Whether you're working on your own car at home or installing new plumbing pipes, or have a shop where you occasionally need to bend pipes, tubes, or conduit, you need to know how to do this successfully. You don't want a pipe that is dented or crimped as this can often restrict airflow or the flow of water and other materials through those pipes, and can make them dangerously sharp if they're exposed at all. Note a few simple but important tips for successful pipe bending of any sort.
1. Bounce back
Pipes and tubing have a tendency to bounce back after bending. If you've ever tried to bend your own pipes and then noticed that they weren't as bent or curved as you thought and don't fit properly when installed or connected to another piece, it may have been because of this bounce back. Once you've bent any pipe or tubing, be sure you measure it again or check the angle of the curve before you try to install or use the pipe, as you may need to bend it again to accommodate this bounce back.
2. Adding sand
Lightweight materials like aluminum tend to bend or crimp rather than curve when they're manipulated. A good way to avoid this is to fill the pipe with water and then add sand. The sand will get wet and firm and provide a solid base on the inside of the pipe so that it won't crimp, and instead is gently coaxed into a more rounded bend. Note the weight of wet sand if you try this trick; have a sawhorse or other base ready if the pipe is connected to a car exhaust or is otherwise suspended, so it doesn't pull away from its connectors when you add the sand.
3. Use lubricant
When bending any type of pipe or tubing, you might want to use a non-petroleum based lubricant. This can also help to avoid crimps and bends rather than accurate rolls, and keep metal from denting. The lubricant softens the surface of the pipe or tubing and allows mandrels or rollers to more readily roll over its surface and curve the metal, rather than simply pushing against it. Many heavy-duty lubricants are available in gel or paste form so you can easily apply them to the area of bending without creating a mess that you might otherwise get from lubricant sprays.
For more information, talk to a professional like Inductabend Pty Ltd.