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The Black Art

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The Black Art

 

Like many other types of metalforming, rotary-draw bending of tubing, extrusion, and other metal shapes is often called a "black art" by its practitioners.  This is because rotary-draw bending is a non-linear process, in which several -- sometimes unmeasurable -- variables come together to produce unpredictable results.

 

However, this unpredictability is a matter of scale.  Perhaps in the thousandths of an inch, even the very best bending machine operator cannot determine the precise outcome of a rotary-draw bending set-up; but in the realm of hundredths and tenths of an inch, rotary-draw bending is indeed a predictable, repeatable process.  In fact, far from being an art, rotary-draw bending is the most controllable widely used metalforming process today.

 

The old bromide "the tools make the bend" may now be cliched, but that is the fundamental principle that makes rotary-draw bending a science and not an art.  Results in rotary-draw bending are judged in terms of bend quality, tool life, and process control.  Beyond the occasional failures in material quality or machine operation, it is the design, manufacture, and set-up of the tooling that determine these results.  Even if the design and manufacture of the tooling are less than optimal, sound set-up practices can mitigate all but the grossest tooling defects.  The key to a good set-up in rotary-draw bending is operating the machine under the lowest pressure possible with the mandrel nose set aggressively forward into the bend.

 

The purpose of the Black Art sections described below is to provide you with the information that transform rotary-draw tube-bending, mandrel bending in particular, from an art into a science.

 


BLACK ART LINKS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BEND TOOLING NEWS (NEWS & VIEWS)

INDUSTRY RESOURCES

USEFUL LINKS [under construction]


BEND TOOLING ENCYCLOPEDIA

4-STEP SET-UP PROCEDURE FOR MANDREL BENDING

FORMULAS FOR USING BEND TOOLING PRODUCTS

OTHER TECHNICAL INFO


FREE COPY OF "THE ROTARY-DRAW TOOLING GUIDE"

 

FREE COPY OF THE LATEST BEND TOOLING TECHNICAL BULLETIN

 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S): Answers to common questions about Bend Tooling Inc., our products for rotary-draw tube-bending, and our design and specification rationales.

 

Bend Tooling News: Bend Tooling news, plus a tube-bending industry blog hosted by the Bend Tooling team, featuring commentary, remarks from you, and responses to your questions.  [Note: The blog is not up at this time, because we have to work out technical issues for hosting it.  Thank you for your patience.]

 

 

Industry Resources:  Key sources of information that we think are helpful for those involved in tube-bending, especially rotary-draw and mandrel tube-bending.

 

Useful Links:  Links to other websites that we think you will find interesting.

 

The Bend Tooling Technical Information Archive:  This is the most comprehensive technical resources available on the internet for rotary-draw tube-bending and mandrel bending in particular.  Here you will find technical articles, the Bend Tooling Encyclopedia™, a set-up procedure to facilitate process control, and formulas to standardize tube-bending.  Also on the sidebar are links for ordering your free copy of our "Rotary-Draw Tooling Guide" and a subscription to our technical bulletin series.


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