Induction bending technology has become one of the most popular techniques for bending metal tubes in the manufacturing industry. However, even with its popularity, induction bending is not ideal under all circumstances. There are various factors that determine the suitability of this technique for pipe bending, and failure to adhere to them can compromise the quality and stability of the metal pipe. Here are some of the key determinants of induction bending that you should consider before applying it in for your specific applications.
Surface condition of the metal
The pipe that's selected for induction welding should satisfy certain surface condition before induction bending is carried out. There should be no rust or contaminants such as paint and grease as they can affect the properties of the metal and lead to bending failure. To get rid of these impurities, the tube's surface should be thoroughly cleaned and the rust removed using abrasive surface preparation techniques such as sandblasting. This will not only clean the surface of impurities, but it will also leave it smooth and ready for bending.
Thickness of the tube
The thickness of a metal tube will determine its candidacy for induction bending. Using induction bending of metals that don't meet the required thickness can result in several failures during the bending process. It can also cause wall thinning or affect the desired radius of the bent pipe. You should consult your fabricator to make sure that the thickness of the metal meets the standard requirements for induction bending.
Chemical composition of the metal
Metals with alloys and other materials with varying chemical properties may not be suitable for induction bending. In the case of alloys, the metals should have similar or close-to-similar chemical properties of induction bending to be successful. For instance, if a metal has materials or contaminants with a low melting point, these can lead to uneven heat distribution during bending, and this can lead to bending failure. Various tests, including mass analytic tests, can be undertaken to determine the chemical properties of the metal before bending.
Previous welding procedures
Metals with areas that have undergone previous welding repair procedures are poor candidates for induction welding. This is because the welded areas create points of weakness which can cause wall thinning during the bending procedure. Also, the quality of the bend may be compromised, and this could lead to cracks after the pipe has been put to use. Avoid bending metals with such areas of weakness for the best results.
These are the key factors that determine the suitability of metal tubing for induction bending. When hiring a fabricator, ensure that they are experienced and have the ability to execute the necessary tests to qualify metal pipes for induction welding.