Dies for bending - material choice
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  1. #1

    Dies for bending - material choice

    Planning to make (on lathe) square tube dies to be used on a pipe bender. It is for bending 1.25 square tube with 1/8 wall.

    Would it be OK to machine the dies from delrin or aluminum? My thought is that these dies are about 3 inch in diameter, solid and supported by a strong rod going through them.

    Thank you,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    Aluminum tends to grab the pipe or tube. Delrin may deform. Steel would be best.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    turning plastic in a lathe can be a challenge you may find the part suddenly in another part of the room. Plastics like to grab cutting tools derlin is pretty soft you may want to look at UHMW plastics.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    Are you bumping or bending? If bending then, I would go with a steel. Square tube will get stuck in steel dies. Imagine the abuse aluminum or delrin will take.

    Square tube dies function differently than round dies.

    I would suspect with some special aluminum or heat treating then aluminum would harden and crack.


    Without much research, I would not waste my time with either of those materials.

    Your tube section is no weakling either.

    I have made dies from delrin. For round steel tube and aluminum trim. Never had issue turning it. Long shavings..

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    uhmw is terrible for rolling or bending dies. at least in my experience.

    steel in the only way to go. i have yet to turn a steel die but if i where to i would go with a hardened and tempered steel.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    D2 Call a local tool and die shop. They'll 'splain a few things to you.Square tube us a whole 'nother critter

  7. #7
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    Seems like a fairly tight radius 1.25" tube. Pushing the limits anyway.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    HF has round dies on the shelf for their 'roller' for like $20. Sounds close to what you are looking for on your machine.

    Because I have the HF roller I get their $20 dies and cut what sizes I need out of them.

    I cut these for 1x3/4" bar. If I were to roll or bend tube I would just cut the grooves deeper to support the sides of the tube.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    Unless you're going to bend thousands of them, heat treated 4140 is more than adequate. D2 would be a waste of money, and loves to eat tooling when machining.

  10. #10
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    What kind of bender?
    I agree, that radius is a wee bit tight. Usually a 6" ish radius is about all you will get before deformation wrecks it. Two options available for that radius, buy pre bent 90s and weld them in, or cut the sides on a cnc plasma, then form/weld the inners and outers.

  11. #11
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    Re: Dies for bending - material choice

    I agree with Walker type of bender makes a difference. The final radius dose as well too tight and nothing you can do outside of production machines (hydroforming)
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