Instrumented Tube Bender

Current commercial industrial rotary draw tube benders are able to control the bending process by altering many of the operational parameters such as the final angle of the bend, the displacement of the pressure die clamp, and the magnitude of the pressure die boost. These benders are sufficient for bending tubes for commercial applications, but due to their limited adjustability and lack of detailed monitoring capabilities, they are not suited for research applications.

Instrumented mandrel-rotary draw tube bender at the University of Waterloo

At the University of Waterloo, an Eagle Precision Technologies EPT-100 hydraulic mandrel-rotary draw tube bender is used to conduct bending experiments. This industrial grade tube bender was retrofit with a closed-loop servo-hydraulic controls system that is run with a PC-based control and data acquisition system. A mix of MTS 406 and MTS FlexTest servo-hydraulic controllers are used. A custom in-house LabVIEW program, TubeBend version 1.93, is used to control the instrumented tube bender. Load and displacement sensors are coupled to each of the tools to enable accurate closed-loop control and allow real-time monitoring of the tools during bending.

Instrumented tube bender sensor and actuator details