Can I bend stainless steel tube ? 

Short answer is yes, however generally it is a difficult material to work with.

There are many different grades of stainless material available however we will just look at the 2 main types that people want to bend, these being 304 and 316.

We are also only looking at wall thickness of 1.6mm as generally it is the thinner wall material that is the hardest to bend with good results. As wall thickness increases as with any material, bending a given diameter tube or pipe becomes easier to achieve a good result and often a tighter radius bend can be achieved successfully.

Due to the tensile strength and hardness of stainless and that most people wish to bend thin wall material we generally need to go for the largest radius available to prevent rippling or kinking on the inside of the bend.

Seam placement can sometimes effect the bend quality and as such the preferred position for the seam is to have it at 90 degrees rotation to the bend (on the center line of the radius). Quality of material varies as well with thin spots often causing rippling or kinking.

We offer 2 styles of bender.

The Speedwerx Model 1 bender allows for bend angles of up to 105 degrees and as the follow bar moves along with the material it is a good versatile option that allows different materials of the correct size to be bent with the same die set with very minimal chance of marking the material.

The Speedwerx Model 2 bender has the option of bending up to 105 degrees of bend angle with what we call the 120 degree die sets or up to 180 degrees of bend angle with the 240 degree die sets. As the material is drawn through the backing block on the Model 2 style bender, we recommend upgrading your die set to have an Acetal backing block to minimise the chance of scoring or marking of finished materials. Regardless of what material you are bending on the Model 2 bender a lubricant should be used at all times on the Steel Backing block only.

It is imperative that with both styles of bender the correct die must be used with the correct material size.

CLR or Center Line Radius is how the dies are measured or sized for radius and is the center line of the material. Various CLR dies for a given diameter are available.

The following diameter and wall thickness stainless materials are known to bend well on the specified CLR die or greater.

Tube OD 3/8" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 , 316 - 3"CLR Die

Tube OD 1/2" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 , 316 - 3"  CLR Die

Tube OD 5/8" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 , 316 - 3"  CLR Die 

Tube OD 3/4" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 - 3"CLR Die, 316 - 3 1/2"  CLR Die 

Tube OD 1" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 - 4" CLR Die or, 316 - 4 1/2" CLR Die

Tube OD 1 1/8" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 , 316 - 5" CLR Die 

Tube OD 1 1/4" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 , 316 - 6" CLR Die 

Tube OD  1 1/2" , 1.6mm Wall , 304 - 7" CLR Die, 316 - 8" CLR Die

Custom dies are available to special order, please call.

Larger diameter stainless can be bent however increased wall thickness is required.

For any further information on bending stainless steel or any other material please contact the team and we can help advise you on the best Speedwerx Tube or Pipe bender for your application.