There is no universal single process that can produce quality pipe bending or tube bending which can be used as a 'catch all' for every application. Different materials, size and complexity of bend will determine the type of equipment and operations needed to complete the work. Common methods used include rotary draw bending, roll bending, compression bending and freeform bending. Each bend has three radii to consider, a centreline radius and an inside and outside radius. The centreline radius (CLR) by definition is the radius of the neutral axis, here there is no material expansion or compression. All of the various tube bending methods employ different variables to obtain the required outcome within the constraints of the designated CLR.
Rotary draw bending and compression bending are similar in that the tube or pipe is formed around a die. However each process bends the pipe around the die differently. To prevent defects as the component is being formed around the bend die Rotary Drawing needs a mandrel to be inserted inside the tube or pipe, unsurprisingly it's referred to as Mandrel Bending.
Mandrel bending is at it's best forming very tight radii in pipe and tubes having thin walls. In both compression and rotary draw bending, the size of the bend die determines the workpiece CLR. In roll bending and freeform bending, the CLR is determined not by the tooling’s size, but by how the tooling moves. None of these methods see one superior to the others, there is no champion here. Just different methods for different applications and materials. To know the capabilities and limitations of each is the job of the professional who will use many years of experience to provide the best and most economic solution for each project.
Alternative forming processes to pipe bending would dictate the fabricator purchasing short radius and long radius fittings and weld them to the pipe tube in question. Creating a ‘pipe coil’ or ‘serpentine’ pipe systems in this way is tedious and expensive as each joint has to be welded and inspected. The increasing costs over the years for labour, welding and material costs have made specialist tube benders a much better option particularly when complex pipe bending processes are involved.
There is also much evidence that when transporting a process fluid through pipework of any distance larger radius bends provide for a more reliable flow rate owing to reduced turbulence and resistance within the pipeline.
These factors have produced an increasing demand for large radius bends for pipeline installers, heating coils and heat exchange systems. Additionally, given the rise in interest that the architectural industry have for designer steel work manipulation we expect to be busy for a long time to come.
So when it comes to commissioning a custom pipe bending company why choose us? Linmar have been providing custom pipe bending services more or less since our inception. For fifty years we have been supplying and servicing the food industry, gas and petroleum industries, water companies and heat exchange developers with custom metal bending. Owner of Linmar Mike Lindley has over thirty years experience in the steel fabrication and pipework industry and has worked with some of the best known blue chip companies and contractors in the UK. Many of Linmar’s customers are long standing friends who consider us to be good at what we do.
We perform custom metal bending and custom coil fabrication for many industries including petrochemical, aerospace, and oil companies with a fast turnaround. For fifty years, Linmar Pipework Services has provided short and long radius bends along to UK companies looking for high quality pipe bending.
We are able to offer tube manipulation and bending in any material including stainless steel and exotic alloys. We can bend any tube in any wall thickness up to 12 inch diameter. We can fabricate for heating, cooling and heat transfer for sulphur tanks, steam lines and condensation processes. This includes helical coils , jacketed coils, carbon steel pipe coils, serpentine coils and custom fitted coils. Combining with our experience as an industrial pipework installer, and our steel fabrication and design facilities we hope that you will see that we are well placed to meet your your pipe bending process needs.