Two methods of pipe bending

Metal pipes are used in dozens of industries, for the creation of things like plumbing systems (in commercial and residential buildings), pipelines (in petrochemical facilities), handrails and chassis components in vehicles. These pipes often need to be bent. Here are two common bending methods that industrial manufacturers use to create bends in the metal pipes that they produce:

Induction pipe bending

Induction bending involves using heat generated by an electrical source to bend a metal pipe. During the induction bending process, a straight piece of piping is passed through a piece of equipment called an induction coil.

This coil is extremely hot and, as the pipe moves through the middle of it, the coil's heat is transferred to the metal pipe. This results in the metal softening. Whilst it is in this softened state,  one or more bends are made in the pipe. After this bending process is complete,  the temperature of the pipe is quickly reduced so that its new shape can be preserved. The cooling process is usually done by either blasting freezing cold air or water at the pipe.

Induction bending is frequently favoured over other pipe bending methods. There are several reasons for its popularity; firstly, it allows manufacturers to create bends in very specific areas of a pipe.

Secondly, this method makes it very easy for the manufacturer to create several bends in a single length of pipe.

Thirdly, unlike other bending methods, induction bending does not have a negative impact on the structural strength of the metal and does not affect the overall appearance of the pipe (meaning that it does not create unwanted ripples or bumps).

Rotary draw bending

This method involves the use of a piece of computer-operated equipment called a rotary draw bending machine.

The pipe enters the machine, after which the equipment uses a combination of rotational movements and pressure to create bends in specific sections of the pipe.

Whilst this method does not offer the same level of precision (in regards to the placement of the bend) that induction pipe bending does, it is still used by industrial manufacturers, as it allows for an excellent finish, with very few distortions in the exterior walls of the bent area of the pipe.

Because it does not create extremely-precise bends, it is most commonly favoured in instances where this factor is less important, such as when the pipe will be used to create things like handrails, furniture (for example, chairs with metal frames) and clothes rails.