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Bending styrene piping

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Pierre02/02/2011 16:31:27
86 forum posts
65 photos
Anyone have any tips for bending thin styrene tubing without distorting the bend?
I've tried filling the pipes with salt but this didn't seem to work very sucessfully.
neil howard-pritchard02/02/2011 18:09:52
1921 forum posts
1747 photos
depends on the inside diameter, but if it's not to big..say 3mm or less......i tend to aneel some brass wire on the gas cooker, wait for it to go cold and then slide into the tube, and then bend doesn't crease or shatter.... thats even when bent through 180.( that's only when I don't need the tube to allow anything to pass through, such as goose neck vents etc.
I havent as yet tried it with a diameter of more than that on the inside.

Edited By neil howard-pritchard on 02/02/2011 18:11:40

Colin Bishop02/02/2011 18:38:38
4967 forum posts
6089 photos
410 articles
It might be worth warmingt the pipe in boiling water as you bend it although you would still probably need a wire insert as Neil suggests.
Bob Abell02/02/2011 18:53:41
9317 forum posts
2976 photos
Try thick cord?
Pierre02/02/2011 19:49:14
86 forum posts
65 photos
Thanks Neil, Colin and Bob
I like the idea of using annealed brass wire and hot water. Will try as soon as possible. Not sure how one would push string through a small bore styrene pipe though!
Trying to make goosenecks for my SDM tug which is finally close to reaching completion.
Telstar02/02/2011 23:36:07
323 forum posts
32 photos
Hi Pierre
This extract is from Squires Tool catalogue don't know if these sizes would be helpful
MINIATURE TUBE BENDING SPRINGS a set of 5 springs which can be used for brass, copper and aluminium tubing from 1/16"-3/16" outside diameter. When the spring is placed around the outside of the tube it will support the tube and create a neat kinkless bend. Spring sizes:- 1/16", 3/32",1/8", 5/32" and 3/16".
MTBS15 Mini Tube Bending Springs Set of 5..................... £4.99
Cheers Tom
neil howard-pritchard03/02/2011 09:49:42
1921 forum posts
1747 photos
they don't work on styrene though!,
and sadly don't work too well on brass and alli either........had some for years, and seldom use them as they tend to crimp the metal!!
and by wanting to bend the styrene ( or metal for that matter) in a form of 180 degrees the external spring benders would be absolutely USELESS as ( as stated in the instructions suppled with them, they will only bend to 90 degrees or just over, or the springs will not release from the tubing!
sorry to contradict you telstar, and for fear of yet another tonguelashing from you....I again speak from my own experience and passing that knowledge on for the help of others!!!.

Edited By neil howard-pritchard on 03/02/2011 09:55:08

Bob Abell03/02/2011 11:27:35
9317 forum posts
2976 photos
Still think thick cord (washing line?) will do the trick........and it can be pulled out easily
If you coat the end with can be tapered for easy insertion too
Peter Fitness03/02/2011 22:06:32
509 forum posts
215 photos
I managed to bend some 12mm styrene tube for the RIBs on my patrol boat doing as Colin Bishop suggested. I used boiling water to soften the styrene, and carefully bent the tube by hand until the right angle was achieved. A lot would depend on how acute an angle was needed. As can be seen from the photo, I didn't have to bend the styrene very sharply.

ashley needham04/02/2011 19:46:22
7323 forum posts
156 photos
Perhaps, on the hot water front, a former could be filed up in wood, to the radius required, but with a semi-circular channel in it, like the curved formers on a full-size tube bender...this may assist in keeping the tube from creasing ??

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