Bending Alu Tube to Tight Radius?
Close
Login to Your Account
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    577
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14
    Likes (Received)
    38

    Default Bending Alu Tube to Tight Radius?

    Got a thing on the agenda here..

    Bending aluminum tube of the 6061 variety, OD 30 mm with a 5 mm wall, 90 degree bend... with a radius of two inches. Not sure if that radius spec is inside, outside or center line. Say it is inside for the time being.

    What say you?

    We need to do a few of them; say a dozen. And we have a Euromac bender, it works on a principle similar to a Hossfeldt. Can use shoe or rollers; that's not a problem.

    Whaddya figger... will it crack? Best to do hot? Or filled with that low-temp melt alloy stuff?

    Hmm.

    .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Spanish Fort, AL
    Posts
    190
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    6061 aluminum derives some of its strength from a heat treating and tempering process. I am sure that it can be "warmed" safey up to some point without considerably affecting its strength, but I know that welding leaves it considerably softer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mediapolis, Iowa
    Posts
    1,713
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    364
    Likes (Received)
    387

    Default

    I say you have a good chance at not cracking since the wall thickness is pretty good.

    It will distort quite a bit, won't look like a round tube in the bent area.

    I bend 3/4" OD, .058 wall aluminum tubing, 6061-T6, in 2" CLR with my Diacro #3 bender and it distorts a bit, but no cracks.

    I use a die and follow block, is that the same for your bender?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,585
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14128
    Likes (Received)
    14094

    Default

    30mm tube at say 50mm inside rad, makes that 65mm centre rad?

    With compression bending, ie former & guide/shoe, normally a radius of 3 X D (=90mm) is considered the minimum, so IME you're in mandrel bending country and more than likely with heat treat issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    marysville ohio
    Posts
    9,260
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2643
    Likes (Received)
    6121

    Default

    Try these guys, Tube Tech 614 529 4130 all they do is bend tubes, If it can be bent they can do it...........good prices, quick service, quality work...........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    318
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Fill the tubes with water and freeze solid until the bend operation. The ice will help prevent tube collapse and will drain itself with no watching necessary as soon as the tubes reach room temperature... leaves no residue.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Zellwood, Fl.
    Posts
    1,443
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    607
    Likes (Received)
    282

    Default

    Freezing the tube would probably work as long as you can get it in the freezer barring that fill it with wet sand, cap off the ends with caps and tape and bend away. Yes the cap is going to come off but will contain the sand until you finish the bend. You may still get some distortion in the tube but not as bad as a empty tube.

    Scott

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    479
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Be careful with the heat. I split some similar tubing just last week, giving it a little too much heat. ( Believe it or not! ) I wanted a little more bend, but was waiting to let the heat spread a bit, and the CRaCKola magically formed. I will also admit I was bending in a tri-stand. =)

    Doug S.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    286
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Default Iirc

    If I recall. Aluminum is make workable by heating... can't remember the temperature off hand... 700- 900F... and then quenching.... I think the water should be 62....

    I am getting old...........

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Asheville NC USA
    Posts
    8,867
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3589
    Likes (Received)
    3017

    Default

    On a 2" CLR you're going to get subtantial flattening of the OD in a compression type bender. But if the tubing is T6 temper then you may run into cracking on the OD. That'll be hard to overcome unless you can soften the tube by overaging it. 400*F for an hour will substantially soften the tube, but the problem then is that the only way the hardness can be recovered is via a complete rerun of the solution heat treatment / aging process.

    I stuck a piece of 1/2 x 3 6061-T6 flat bar in the press brake yesterday to get a rough setup for some 1100-0 flat a customer is bringing tomorrow for me to bend. The 6061 cracked all the way across at less than a 15 degree bend. Upper die had a 1/2" radius on the nose and lower was a 3" opening, so it wasn't as if I was pinching it to failure. Its worse to crack when bent "across the grain" as I was doing, and a bend in your tube will be in the same across-the-grain direction as well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    5,108
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by metlmunchr View Post
    .............................

    400*F for an hour will substantially soften the tube, but the problem then is that the only way the hardness can be recovered is via a complete rerun of the solution heat treatment / aging process.

    .................................................. .
    Low temp heating of aluminum eases forming.

    One of my aluminum handbooks has a chart showing degrees of heat versus time increments for aluminum while maintaining acceptable hardness.

    The chart goes something like this (these are not the actual numbers)....300 degrees for 1/2 hour, or 400 degrees for 10 minutes, etc, etc. The higher the heat the shorter time it's allowed at that temp. As long as the heating/time conditions are not exceeded there is no appreciable long term effect of the softening.

    Dimpling machines for aircraft skins use this principle to create countersunk rivet settings.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    9,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    18
    Likes (Received)
    576

    Default

    a crush bend will help here, that is where you dent in the tube on the inside of the radius, like the old fashioned lawn chairs, allows a tighter bend, but of course is a restriction if you are using the tube as a duct of some sort.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Davenport IA
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    What does your material finish need to look like, A crush bend is possible but will look awful. I would suggest a Mandrel bend on something that tight with that rigid of a material.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Davenport IA
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    What is the Treatment? I would recommend a fully annealed grade

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N.E. oHIo, USA
    Posts
    2,357
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1372

    Default

    I'd first check the date of the OP.
    Baileigh, inc is digging up all of thee old bending threads.


    Rex


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •