There are many different exhaust applications and many differing ways to bend exhaust tubing.
One cost effective solution is a Rotary Draw Bender. A rotary bender will rely on the materials wall thickness to bend hollow tubing to a smooth kink free bend with minimal material deformation. The down side to a Rotary Draw Bender for exhaust is the material generally has to be a 0.065″ – 0.083″ wall for 1″-1.5″ OD and .125″ wall for tube sizes 1.625″ – 2″ OD. Any larger OD exhaust tubing on a Rotary Bender and you’re out of luck! Rotary Draw Benders are generally used for one off build applications such as motorcycle exhaust, rat rods, large engine bays, or where weight does not matter.
A compression bender utilizes a hydraulic cylinder pushing a die into the material to ram-form a bend, followed by two wiper dies to finish off the bend. The compression bender will wrinkle the inside bend on very thin wall tube or cause deformation of the tube. Baileigh EB-300 compression benders are cost effective, come with tooling, and include and end forming station. The compression bender is most often found in shops that make replacement or custom exhaust; the down side being that a compression bent part is generally not used in a high performance application.
Third option is the Mandrel bender….
Now if you really have some $$$$$ and want to make the highest quality, lightest weight exhaust, than you’re looking for a Mandrel Bender like the MB-350 (.625″ OD -3″OD capacity) or the MB-140NCH (0.625″-5″ stainless steel; great for diesel truck exhaust). The mandrel bender will get you incredibly tight bend radii on very thin wall material with flawless & smooth bends inside and out. A mandrel bender may cost more money, but the bend radius, quality of bend and versatility are the payoff. With a mandrel bender you have little to no chance of having to tell you customer “sorry but my machine cannot handle a bend that tight”. Because of the mandrel benders’ impressive 1D bend radius and larger, the machine does not have many limitations.
So the next time you’re thinking of getting an exhaust bender for your shop, consider the options above, and call on me, James Frenz at Baileigh……….. You’re Machinery Solution Specialist.