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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

Founded in 1959, Tube Bending Technology has its roots in the Apollo space program. With such a legacy, we take quality, performance and customer satisfaction very seriously. Our custom tubing services include tube bending and coiling, end finishing, processing, machining, welding/brazing, helium leak detection and more.

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Tube Bending Technology $$$

New Berlin, WI  |  800-879-4418

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 $$$

Indianapolis, IN  |  317-241-4072

Known for excellent tube forming & fabrication service since 1972. Russell’s Tube Forming specializes in tube forming and the development & production of tube related parts & assemblies.

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Russell's Tube Forming, Inc. $$$

Boyertown, PA  |  610-367-2021

Judson A. Smith, a division of A.T. Wall, is a tube fabricating services manufacturer of tube bending, tube assemblies, laser fabrication, machining and small diameter tubing. We serve numerous industries, including medical, aircraft, electrical and automotive.

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Judson A. Smith Company $$$

Garland, TX  |  972-276-3010

Since 1985, Arrow Fabricated Tubing has had an extensive line of fabricated metal tubing products. We are a leading supplier of aluminum and copper fabricated tubing products including crossovers, return bends, complex brazed assemblies and interconnected tubing. To ensure the highly quality and standards Arrow is ISO 9001:2008 Certified and ANAB accredited. Give us a call today to learn more about Arrow and our products.

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Arrow Fabricated Tubing $$$

New Market, VA  |  215-699-5801

Precision Tube is a tube fabricating services company specializing in precision tube bending, tube assemblies and small-diameter tubing. We serve a number of industries such as aerospace, commercial, military and many others.

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Precision Tube Company $$$
placeholder image Tube Bending Technology Sharpe Products Russell's Tube Forming, Inc. Judson A. Smith Company Arrow Fabricated Tubing Precision Tube Company

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