Copper is a truly remarkable metal with a number of unique properties that make it perfect for use in plumbing. As such, copper piping is a common sight in a wide variety of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. However, one of copper's unusual characteristics can also present some drawbacks.
Unlike most metals used for piping, copper is quite malleable, and thinner sheets and pipes can be easily bent by hand. Paradoxically, this actually makes bending copper piping to precise angles and curves more difficult, as its softness means it can easily become distorted and kinked during the bending process. Consequently, special bending techniques are required to create strong, precise bends in copper piping, and induction bending is one of the very best bending methods around -- here are some of the most important advantages induction bending has over other copper pipe bending methods:
Strong bends with no kinks or weak points
To bend a copper pipe using induction bending methods, the section of pipe that is to be bent is first heated to extremely high temperatures with the use of electrical resistance generators. Once the pipe has been heated, the hot copper is slowly pulled and moulded into shape using a computer-controlled lathe and mandrel before being allowed to cool and set hard.
This heating process is the most crucial part of the induction bending process, as heating the metal until it becomes almost liquid prevents the formation of kinks, hairline cracks, air bubbles and other weak points which can be created by 'cold' bending methods. This makes induction-bent copper piping extremely strong, and especially resistant to high internal pressures -- for this reason, induction bending services are particularly valued by industrial operations that require strong, safe plumbing pipes for high-pressure applications.
Because induction pipe bending machines are controlled by powerful computers, they are capable of incredible precision that blows traditional pipe bending methods out of the water. Once again, this exact precision is particularly useful in industrial applications, but even the humble residential plumber can see real benefits from using induction-bent pipe, minimising loose connections and leaks in copper piping systems.
Computer-controlled bending also allows large numbers of bends to be performed within a short time frame, and induction bending services are particularly adept at turning out bulk orders of pipes bent to precisely the same shape and angle. Even the most complicated bending order can be completed in a matter of days or even hours, ensuring you always have the right angle of pipe to hand when you need it most.
Minimised plumbing connections
Because induction bending is so versatile and reliable, the bent pipes it produces can be used in areas and applications where conventional, welded pipe elbows and junctions would ordinarily be required. Choosing bent pipes over welded pipe elbows eliminates weak spots created by hidden imperfections inside welds, and helps to reduce internal friction created by liquids or gases running through tight elbow bends; this can dramatically reduce the failure rate of your piping systems, especially in high-pressure applications.