubes, you are essentially stretching/thinning the outer diameter of the bend, while at the same time compressing/thickening the inner diameter of the bend. When the material on the inner diameter of the bend starts to thicken, it will have a greater tendency to form wrinkles. Therefore, wall thinning and wrinkling often go hand in hand. The art of precision tube bending is controlling either from happening during the process.
Knowledge and equipment
The art of precision tube bending success is a combination of expert knowledge of the material being bent, skilled expertise, and using the proper equipment during the process. Each of these factors must be aligned in perfect harmony in order to achieve the consistent quality most high-tech industries require for defect-free, bent tubular assemblies.
Uncover benefits of tube bending for your next project
Our metal bending process uses several bending tools, hand benders and/or our automated CNC tube bender, depending on the specific project requirements. We use mandrels which help to maintain the shape of the tubing and prevent the unit from collapsing.
Tubing is created using a variety of tube bending processes, which most commonly include ram-type bending, roll bending, compression bending, and rotary draw bending. Each process uses different seam configurations depending on the materials used and the look and/or shape desired. Welded, open, and lock-seams are the main seam types; however, seamless tubing may also be produced for a cleaner look, among other reason
Benefits of Precision Tube Bending
Tube bending is often used in the semiconductor and chemical industries for liquid and gas delivery, predominantly for cooling purposes. The benefits of this process include leak prevention, cost savings and a smoother finish. We can redesign your tube systems to fit into limited space requirements without slowing down your operations.
Another benefit of bending instead of welding is that welds can deteriorate faster from vibrations when placed into large machinery. Vibration fatigue and failure can be a problem with some moving mechanical systems and equipment. Bending results in longer-lasting tubing.
Hand bending requires a low initial investment, and the tools are easy to operate. Hand bending tools are also portable and safe to operate.
CNC Tube Bending
At Axenics, we offer Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) tube bending services for larger tube bends and for customers requesting high-quantity tube bending services. We use the latest Horn Metric TBRE Hybrid CNC tube bender. We have the ability to work with all of the major alloys including; copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and Inconel.
Utilizing CNC tube bender capabilities ensures that your tubes are free of deformities, are bent accurately to your desired requirements and are delivered on time.
Benefits of CNC Tube Bending
CNC bending provides a more precise, automatic and repeatable process than manual tube bending. Compared with manual bending, CNC tube bending machines can accurately control the degree of a bend, the distances between bends and the plane of the bend. CNC bending allows for maximum accuracy due to its higher degree of control within the process.
This computerized and automated tube bending process makes it possible to perform more complex bending processes than manual bending and increases overall operational efficiency.
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-inch to 0.010-inch. Precisely bent tubes are vital to your operations.
Experts in CNC Tube Bending Services
Our highly-trained bend technicians are capable of CNC bending a wide range of bend radii. Once complete, all of our bends are leak-tested before they leave the facility as a part of our strict ISO quality policy.
Axenics CNC Tube Bending Machine
We use a Horn Metric TBRE Hybrid CNC Bender, a dual stack hydraulic tube bender with roll forming capabilities to implement a variety of CNC tube bending services. Our CNC bender executes both simple and complex bends of up to 2-inch diameter tubes. It bends one part per minute, which allows for much faster bending capabilities than manual bending for moderate- to high-volume production runs.
The bender offers mandrel bending and roll bending, which allows the machine to mandrel-bend tight radius and roll-form large radius sweeps on the top stack. It uses servo electric bending and servo tube positioning, combined with hydraulic tooling actuation to maximize the energy applied during the bending process.
Some common applications include:
- Aerospace applications
- Medical device application
- Automotive applications
- Military/Defense applications
- Semiconductor applications
By using our Horn Metric CNC bender to manufacture a roughing line used to evacuate a vacuum system for the semiconductor industry part, we were able to keep the welded joints to a minimum, and significantly reduce the manufacturing time.
One of the best features of the CNC bender is its ability to import 3D designs using the latest software, making it easier for OEMs and contract manufacturers.
High-quality, cost-effective tube bending services are a cinch with our Horn Metric TBRE Hybrid CNC tube bending machine. Precision tube bending eliminates the need for purchasing a variety of expensive joints and fixtures, which are required with joint welding.
Perfection in precision tube bending requires both the inside and outside diameter to have zero imperfections. It’s a skill we’ve honed for four decades.