Effective ways to bend copper pipes at home

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Cop­per prod­ucts are often used in the con­struc­tion of heat­ing and plumb­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Strong, flex­i­ble cop­per prod­ucts are pop­u­lar for their resis­tance to cor­ro­sion. When orga­niz­ing a pipeline, it often becomes nec­es­sary to bend a cop­per pipe: to do this cor­rect­ly, you need to famil­iar­ize your­self with the basic bend­ing meth­ods.

Features of the use of copper

When it comes to orga­niz­ing a heat­ing or plumb­ing sys­tem, you can hard­ly think of any­thing bet­ter than a cop­per tube. This mate­r­i­al is in excel­lent con­tact with liq­uids of dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures, so it can be used equal­ly well for both plumb­ing and heat­ing. Fea­tures of cop­per prod­ucts include:

  • ver­sa­til­i­ty: in addi­tion to the list­ed areas of appli­ca­tion, the arrange­ment of under­floor heat­ing, as well as ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems, are dis­tin­guished;
  • cop­per prod­ucts are used wher­ev­er liq­uid is used;
  • resis­tance to rot­ting, cor­ro­sion: water is not exposed to the repro­duc­tion of the fun­gus and does not bloom;
  • plas­tic­i­ty: sub­ject to cer­tain tem­per­a­tures, the cop­per pipe lends itself per­fect­ly to bend­ing;
  • wide tem­per­a­ture range: liq­uid tem­per­a­tures from ‑100 to +250 degrees can be used inside the water pipe.
Cop­per prod­ucts are rep­re­sent­ed by a wide vari­ety of diam­e­ters

If you install cop­per prod­ucts on the water sup­ply, then the water from it will not have a metal­lic taste. This is anoth­er fea­ture of the mate­r­i­al, which is com­ple­ment­ed by pleas­ant dec­o­ra­tive qual­i­ties: a cop­per pipeline can be designed in a retro style.

What properties should a pipe have when bending

The abil­i­ty to bend is deter­mined by the phys­i­cal prop­er­ties of a giv­en mate­r­i­al. Due to its plas­tic­i­ty, the work­piece can eas­i­ly be deformed, as well as break at the bend, so when bend­ing your­self, you should adhere to the estab­lished tem­per­a­tures and do every­thing grad­u­al­ly.

Part of the mate­r­i­al is offered to the buy­er already fold­ed in large wind­ings

The main con­di­tion for bend­ing is heat­ing. Some thin-walled cop­per tub­ing can often be bent with­out the use of a gas torch or sol­der­ing sta­tion. A large num­ber of cop­per prod­ucts have thick walls, so heat­ing is indis­pens­able here. Sev­er­al con­di­tions for bend­ing prod­ucts:

  • tem­per­a­ture — cop­per can­not be heat­ed above 1083 degrees: at such indi­ca­tors, the mate­r­i­al begins to melt, this deforms the prod­uct;
  • the pres­ence of a com­pen­sat­ing ele­ment — sand, a spring, oth­er sub­stances and objects can be used as a com­pen­sator;
  • grad­ual process.

In the absence of a com­pen­sator, the chances of defor­ma­tion increase dra­mat­i­cal­ly. Sand or spring inside a small diam­e­ter prod­uct will pre­vent it from becom­ing irreg­u­lar or cor­ru­gat­ed.

The need to bend pipes during repair work: advantages

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Bent pipes are com­mon in the imple­men­ta­tion of instal­la­tion and repair work of plumb­ing, heat­ing sys­tems. Crafts­men often choose the bend­ing method them­selves, pre­fer­ring it to stan­dard weld­ing. The need to bend met­al aris­es when you need to bypass a small area on a wall or floor with obsta­cles. In order not to use fit­tings, not to wind the threads for con­nec­tions, and also not to leave welds, bend­ing can be used.

Before you bend your own cop­per tube, it is bet­ter to learn about the ben­e­fits of their use:

  • reduc­tion in labor inten­si­ty;
  • increase in hydroaero­dy­nam­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics of pipe pas­sages;
  • reduc­tion in the amount of addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al;
  • bet­ter seal­ing;
  • attrac­tive appear­ance.
The need for bend­ing is due to the desire to give the pipeline strength and integri­ty.

Pipework with bent cop­per is free from the risk of break­age and leak­age, as hap­pens if con­nec­tors were used instead of bend­ing. The bend­ing point is not sub­ject­ed to fric­tion, loads and oth­er influ­ences, so the chances of integri­ty dam­age are min­i­mized.

We bend a copper pipe at home: a selection of methods

You can bend a cop­per pipe with­out involv­ing plumbers. There are proven, effec­tive meth­ods for this. Mas­ters use met­al springs, riv­er sand, bend pipes into a spi­ral, and also use a pipe ben­der.

