Rectangular Tubing and How its Strength Impacts Bending Tubes


How durable is the metal tube? The answer depends on several criteria, including wall thickness, diameter, alloy, and finish. However, a direct comparison to another ubiquitous commodity, steel tube, can provide some context. So, when it comes to rectangular tubing, shape also plays a role in total strength.

A round tube, for example, is stronger than a square tube of identical length and weight. Furthermore, a round tube has stronger resistance to both flex and torsional twisting than a square tube.

Because of the physical qualities of aluminum, rolling it can be challenging. Bending the straight tubes to form an arc with the desired radius necessitates multiple runs through the machine. The aluminum substance then becomes harder and more brittle with each pass. This process may result in material failures, such as aluminum cracking.

The optimum material thickness is critical to preventing this from happening. Sending the material out for stress relief is another approach to increase the success of aluminum rolling.

Applications of Aluminum Tube

Aluminum tubing is utilized in a range of industries and by amateurs for DIY projects as well as numerous manufacturing and construction fields. Furthermore, it is widely employed in the aircraft sector.

6061-T6 aluminum tubing in the aircraft/aerospace industry is a suitable example of tube applications. The reason is mainly because of its strength, weldability, and ease of application. Most aluminum tubing can be furnace brazed and welded using various welding techniques.

For a variety of reasons, aluminum and aluminum alloys are the most commonly utilized metals in the aircraft sector. One of the key reasons for its widespread use is its inexpensive cost, lightweight, and machinability.

Aluminum is non-magnetic, non-sparking, electrically and thermally conductive, and chemically resistant. This metal is popular in the construction and marine industries, not to mention in the aircraft industry. Aluminum is easy to manufacture, plus non-toxic, solid, and corrosive resistant.

Anodizing aluminum improves its corrosion resistance and allows for iridescent finishes in a wide range of hues. Some alloys are clad with a thin layer of aluminum for further protection because they can be mildly corrosive.

Rectangular Metal Tube Bending

Rectangular tubing bending is a more challenging technique than round tube bending (all else being equal: surface area, radius, wall thickness, material type, etc.). The tighter the bend, like with practically all metal bending procedures, the more difficult it becomes. Similarly, bending thin-walled rectangular tubing is more difficult than bending thicker-walled rectangular tubing (provided the bending machine has the power to curve the thicker sections).

However, unlike round tubing, rectangular tubing can be rolled “off-axis.”

Most rectangular tubes are bent either the “hard way” (x-y axis) or the “easy way” (y-z axis) (y-y axis). However, although more force is required to achieve a hard bend, the resulting curved rectangular tube is less likely to warp precisely because it is more rigid than a piece curled the easy way. Simple rectangular tube bending is more likely to result in slightly concave interior diameter.

Whether your project calls for curved rectangular tubing bent the hard way or the simple way, CMRP is the team to call.

Rectangular tube bending can cause deformation if the proper tooling, apparatus, and process are not used, as well as a qualified operator. The most prevalent type of distortion is concavity on the inside diameter of the section. Nevertheless, there are some circumstances where a project can benefit from large concavity on the inside diameter. In particular applications, this concavity strengthens the section.

Even with tight-radius, thin-wall rectangular tube bending can result in good quality, providing the process is completed using the right tools, technology, and methods.