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How to Bend Round and Square Tube Faster

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

What if I told you that I know how you can bend pipe and tube by hand, without having to sign up for a gym membership? And that it doesn’t involve a tube bending machine?

You’d probably think I’m crazy and clearly know nothing about the tube bending process, but hear me out –

Here at EMI, we often talk about how our Tube Plasma Cutters eliminate (or at least significantly reduce) relying on multiple machines when manufacturing metal. In addition to band saws and grinders, our machines decrease your need for a tube bender with a capability we call "Bend Notching."

How does Bend Notching work?

EMI’s tube cutting machines include our own software, PieceMaker, which features this capability and only takes two steps:

  1. The machine cuts a triangle, or notched section, out of the material leaving a small hinge.

  2. The fabricator folds the material in on itself by hand.

With Bend Notching, you’re left with a consistent, uniform, and precise bend with space for a full-penetration weld. Now you can avoid the difficulties of a tube bending machine, like tooling changes and estimating spring-back, to name a few. And it's done in the same cutting and coping process on our cnc pipe cutters.

And I promise Bend Notching isn’t too good to be true – check out this video to see it in action.

Clearly, this is quite an advantage when it comes to handrail returns, frames, and roll cages, but I still wanted to know more about the benefits of doing it our way:

  1. Quality control. Since the bends are programmed through our included software, Bend Notching is repeatable and exact, giving you a precise bend every time. Now you can anticipate consistency and accuracy, without having to calculate stretch and spring-back.

  2. Stack Bends Closer Together. With our programming, you can bend that tighter radius without running the risk of the pipe splitting. Even better, you can place a bend within inches of an already-coped end.

  3. Increase speed. When using a manual tube bender, tooling like mandrels and dies are necessary in order to create a quality bend. Depending on your radius and the material’s diameter, you’ll have to change the tooling. These considerations aren’t even on the table with our CNC Plasma Cutters. You don’t have to spend time switching dies or worrying about pipe seams snagging on the mandrel or having to start over– just pull the pipe off our machine, collapse the cut, and it’s off to the welder.

  4. Great Weld-Prep. Due to the nature of EMI’s plasma cutters, you can expect smooth reveals for a full-penetration, quality weld, meaning you can avoid grinding and its frustrations. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

  5. Saves Time and Labor. Rather than operating the band saw and pipe bender just to process a piece of stock, EMI’s Tube Plasma Cutter measures, cuts, copes and notches for bending in one smooth operation. And if you wanted a hole or feature cut in, it’ll do that, too.

"I was not aware of Bend Notching, previously I heard about only radial bending of rails. While looking up the video posted by EMI Works, I came to know even notch bending is possible and that, too, is done with efficient work by your team with perfection."

-Vishesh Singh, JMT Consultants Inc.

Want to learn more? See our machines' pages for details!

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