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The Mind-Blowing Ways Pipe Bending and Rolling Services Satisfy Your Needs

A metal fabrication worker utilizing a metal roller to shape a plate of steel.

When you need a complete frame with exact curves and dimensions, you need metal fabrication services. There are dozens of ways to produce a piece of metal, but pipe bending and metal rolling services are two of the most valuable methods of forming metal. When bending metal parts, extreme pressure requires care to ensure that parts aren’t damaged and errors don’t occur. Trust us, an experienced and knowledgeable team of fabrication experts!

We have been providing these services to Pennsylvania manufacturers for years and want to show you how useful properly formed bent pipes and rolled metals can be. Tell us about your projects if you want high-quality results with exact dimensions, and we’ll get started!

How Tube Bending Can Seem Mystical

Pipe-bending has been done for decades. Because the process requires careful consideration of material, construction, and wall thickness, it has a reputation for being arcane. The slightest difference between two pipes can require a fabricator to change their approach.

For instance, pipes are usually identified by their width. However, for a pipe-bending machine, the tubing is viewed by center-line distance, radius, outside diameter, and wall thickness. These measurements may vary slightly along the length of the pipe, which means that any warping or stretching of metal during the process can be risky to the integrity of your piece.

The 4 Types of Pipe Bending

You might think that pipe-bending involves a guy and vice or some other basic set-up, but many subtleties make this process an art. The primary four methods of pipe bending are rotary draw bending, ram-type bending, roll bending, and compression bending.

Rotary Draw Bending

Rotary draw bending is the most common pipe and tube bending method, especially for tight bend radii. A central die holds the straight section of a pipe, a clamp plate that rotates the pipe around it, and typically has many bearings that help guide and support the tube’s interior during the bending. This method has minimal wrinkling and gives the pipe remarkably consistent pressure for the most control over wall thinning.

Ram-Type Bending

This type of bending is the oldest and most accessible form of bending and is common in muffler fabrication. Ram-type bending uses a hydraulic ram to force a tube against rollers or pivot blocks. Ram bending allows your tubing to achieve extremely tight angles. However, this method uses great force and produces noticeable stretching and compression. This method is cheap and effective but unsuitable for cosmetics or tight tolerances.

Roll Bending

Roll bending uses three rollers in a tight triangle to produce large, thick, specific radius pieces. The machine can carefully control the angle by moving these rollers into different positions. This positioning is possible with two-roller systems as well. This method of tube bending is standard in large workpieces for construction or industrial applications.

Compression Bending

This bending method uses a roller to bend piping around a stationary square or rounded die. The piece is clamped against this die and tightly pressed against it, forming a bend by ‘squishing’ the pipe against the die. This is very useful for symmetry and control but results in deformation and flattening of the tube. This type of pipe bending is primarily used in household products.

The Mechanics of Metal Rolling

a large metal rolling machine, which consists of three long metal rollers in a triangle shape, held by two bright orange triangular boxes

Metal rolling uniformly reduces a piece of steel’s thickness with highly specialized machines. Metal is pushed between two rollers, which draw, press, and pull the metal through. This process can involve extreme pressure, heat, and various-shaped rollers to produce exact curves, widths, or ridges. But to most people, it can look like an extensive and extreme version of rolling out pasta.

Despite the reliance on heavy machinery to create them, metal rolling is an art form, requiring frequent adjustments and careful consideration of heat expansion, materials, and other exacting details of the metal involved. This fabrication method has been used for centuries, and modern methods produce instrumental pieces.

The Types of Metal Rolling

For your consideration, there are two significant forms of metal rolling production:

Hot Rolling

Hot rolling involves rolling extremely hot metal pieces. This heat-tempering is very useful for consistent and straightforward pieces. Heavy-duty parts like railway tracks, truck frames, metal building plates, and others benefit from the structural stability provided by the hot-formed metal. There is less directionality and deformation to the stresses of moving that can cause weakness.

Cold Rolling

Cold rolling involves extreme pressure at room temperature. Strain hardening essentially strengthens the metal by compressing the crystal structure inside of the metal—like pressing snow into a snowball. This method is most common for parts that require precision and a smooth finish. Cold-rolled metal is common in aerospace and maritime applications.

These two molding methods are helpful in achieving exact thickness specifications and imparting different properties to the pieces. Understanding how steel, copper, and aluminum will react to being rolled comes with experience. Experience that ensures that any metal plate or piece created will leave you overjoyed with our services.

Get the Best Pieces for Your Needs at Brandywine Valley Fabricators!

You know that ‘good enough’ shouldn’t be your goal. When you go to a metal fabricator, you must be sure that you will receive the best possible parts, made exactly as you’ve ordered. This is the service that we can provide.

Here in Coatesville, PA, we have been doing metal fabrication work for years, putting the utmost care into every production. Your metal project will be created by a team of metal-working experts with knowledge, expertise, and experience that produce your ideal fabrications. Call us today to experience the difference we can make!