Modular Tubing Bender for Small Metal Tubing
Publication Date: 2001-May-02
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Robert Maron: AUTHOR [+3]
The described invention is a modular system for making repeatable bends in metal tubing. The system is comprised of a base plate that contains a grid of threaded holes, a handle for manually making the bends, pulleys for forming the bends, and various accessories that assist in repeatability of form and length. Pulleys, forming wheels, and locking cams are made to a variety of tube diameters and bend radii, allowing the user of this system to configure the system to his/her individual needs. Components are bolted to the base plate at any desired location. Multiple pulleys can be used in a single setup to achieve complex, repeatable bends.
Modular Tubing Bender
Bending of small metal tubing, generally used in industrial fluid power systems and performed in industries such as automotive and HVAC, or used in devices such as remote-control cars, requires repeatability and accuracy. This holds true whether the tubing to be bent is used as a prototype or in a production run. The modular tubing bender herein described allows the user to manually make repeatable bends, employing modular components that can be arranged in a virtually unlimited number of configurations.
The initial application of the modular tubing bender is for metal tubing (such as carbon steel, copper, or stainless steel) in diameters from 3/16" through 3/8", as well as 6mm through 10mm. The bend radii for which this system is originally designed range from 1/2" through 2-1/2", and from 15mm through 60mm.
However, this design is not exclusive to these sizes (tubing diameter and bend radius), as components can be readily designed and produced for smaller and/or larger sizes.
The foundation of this system is a steel tooling plate, with a regularly-spaced grid of threaded and counter-bored holes used for securing the pulleys and other components. A common working height for all components is maintained, so that the pulleys around which the tubing is bent can be mounted on spacers or on a lockable, manually adjusted slide.
Figure 1 shows a pulley mounted on a spacer, both of which are securely bolted to the base plate. To properly secure the tube for bending, a flat surface is required. The pulley pictured has a flat plate bolted into position for securing the tube.
Figure 2 shows a tube that has been secured to the flat plate by means of a lock-up device. This device provides wedging action so that as the tube is bent around the pulley, the cam is drawn tighter and the tube continues to be held securely.
Figure 3 shows a manually adjustable end stop device. When bolted to the base plate in a suitable location, the end stop provides a repeatable position for the end of a tube. An accurate, repeatable length of tube can then be secured for bending.
Figure 4 shows a bend stop post. This post provides a stopping point for the straight end of the tube, as the tube is bent around the pulley.
Figure 5 shows a manually adjustable and lockable slide. This slide provides a location for a pulley so that bends of any length can be made around a combination of pulleys. To assist in tube removal once the bend or bends have been achieved, the saddle of the slide can be moved out of position, then relocated for the next bend using the scale and indicator mark on the body of the slide.
Figure 6 shows an angle reference clamp device, used when bends in more than one plane (i.e., at angles differing from the horizontal working plane) are required. The clamp is placed around the tube, then secured. The dial on the clamp contains marks corresponding to degrees around a circle. The tube on which the clamp is secured is to be rotated so that one of the mar...