Pipe Fabrication: Guide to Mandrel and Ring Roll Bending

Pipe bending fabrication can be a challenging task especially if you are not yet that familiar with the methods and tools that are to be used to help get that pipe into the desired shape. Bending a pipe will not only require your knowledge on the several methods and tools, but on some math as well. Calculation is very important in pipe bending. If the calculations are wrong, the pipe will not have the right angle and uneven ends. From the many pipe bending methods, we are going to talk about two today, the mandrel pipe bending method, and the ring roll pipe bending method.

pipe fabricators
mandrel bending

First, let’s talk about the mandrel bending method. In the mandrel pipe bending method, the process makes sure that there is the least amount of area on the pipe deformed as it goes through the bender. So here, you will find very little to no deformation on the pipe. This is because of a mandrel support. Now when the pipe is bent in the tool, a flexible mandrel is fitted inside the pipe acting as a supporting structure. As the pipe is being bent, so does the flexible mandrel support inside it. It is that flexible mandrel that supports the pipe from the inside that makes sure there is no deformation during the bending process. During the process, the pipe is fed through a counter bending die and on a former radius die. This is very similar to rotary draw bending. This process that incorporates the flexible support and two dies makes sure the bend is done with quality. Pipes that go through this pipe bending fabrication method are pipes that are used in exhaust, intake, turbocharger, processing, heat change, dairy, and more. Materials suited for this are pipes made of aluminum and stainless steel where deformation is never an option.

The second pipe bending method we will talk about now is the ring roll bending. The ring roll bending methods of pipe bending is used on pipes with a large center radius. The tools used in the ring roll method of pipe bending involve three rolls that are mounted on an individual shaft. What these three rolls and the shafts do is they roll the pipe as the pipe is being fed through it. Two of the rolls are situated on the bottom area while one roll is on the top. It is the top roll and shaft that does most of the work and exerts effort on the bending of the pipe. From the top roll, the pipe experiences pressure going downwards which is what causes the bending. The benders for this come in two or three driven rolls. Their adjustment can other be done manually or with hydraulics fitted on the top roll. This method is common for making frames for barbecues, as well as other products that are round and have a large center radius.

So those are two methods used in pipe bending. If you really want to avoid having deformations, use the mandrel method but if you are working on larger projects, use ring roll pipe bending fabrication method.


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