Empty Bending vs Mandrel Bending

Empty vs Mandrel Bending

What is the difference between empty bending and mandrel bending? Although Detroit Tube Products does a variety of bends for our clients, we do not do empty bends. All of our work is done through mandrel bending. This is because the difference between these two types of bending methods is massive. Both processes are done differently, leading to different products. So, here is the difference between empty and mandrel bends!

Empty Bending

First of all, let’s talk about empty bends. An empty bend is a result of bending a tube without support. During the bending process, nothing is inserted into the tube. As a result, an empty bend tends to have faults. These bends can contain contaminants and dirt. In addition, these bends have wrinkles that lead to increased rust formation. However, it doesn’t mean that these empty bends cannot be applied. If the tube has a low-pressure flow, an empty bend may be used since it will not be on display. Also, these empty bends can be found in furniture builds and in muffler shops for some components in cars.

Empty bending does have its place in the market. However, the process makes an impractical in most cases resulting in low-quality products. Alternatively, Detroit Tube Product uses mandrel bending for more precision work.

Mandrel Bending

So, what separates mandrel bending from empty bending? Unlike empty bends, mandrel bends are made with flexible supports to create the tube. As a result, a smooth round bend can be formed. Furthermore, these bends have higher quality because there are no contaminants or wrinkles in the product. Unlike empty bending, their precision enables no flow restriction. As a result, the tubes are ideal for industrial applications. Since these types of bends are clean, they are perfect for visible applications. Stainless steel, for example, is a perfect medium for displaying the tubing after mandrel bending.

Three characteristics of mandrel bends are:

  • A Tight Radius for the Bend 
  • Tubing with Thinner Walls 
  • Materials that are Harder to Bend 

Professional Mandrel Benders

While Detroit Tube Products does not do empty bends, we are professional mandrel benders. Since 1911, Detroit Tube Products has been providing top-tier mandrel bending services for our clients. We have a wide variety of industries that we serve! Whether you need tube bending, tube forming/shaping, or assemblies, we have you covered! Our company has the knowledge, diversity, flexibility, and innovation to provide the best service in the U.S.!

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Tube Bending

Tube Bending

3/4" to 6" diameter bending capacity
Severe radius capability standard - all sizes
Close tolerance available
Large die selection
Bend all tubing materials and shapes.

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Tube Shaping

Tube Forming/Shaping


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