Bending aluminum pipes with a pipe bender and improvised means

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Alu­minum pipes are a hol­low prod­uct hav­ing a square, round, rec­tan­gu­lar or shaped cut. Due to their mer­its, they are in demand in the met­al rolling mar­ket. Con­sid­er how to bend an alu­minum pipe.

Production methods and technical characteristics of aluminum pipes

Rent­ing is done in sev­er­al ways:

  • extru­sion of alu­minum parts with a round sec­tion;
  • cold defor­ma­tion (draw­ing, flash­ing and cal­i­bra­tion);
  • accord­ing to the prin­ci­ple of stain­less steel rolling: strip or sheet weld­ing.
Pro­duc­tion of alu­minum pipes

Mod­ern tech­nolo­gies allow to pro­duce cost-effec­tive prod­ucts of high qual­i­ty. The main fea­ture of alu­minum is its low weight. Its den­si­ty (ρ = 2.7 t/m³) is more than 3 times less than ρ of car­bon steel (7.85 t/m³). There are oth­er advan­tages of non-fer­rous met­al:

  • wear resis­tance;
  • high resis­tance to mois­ture;
  • flex­i­bil­i­ty;
  • plas­tic;
  • frost resis­tance;
  • excel­lent weld­abil­i­ty;
  • high elec­tri­cal and ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty;
  • envi­ron­men­tal friend­li­ness;
  • resis­tance to rust.

One of the dis­ad­van­tages of alu­minum parts is low strength. But this prop­er­ty is com­pen­sat­ed by the ease of defor­ma­tion of the met­al with­out chang­ing the basic char­ac­ter­is­tics. Excel­lent duc­til­i­ty allows you to design and build com­plex engi­neer­ing solu­tions. For the pro­duc­tion of pro­files, alu­minum alloys with cop­per, mag­ne­sium, zinc, and oth­er met­als are more often used. They are more durable, well tol­er­ate vari­able force effects.

Alu­minum pipes are not dif­fi­cult to trans­port, load­ing is not dif­fi­cult. Pro­file pipes are inex­pen­sive, easy to install.

alu­minum prod­ucts

Applications

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Alu­minum is vir­tu­al­ly main­te­nance free. Due to its advan­tages, pipes made of this met­al are wide­ly used in man­u­fac­tur­ing, con­struc­tion and oth­er indus­tries:

  1. Man­u­fac­ture of fur­ni­ture, adver­tis­ing, com­mer­cial equip­ment.
Appli­ca­tions of alu­minum pipes
  1. Rail­ings, fences, gaze­bos and oth­er struc­tures in sub­ur­ban areas and areas adja­cent to pri­vate hous­es.
  2. Agri­cul­ture. Due to its high water resis­tance and wear resis­tance, alu­minum rolled met­al is active­ly used in the instal­la­tion of drainage sys­tems. Agri­cul­tur­al crops also do not have a neg­a­tive impact on this met­al.
  3. A bent pipe is used in the assem­bly of struc­tures with hinged facades.
  4. The drilling rig ele­ments are con­struct­ed from alu­minum parts. Due to the high through­put, the risk of con­ges­tion in the sys­tem is reduced to zero. Alu­minum rolled met­al can with­stand the aggres­sive effects of hydro­car­bons for a long time.
  5. Lay­ing of sew­er sys­tems. Waste water and oth­er active sub­stances do not act on the met­al in ques­tion.
  6. Alu­minum parts are often used in ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems, as they are easy to give the desired con­fig­u­ra­tion, it is easy to cut with a grinder.

In addi­tion to these areas, alu­minum pipes in prod­ucts per­form a dec­o­ra­tive func­tion: lat­tices, dis­play frames, wall cladding.

Impor­tant! The aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing appear­ance of the met­al is per­fect for the man­u­fac­ture of inte­ri­or items.

Decor ele­ments

Difficulties of bending

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For the use of alu­minum parts in the man­u­fac­ture of fur­ni­ture, dec­o­ra­tive and oth­er pur­pos­es, it is impor­tant to bend them cor­rect­ly. Despite its duc­til­i­ty, met­al is unpre­dictable when deformed, espe­cial­ly in hol­low prod­ucts. The com­plex­i­ty of bend­ing pipes made of alu­minum and alloys is due to many fac­tors:

  1. Pro­cess­ing of prod­ucts in order to give them anti-cor­ro­sion resis­tance increas­es strength, but reduces duc­til­i­ty.
  2. Rolled tubu­lar prod­ucts made by hot extru­sion and extru­sion are sen­si­tive to bend­ing stress­es.
  3. Dura­lu­min and alloys with man­ganese have low duc­til­i­ty.

Tak­ing this into account, the prepa­ra­tion of the prod­uct for sub­se­quent bend­ing con­sists in deter­min­ing the grade of the alloy and the con­di­tions for its pre­lim­i­nary heat treat­ment. If there is no prod­uct cer­tifi­cate, ver­i­fi­ca­tion is car­ried out in the fol­low­ing ways:

  • study­ing the mark­ings on the end sec­tions of pipes, check­ing with the ref­er­ence book;
  • tap­ping with a ham­mer on the part — a sonorous sound indi­cates an increased hard­ness of the mate­r­i­al;
  • soft alloys stick to the file.

If you rub the dura­lu­min prod­ucts with your hand, there will be no traces left on it.

