In fabrications, achieving the perfect metal component may involve any number of processes. It may be necessary to cut, form, punch and even bend the sheet metal to produce the desired component. In this industry, tube bending is often a requisite for certain applications.
Bending in Sheet Metal Fabrication
Bending is, as the term indicates, the bending of material, in this case, sheet metal, into a specific shape. The requisite techniques involve applying a certain amount of force. This will bend it at a designated angle to produce the necessary shape. Technically, this is not subtractive manufacturing since the operator does not remove any material.
The process can involve automatic or even manual equipment. More common in modern fabrication shops is CNC machinery. This improves accuracy while maintaining high-quality standards. Increasingly technology is evolving to help address the qualities looked for in achieving the right bend for sheet metal materials including tubes.
Bending tube is the same process. However, today’s industries make it more challenging than it has been in the past. The methods in bending tube all require due consideration for the following elements:
- Requested angle
- Material hardness and thickness
- Type of material
- Grain direction of the material
What is increasing the difficulty of bending tubes is the ongoing trend among manufacturers. Of particular interest is the trend towards smaller parts with thinner walls and tighter bends. This is something common in the automotive industry. It is also increasingly common to aerospace manufacturing concerns as well.
Tube Bending Trends
The future indicates a continuance of the move towards increased part complexity and miniaturization. Components are becoming smaller. This creates a challenge for those who include tube bending in their production line. They must continue to provide their customers with small parts using less material without reducing the qualities of durability and high functionality.