Induction bending is a metal forming process that involves the application of heat on any pipe or tube that's a good conductor of electricity to manipulate its shape. The process involves heating different sections of the pipe using electric currents that are generated by an electromagnetic field. An induction bending machine is used to bend the heated parts of the metal to the desired shape. Metals that are good candidates for induction bending include stainless steel, aluminium, steel alloys, carbon steel, iron, and titanium.
There are various reasons why induction bending is a preferable method of metal forming compared to cold forming processes such as compression bending and rotary draw bending. Here are some of these benefits.
Automation is one of the major advantages of induction bending over other metal forming processes. The method utilizes Computer Aided Design (CAD) which allows the creation of versatile pipe bending designs. The designs can be inputted in the bending machine, which in turn shapes the metal in that desired design. The bending machine controls the heat and pressure required to form the metal. Automation in induction bending is beneficial in the following ways:
• Production accuracy due to reduced human errors.
• Versatility in the metal bending designs
• Increased production as a result of time efficiency
Industries such as petroleum pipelines, processing plants, power generation, food processing, and oil and gas refinery require pipes and tubes with minimal ovality and no wall thinning. In fact, the precision and integrity of products for these industries are critical to the performance of the industry. Achieving this high level of accuracy and integrity using cold forming processes is almost impossible.
When using induction bending, the quality of pipe bends created is high because the metal is heated and shaped simultaneously. This eliminates the risk of wall thinning and warping. Also, a smoother finish is achieved since the process does not involve welding of piping. Welding generates a lot of friction which could wear out the metal and create potential points of weakness.
The use of CAD with induction bending machinery results in reduced energy consumption. The software allows the machine localize the heat exactly where it is needed so no energy is wasted during the process. Also, infrared sensors can be installed on the machine to keep the temperatures in check and prevent overheating. This results in quality and energy efficient production.
Induction welding is one of the best metal forming processes for industries that aim at producing high-quality pipes with complex bends and designs. If quality and precision piping solutions are critical in your industry, induction bending is the ideal solution.