Before you can talk about mandrel bending, you should first learn exactly what a mandrel is. Some tubes, depending on the material, can be a little weak. This means when they bend they may crack or wrinkle. A mandrel, when used in the tube bending process, is a steel rod or linked balls that are placed inside the tube which adds support to prevent damage. Once it is added, then the tube is run through a mandrel bender to bend the tube to the proper angle.
There are different types of mandrels used for different ways to bend a tube. The first type is the plug mandrel. This is usually a solid rod that is used for most normal bends. The second type is the form mandrel. This type is another solid rod but with curved ends. The third type is the ball mandrel without cable. These are steel ball bearings that are used for more precise bends. The fourth type is the ball mandrel with cable. Similar to the other type it just uses balls that are linked with the cable and used for precise bends. Finally, there is the sand mandrel. As you can guess, this is just sand packed in the tube for support during the bending process.
As an experienced mandrel bender, Detroit Tube Products will work with you to get the exact mandrel bending you need. A general rule of thumb is that there should be 25% of the wall thickness used for clearance. However, we’ve been known to do the nearly impossible. Our experts can produce critical and odd bends that most companies won’t even attempt. Typically, we’ll get a request for something like “I need 316 stainless bent on a tight radius without wrinkles,” or “Can you make a 3″ stainless part with 3″ radius bends?” The answer is yes of course! In many cases, we’ve examined a project and help determined alternatives or suggestions on how to get the results needed.
Also, besides mandrel tube bending, we can provide additional tube forming services such as expanding, swaging, beading, flanging and much more. If you have any questions please contact us or if you’re pretty sure about what you want (like 3 inch mandrel bending), please fill out the request for quote form or, give us a call at 313-841-0300.