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Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 6:04 AM

Good Day!

Details of Aluminum Tubular Bus Pipe : Di = 3 in , Thick = 9 mm

Do you have any experiences on bending this kind of pipes ? we just want to target 20 degrees bend.

See attached picture for the detail.


TIA

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#1

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 10:19 AM

A hydraulic pipe bender can do this. You have to overshoot 2 to 3 degrees to compensate for the spring-back after bending.

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#2

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 10:33 AM

Plus you may need a mandrel as to not crush the pipe.

but since the angles may not be that sharp you may be able to get away with a cheap harbor freight pipe bender.

I'm a little surprised these really went up in price.

http://t.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=Pipe+bender

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#3

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 10:57 AM

Is their anyway that we should just make on site like a fabricated bender?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 11:47 AM

Aluminum is not very easy to bend.

You might look at a conduit bender.

These are very inexpensive compared to a tubing bender. I'd suggest filling the tube with sand and capping both ends before bending to reduce wrinkling.

Another alternative to sand is filling the tube with water and freezing it, then bending the tube while the water is still frozen.

Last resort, cut sections out ot the pipe, bend it then weld sections back in to fill the gap.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 10:46 PM

You beat me to it with the sand idea. I have bent all sorts of metal tubing for forty years using the "sand method"! Sometimes, heat is required; but, with aluminum, that is a bit dicey because there is no color change between solid and liquid. As long as the aluminum isn't heat-treated to brittleness, the sand system works quite well at room temperature.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/24/2015 1:39 PM

No. We have no idea what you have "on site" nor your capabilities to use what you do have. We don't even know if you have enough aluminum pipe to do the job.

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#7

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/25/2015 4:29 AM

Is the tube round or square,or rectangular,or other shape?

Exactly which aluminum alloy are you using.

Some are very malleable,others are not.

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#8

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/25/2015 4:37 AM

Here is a link that may prove helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEKE9AOdXO4

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#9

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/25/2015 5:49 AM

We bend copper pipe all the time and have found that to avoid crimping we fill the pipe with sugar. We use the pipe in a solar thermal collector and any sand left inside would compromise the pumping mechanism. No problem with sugar, it dissolves in water. We tried sand and salt and other materials but settled on sugar. We reuse the sugar because of the cost factor. We then use a jig with the desired amount of bend to pull the copper around to the desires angle.

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#10

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 12:16 AM

3" pipe is not easy to bend without some hydraulic force applied....I guess you could build one, you need 3 ea 3" U-groove wheels with the center one attached to a hydraulic pump, all mounted on a triangular frame....

...something like this...

http://www.harborfreight.com/16-ton-hydraulic-pipe-bender-35336.html

...I would just find the nearest muffler shop and slip em a few bucks....

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#11

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 1:00 AM

Everything suggested so far will give a generous radius in the bend.

Your drawing shows a sharp angle.

Which is it?

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#12
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 7:03 AM

maybe a mitered cut and weld.

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#13
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 9:45 AM

Yep.

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#14
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 9:57 AM

But we don't know if they can make a precise miter cut or weld any alloy of aluminum.

I think it would be better if they just ordered all the correct parts from the internet. (We do know they have internet access.)

What I don't understand is how anyone tasked with installing a 4636 meters long pipe of any material wouldn't know how to make a bend in that material?

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#15
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 10:00 AM

Where'd do you draw the line Redford? We also don't know if they can bend. :/

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#16
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 10:05 AM

I usually draw my lines on paper. I do have a dry erase board behind me but I might obfuscate one of my quotes.

Can anyone tell that I'm bored today.

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#18
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 10:32 AM

I hear ya,.... I came within a heartbeat of calling in today.

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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 2:52 PM

"Never draw more in the morning than you can erase in the afternoon."

A saying left over from the time of T-squares and drafting boards.

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#17

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 10:31 AM

Yes. We use portable Greenlee "one-shot" hydraulic benders with IMC shoe & dies to do this.

It is imperative you purchase or rent the correct IMC shoe and dies for your aluminum pipe size.

If you attempt using rigid conduit or standard pipe shoes and/or dies, the pipe will be damaged.

There is a myriad of tool makers in the marketplace that offer this type of bender for sale and in many cases it is possible to rent what is needed.

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#19
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 10:33 AM

do you fill the pipe with something? sand, sugar?

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#20
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Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/26/2015 11:52 AM

What ever you fill it with may leave a residue so be careful. I used sugar because it cold be washed out. You can also use salt, and in my case I tried rock salt which unfortunately was too harsh and left dimples in the tubing and would not wash out easily. Sugar proved the best for me. It was compressible enough to not leave a mark on the tubing and it could be easily washed out if needed. I even thought of capping the ends and using high pressure air to hold the shape of the tubing as it was bent. I never tried that and wonder if it would work?

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/27/2015 2:43 AM

have you tried low melting point alloys for filling the tubes before bending?

something like:

http://www.csalloys.com/cerro-alloys-tube-bending-filler.html

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#23

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/27/2015 3:46 PM

If you are only doing 1 or 2 bends, then send the tubing out to a competent bending shop and tell them what you want. They should be able to do it in about 15 minutes. If this is a repetitive job for you in-house, then buy the equipment to bend it.

  • 3" diameter alum. round.
  • 9 mm wall thickness.
  • That is fairly stout but with a hydraulic bender you should get good results.
  • Pack the bend area with sand to prevent crimping.

We do bending all the time at our shop. Where are you located?

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#24

Re: Techniques/ Procedures on Bending Al. Tubular Pipe [HELP]

05/30/2015 10:22 AM

Consider using 2no. 90deg elbows connected to each other at 20deg instead.

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