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When is a Mandrel Bender Necessary?

Ercolina CNC mandrel tube benders are engineered using today’s state of the art technology and machine tool standards. When a tube is bent the outside wall collapses and thins out, and the interior compresses. When bending thin wall tube to tight radius a mandrel and wiper die are necessary components. The use of a mandrel minimizes the amount of ovality occurring during bending and eliminates deformation of the materials.

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Benefits of an Ercolina Mandrel Bender

Ercolina’s mandrel bending design makes traditional swing arm clamping difficulties a thing of the past. The swing arm bender clamp dies are mounted on a carrier that is built into the top of a “swing-arm”. The arm assembly “swings” with the bend die’s rotation. As the bend die rotates, this tilt results in a continuously varying out-of-plane- relationship between the bend die and both the pressure die and wiper die. The older the machine and tooling, the worse the condition becomes. When the bend die tilts under clamp loads, the upper portions of the clamp surface actually pull away from the work piece, resulting in a reduced clamping grip.

Due to the extremely high clamping and bending forces that are required with large work pieces, this tilting necessitates the use of overhead tie bars, center-posts, multiple hold-down bolt patterns, and flange mounted bend dies on swing arm benders. The clamp closure mechanisms used on most swing arm benders generate excessive clamping force at its dead-center position before reaching the locked-up position. With hydraulically actuated mechanical device clamping, it is not possible to use hydraulic pressure gauges to measure true clamping.

Patented Ercolina KST clamp system mounts directly over the bending axis, eliminating dated swing arm and tie bar systems. Clam shell clamping system uses two double acting cylinders, one for positioning and one for clamping creating direct proportional pressure; part of Ercolina’s patented design which means no tie bars required, the tooling maintains consistent balance of pressure. With this design there is no clamp-pressure induced bend die 

tilt – even when bending the heaviest or most “critical” work pieces. The built-in clamp alignment in the matching mounting surfaces of the clamp mechanism and bend die assure that no vertical or horizontal clamp set-up adjustment is required. Therefore tool changing is faster and easier. The clamp opens upwards, eliminating interference with the forward feed of the bent work piece. Clamping forces are self contained – not carried through the die mount, the spindle, or any other part of the machine. Thus, there is never any bend-die tilt caused by clamping forces. Tooling remains properly aligned because the bend die rotates in a level plane throughout the bend.

The Ercolina patented mandrel bending design reduces machine and tooling maintenance. There are no swing arm slides or toggle linkages to sear or break, and less stress and wear on the tooling. Dangerous “pinch points” between the swing arm and pressure die arm are eliminated, while making overhead clamping safer. The operator of the Mandrel Bender has direct control of the clamping forces. They are easily read on a pressure gauge and easily set with a relief valve, assuring consistent, accurate set-ups.

The Ercolina Advantage ensures these benders create quality repeatable bends. Ercolina tube, pipe and profile mandrel bending machines are capable of bends up to a radius of 1″ x diameter in many materials.

Ercolina mandrel systems incorporate five (5) individual tooling components to effectively support the profile during bending process. These components; Center former, pressure die, clamp die, wiper die and flexible mandrel are specific to material type and dimension.

The following must be supplied when ordering mandrel tooling

  • Profile shape
  • Material type
  • Interior and exterior dimensions
  • Minimum distance between bends
  • Wall thickness
  • Number of bends per day required