Are you a car enthusiast who enjoys fabricating custom parts for your vehicles? Read on and learn all that you need to know about mandrel tube bending with reference to auto parts (such as custom exhausts).
What It Is
Car parts must find their way around other components. For instance, a car exhaust pipe has to be bent so that it does not get in contact with other systems (such as fuel lines). However, the bending process must be properly controlled so that undesirable outcomes are kept minimal. For instance, care must be taken to maintain the internal diameter of an exhaust pipe so that exhaust gases can be ejected efficiently from the engine. Mandrel bending helps to minimise the risks of pipe bending. A mandrel (metal shaft, rod or spindle) is placed inside a hollow pipe so that the bending process does not affect the integrity of the pipe (for instance making its wall so thin that leaks will quickly develop).
Mandrel bending is a very good way to achieve bends of a very small radius. This is because the mandrel provides extra support to the pipe material so that it does not become distorted during the bending process.
Mandrel bending also helps to make a pipe aesthetically appealing. This is because the mandrel prevents the surface of the pipe from having wrinkles that mar its appearance.
The mandrel also prevents tool marks from appearing inside the pipe. This is very important because tool marks can create lines of weakness that gradually fail. For example, the intense heat from exhaust fumes can cause a hairline crack to develop along a tool mark inside a bent pipe. Such a crack can eventually expand and cause the pipe to fail.
Mandrel bending is not suitable for making large diameter bends. This is because the mandrel used is so thick that it makes the bending process cumbersome. Your tool supplier can guide you on the maximum bend radius that your equipment can perform.
The mandrel bending process requires specific tools for a particular job. For instance, a mandrel should be selected to suit the particular diameter of the pipe that you wish to bend. This can increase fabrication costs if you wish to bend several pipes that have different dimensions.
Weigh the attributes above carefully as you select a pipe bending method that you would like to use when fabricating custom parts for your car. You can also talk to a fabricating professional so that he or she can advise you about how to overcome the limitations of the pipe bending method that you have selected.