Spring use

The first thing to do is pick up the spring. For bend­ing large diam­e­ter cop­per pipe, you should choose a strong met­al spring made of thick wire with fre­quent turns. Sev­er­al fea­tures of bend­ing with a spring:

  • a met­al spring is insert­ed inside;
  • it is bet­ter that the length of the spring match­es the length of the pipe;
  • if the spring is short­er, a wire must be insert­ed into it so that it can be eas­i­ly removed lat­er;
  • as a tool for heat­ing, you can use a blow­torch or a gas burn­er;
  • the heat­ing ele­ment is sub­sti­tut­ed for the bend, as soon as the pipe changes col­or, it means that it can be bent.
The met­al spring acts as a com­pen­sat­ing ele­ment for the cop­per mate­r­i­al

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The com­pen­sator in the form of a spring will not allow the prod­uct to deform. If you need to bend a thin tube, the spring is select­ed with a diam­e­ter larg­er than the prod­uct itself. The pipe is insert­ed inside the spring, then the pro­ce­dure is repeat­ed.

Sand application

For man­u­al bend­ing, you can use riv­er sand, it will be a good com­pen­sator. It is bet­ter to work in a spa­cious room or on the street, as it will take a lot of space. Of the mate­ri­als, a met­al cork is use­ful — it will serve as a plug at one end of the prod­uct. A piece of wood with the right diam­e­ter will act as a bend­ing cir­cle. The pro­ce­dure looks like this:

  1. The pipe is closed on one side with a plug.
  2. Sand is poured inside the prod­uct.
  3. Cop­per is heat­ed with a lamp or burn­er.
  4. The prod­uct becomes plas­tic, there­fore, in order not to deform it, round­ed wood is used and a bend is made on it.
The main thing is to fol­low the tech­nol­o­gy of bend­ing the mate­r­i­al and do every­thing accord­ing to the rules

Using such a sim­ple, but effec­tive method, you can bend a cop­per tube your­self with­out a pipe ben­der.

Spiral Method

Self bend­ing of the spi­ral caus­es dif­fi­cul­ties. Here it is no longer pos­si­ble to lim­it our­selves to the use of sand or a met­al spring: anoth­er tech­nique comes to the res­cue. In order to bend the spi­ral you will need:

  • rub­ber mal­let;
  • two sup­ports;
  • bulk mate­r­i­al, such as sand: ice can also be used in the cold sea­son;
  • heat­ing tool.
Due to its prop­er­ties, cop­per mate­r­i­al is duc­tile when heat­ed.

The cav­i­ty is cov­ered with sand or filled with ice. You can also pre-pour water inside and freeze it. Then the ends are placed on sup­ports and the bends are heat­ed. While cop­per becomes duc­tile, it is giv­en the desired shape with a mal­let.

Pipe bending with pipe bender

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A spe­cial tool helps in sit­u­a­tions where folk meth­ods are pow­er­less. A pipe ben­der is a tool that fix­es one end of a pipe by bend­ing it to a pre­de­ter­mined diam­e­ter. There are no defor­ma­tions dur­ing such work, every­thing goes quick­ly and clear­ly. Pipe ben­ders can be steel, lever and elec­tric. To bend a cop­per tube with a hand tool, fol­low these steps:

  1. The required bend­ing angle is select­ed: the para­me­ters are indi­cat­ed on the sur­face of the levers.
  2. One end of the work­piece is fixed.
  3. Bend­ing is in progress.
A mod­ern tool will help in a mat­ter of time to make the nec­es­sary form of cop­per

This method is suit­able for bend­ing thin cop­per pipes, so if you have to work with a large diam­e­ter, it is bet­ter to use a hydraulic pipe ben­der. For large-scale and indus­tri­al work, elec­tric tools are used.

Recommendations of the masters and possible difficulties

Faced with flex­i­ble cop­per for the first time, any per­son at home can have dif­fi­cul­ties. Mas­ters advise to adhere to the rules:

  • use springs for bend­ing cop­per thin pipes 6 mm of for­eign pro­duc­tion;
  • if the coil is bent by hand, it is worth­while to exer­cise spe­cial care and smooth­ness of move­ments: sharp maneu­vers will lead to severe defor­ma­tion of the heat­ed prod­uct;
  • if the pipe being bent is made of annealed cop­per, it will take less time to bend it;
  • reheat­ing of the prod­uct is allowed in case of the ini­tial incor­rect exe­cu­tion of the turn;
  • it is impos­si­ble to bend large-sized ele­ments at home: an indus­tri­al tool is need­ed here.

Some crafts­men rec­om­mend using a lubri­cant when bend­ing. This option is not suit­able for begin­ners, as there is a risk of heat­ing at high tem­per­a­tures. To avoid dif­fi­cul­ties, it is worth exer­cis­ing extreme care and cau­tion when work­ing.

The tech­nique of bend­ing cop­per pipes is use­ful for self-arrange­ment of com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Grace­ful turns and bends will pre­vent the loss of integri­ty of prod­ucts, as well as pro­tect against leaks. The appli­ca­tion of the pro­posed meth­ods will help in a short time to make a smooth and beau­ti­ful bend.

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