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Walker 08-03-2014 05:23 PM

Bending 1.5" aluminum.
I am bidding a job for a company I do a lot of business with. It involves a lot of bent pieces of 1 1/2" solid round aluminum to either a 6" radius, or a 2" radius. The only problem is that I dont know how difficult it is going to be to bend it. I am thinking I could use my tube bender, and may even get the job switched to tube from solid, for the large radius. Not sure how smal a die I can get for the smaller bend though. The bends are all 90 degrees. There are probably 200 bends.
Any ideas?

Camaro Zach 08-03-2014 05:34 PM

I think the solid stock would be prone to cracking.

I have bent a bunch of 1 5/8" aluminum tubing and 1 1/4" pipe (same sizes) with pretty good success @ 6.5"R. 4.5"R sometimes hit and miss.

I don't think 2" would be possible without buying pre formed ells.

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clive 08-03-2014 07:08 PM

I've never bent that size but with flat bar you need to anneal it first, heat it with a gas torch till you can make a visible mark on it with a wooden matchstick and it will bend without cracking. Extruded ally comes already work hardened from forming so it is necessary.

used-iron 08-03-2014 08:48 PM

A call to Hossfeld ?Bet they have an answer. Bent cold you are almost guaranteed to have cracking.
Lee still just a tax slave on the NYS plantation

Walker 08-03-2014 08:55 PM

I did price it in a T-1 condition. I think I may just go buy a piece and play with it. I just hate to spend money on bids without already having them, especially on one that this is a small part of a much bigger job.

LKeithR 08-03-2014 09:25 PM

Your tube bender should handle the larger radius fine if you use 6063 alloy. Stay away from 6061. A 2" radius is going to be pre-form only, no matter what material you use. You might get away with it you anneal it to dead soft but that's a lot of extra work...

Walker 08-04-2014 08:33 AM

What do you think the minimum radius I could bend would be?

Shade Tree Welder 08-04-2014 11:09 AM

6063 alloy
T-1 condition

The 2" bend will be interesting to say the least

6" will be easy.

LKeithR 08-04-2014 12:03 PM

We've got a Baileigh RDB-150 bender and regularly bend 1-1/2" x .120 6063 tube on a 5" centre-line radius die. They make a 4" C/L radius die as well and, based on the results we get with the 5", I'm pretty sure the 1-1/2" tube would do OK on the smaller die. You would probably be OK with the 4" radius on your solid stock but I'm not positive 'cause we've never bent any solid that large..

Harvuskong 08-04-2014 12:32 PM

Many years ago in the 1960s. I read a tech article in Hot Rod Mag about annealing aluminum for sheet metal work. I remembered it about oh 40 years later and tried it and it worked on irrigation pipe.

First I set the oxy/act torch to running really black smoke.

Then I blackened the area to be annealed with the black smoke.

Then I readjusted the torch to the clean neutral flame.

Then I burned off the black smoke covering with the neutral flame.

After I let it cool down, it was soft enough to bend it to wrap it around one side of the cracked aluminum ladder leg that needed to be reinforced and pop riveted the patch to the ladder leg.

However clive's idea maybe better if appearance is a factor. Or the material is thicker than irrigation pipe.

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