Aluminum Tube Bending Tricks

If you need to bend an aluminum tube for a do-it-yourself project or for a commercial venture, you have two options. You can call a company to bend your tube for you or you can try to do the job by yourself. If you choose to attempt to bend aluminum tubing by yourself, here are some tips for making sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Use a Guide

First, determine the angle of the bend that you are going to need. For example, if you need a 90 degree angle, then you should sketch a 90 degree angle on a piece of plywood or other thin material that can be easily cut with a craft knife. Try to make the shape in the plywood that is modelling the bend approximately as thick as the aluminum tube that you are bending. Cut out the shape with plywood and use it as a guide in order to ensure that you are getting the exact right bend. Even being a few degrees off can result in your tube not fitting properly into your piping alignment.

2. Use String and a Spring

Because aluminum is relatively lightweight and malleable, all you need is a spring that is the same diameter as your tubing and a piece of string. First, clamp the piece of aluminum tubing in place. Make sure that it is tight enough so that the tubing is not able to move around. Then, push the spring into the tubing. The spring allows the tube to bend but will not allow the tube to collapse inwards. Try to push the spring to the precise area where you want the bend to be. Then, tie a the string securely to the end of the tube that is not clamped. You want string that you can tug on without breaking.

3. Bend in One Smooth Motion

Finally, you are going to want to bend the tube in a single motion, rather than stopping and starting frequently. If you bend the tube and the action is not smooth, you are going to weaken the aluminum. If you bend the tube in one action, you will not weaken the aluminum. Pull on the string and, using the piece of plywood you cut as a guide, pull the tube down to the angle that you want it to be. 

For assistance and for more information, talk to a company that specializes in tube bending such as Accubend Inc.