Bending technology

There are the fol­low­ing bend­ing tech­nolo­gies:

  1. Process the orig­i­nal work­piece on a pipe bend­ing machine with an elas­tic man­drel, for exam­ple, rub­ber.
  2. It is pos­si­ble to bend a tube with a diam­e­ter of up to 20 mm in one step using a cold bend­ing device.
  3. If it is nec­es­sary to process a more com­plex spa­tial con­tour or a larg­er diam­e­ter pipe, the work­pieces are heat­ed. Rub­ber or com­pos­ite drones are used.
  4. Reduc­ing the zone with ten­sile stress­es. For this, a mov­ing roller is used.

The bend­ing of parts in one plane can look like:

  • ducks;
  • sta­ples;
  • branch;
  • kalach.

Tubes with two bends at 135º — a duck, if the bend is 3 (the cen­tral angle is straight, the extreme ones are 135º) — a brack­et, at 45º — 135º — a branch, and in the form of a semi­cir­cle — a kalach.

Whichev­er option for pro­cess­ing the work­piece is used, the main thing is to avoid defects in the bend­ing process. This is achieved by the right choice of method and tool.

Kalach

Equipment use

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Spe­cial mech­a­nisms are used to bend pipes. They are called pipe ben­ders and are dis­tin­guished by the prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion. The tool can be used both in pro­duc­tion and at home. Pro­file and round pipes are processed. There are such pipe ben­ders:

  1. Spring. The ele­ment to be bent is placed in a spring before the process starts. Then apply a cold or ther­mal pro­cess­ing method to the work­piece, at the end of which remove the spring.
Spring pipe ben­der
  1. Lever or Vol­nov mech­a­nism. The work­piece is placed in a spe­cial form that cor­re­sponds to a cer­tain diam­e­ter. The tech­nol­o­gy does not require pipe heat­ing. Bend­ing occurs under the action of lever force.
  2. Cross­bow. The work­piece is strength­ened in a struc­ture equipped with a bend­ing seg­ment. The device push­es the pipe.

Using the tool allows you to both bend and straight­en an alu­minum part of dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions and diam­e­ters. In this case, the risk of dam­age is min­i­mal, almost equal to zero. In spe­cial­ized equip­ment, the fol­low­ing meth­ods can be used:

  • push through. The alu­minum part is pushed between rollers, one of which deflects it. The result is an arcu­ate bend with a small radius.
  • rental. A pipe with a diam­e­ter of 1 to 10 cm is rolled between bend­ing rollers. Their size must exact­ly match the diam­e­ter of the work­piece. The pro­ce­dure is car­ried out with a three-roll tool in sev­er­al pass­es. It per­forms bends in the form of an arc, ring, spi­ral. With the help of such a mech­a­nism, it is pos­si­ble to bend both a pro­file and a round pipe.
  • Pres­sure treat­ment. The process takes place using stamps that bend parts from the out­side. Anoth­er option is hydro­form­ing. In this case, to process the pipe, water or oil is poured into it under pres­sure.
  • Run­ning in. For this method, a rolling ele­ment of a pipe ben­der is used, which bends the part under pres­sure. The process is not accom­pa­nied by heat­ing. In zones with­out pres­sure, the prod­uct bends in the oppo­site direc­tion.
cross­bow mech­a­nism

If there is no spe­cial tool at hand, alu­minum parts can be bent with­out a pipe ben­der.

Processing products at home without tools

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How to bend a pipe with your own hands, when there is no machine and tools, and it is not prac­ti­cal to buy? You can also process a part at home or in a garage with­out a pipe ben­der using the fol­low­ing meth­ods:

  1. To reduce the brit­tle­ness of alu­minum and the load force, heat the bend area with a con­ven­tion­al gas burn­er. Plain paper will help to under­stand that the part is ready for defor­ma­tion. It must be placed above the heat­ed zone and wait until it smokes — this is a sig­nal to start bend­ing. This method is not suit­able for anodized alu­minum.
  2. To process the work­piece, use a tem­plate with the required bend­ing radius. It is easy to carve from wood impreg­nat­ed with cre­osote. Place the orig­i­nal ele­ment on the tem­plate and secure it care­ful­ly. Take a rub­ber mal­let and with light blows give the desired shape of the fold.
Wood­en tem­plate
  1. An alu­minum tube with a small diam­e­ter (15 — 20 mm) can be processed with­out a tool by putting a steel spring on the out­er sur­face. Pour sand into the inside of the work­piece and insert a met­al rod. Grasp­ing the ends of the rod, crimp accord­ing to the tem­plate.
  2. Fill the tube with sand, fix the ends of the work­piece on two ref­er­ence planes. With a rub­ber mal­let, form a bend in the area that is on weight. The method is well suit­ed for work­pieces with a rec­tan­gu­lar cross sec­tion.

Thus, if it is nec­es­sary to make repairs at home or inde­pen­dent­ly make a dec­o­ra­tive ele­ment from alu­minum pipes, every­one will be able to bend the details with their own hands.

Recommendations for implementation and typical mistakes

Before start­ing the process, the part should be cleaned of dirt and dust. Do not use an abra­sive brush. Clean­ing should be done care­ful­ly so as not to tear off the oxide film.

Impor­tant! After bend­ing, the length of the tube may change. There­fore, form the desired seg­ment after pro­cess­ing.

When using a gas burn­er to increase plas­tic­i­ty, the part should be bent imme­di­ate­ly upon reach­ing the required degree of heat­ing, with­out allow­ing it to cool. Do not process pipes that are bent along their entire length. This defect indi­cates the low qual­i­ty of the prod­uct. In addi­tion, the prod­ucts should not have for­eign inclu­sions, burrs, chips, scratch­es, cracks.

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