Mandrel Bending

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In this process, a mandrel—a metal rod or ball—is inserted into the tube while it is being bent, which creates a more precise bend with no wrinkles or kinks. For some applications, it is acceptable to have a wrinkled tube; particularly when the tube just has to function and quality is not a factor. Read More…

Mandrel Bending Mandrel bending, also known as mandrel tooling, is a sub-process of tube bending.
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Leading Manufacturers

Apple Valley, CA  |  760-948-4220

As tube fabrication experts, we can solve your fabrication problems with ease! We take our product quality seriously, as we started our company sourcing tube products for the Apollo project.

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Tube Bending Incorporated $$$

New Berlin, WI  |  262-649-3807

Founded in 1990, Sharpe Products is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company specializing in industrial and commercial pipe and tube bending, laser cutting, end-forming or other custom fabrication services. in addition, we offer a robust line of architectural handrail fittings and accessories such as brackets, connectors, disks, end-caps, flanges, newel caps and spheres.

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Sharpe Products $$$

East Palestine, OH  |  800-496-1364

Unity Tube provides custom bending, coiling and fabrication services. From single piece prototypes to high volume production, we can do it all. Besides manufacturing helically wound finned tubing with a range of fit-to-tube attachment methods, we also offer precise tube forming and have the capabilities to design, cut, drill, flare, deburr, paint, finish and weld a quality product for you.

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Unity Tube, Inc. $$$

Strongsville, OH  |  440-238-6459

From design to finished product, R.M.Tool is your one stop shop for all of your tube fabrication needs. We provide custom tube fabricating and many other solutions for our clients' needs. Our capabilities include Tube Bending, Bead Rolling, Flaring, Swaging, and Ferrules. Our team strives to exceed customer expectations by always delivering quality products and services.

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R.M. Tool Inc. $$$

Chicago, IL  |  773-745-0116

AWC Industries is your one stop source for metal fabrication and finishing. Specializing in tube fabrication and finishing as well as sheet metal and wire processes, our experienced engineers provide the quality craftsmanship you deserve using state of the art CNC machining. AWC we believe that outstanding customer service has and will always be the key to our continuing success.

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AWC Industries $$$

Portland, OR  |  800-503-5060

AMPCO provides quality custom tube and pipe bending services with seamless and wrinkle-free bends, as well as multiple bends and compound tooling. Our machines and technicians can handle tube diameters from 5/8” to 8” so call us today if you need one or 1,000 parts, and we’ll go to work for you.

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American Metal Products $$$
placeholder image Tube Bending Incorporated Sharpe Products Unity Tube, Inc. R.M. Tool Inc. AWC Industries American Metal Products

The process of mandrel bending provides a high quality tube because the amount of flow is improved, making the inside diameter of the tube consistent throughout, even at the bend; something that is not possible to do without using a mandrel. Mandrel bending is commonly used in exhaust applications in the automotive industry, pipe applications in the plumbing industry and instrument applications in the musical instrument manufacturing industry because the process improves the look of the bend and also creates a much tighter bend than is possible with empty bending. When the mandrel is inserted into the tube, it has to be strong enough to support the tube so that it won’t be deformed during bending, but also flexible enough to ensure that the tube is still properly bent.

Mandrel bending takes place during the rotary-draw tube-bending process. With rotary-draw bending, a tube’s bend is created by placing the tube around the form of a rotating bend. The tube is attached to the bend form, and as the form moves forward it is designed to bend the tube in the right places, specific to each tube. Mandrel bending occurs during this process by placing a mandrel inside the tube so that as the tube is bent, the mandrel bends with it, which helps keep the tube’s shape from deforming and provides a precise bend, free of kinks.

Mandrels are usually made of an aluminum-bronze alloy or steel. The aluminum-bronze type is used to bend harder materials such as stainless steel or titanium, while steel mandrels are typically used to bend softer materials such as copper or aluminum. There are different types of mandrels that meet various bending needs: common types include plug mandrels, form mandrels and ball mandrels. Plug mandrels are solid rods that are inserted into the tube; this type of mandrel is often used on tubes that have thicker walls, a larger radius and are going to be bent normally.

Form mandrels are similar to plug mandrels in that they are also a solid rod, but the tips of these mandrels are formed to fit a tube’s specific radius; essentially, it is a custom mandrel. Ball mandrels consist of ball bearings—which can be linked or unlinked—being inserted into the tube. These mandrels are used when a precise bend is required in a tube.

Mandrel Bending Informational Video