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Trick for Bending Stainless Steel

Tubing made of stainless steel is becoming more popular in automotive applications as well as in street and performance exhaust applications. There are many different fabrication applications too and are based on their appealing aesthetic qualities.

What is the reason bending steel can be an issue?

Stainless steel bending, particularly large diameters, as it is harder and less malleable, and is more likely to have smaller walls in relation to the diameter of tubing as compared to other tubing materials. Other materials where wall thicknesses are slim in relation to the diameter of the tube may be equally difficult to bend or form.

Do I require stainless steel?

The majority of new cars are equipped with exhaust pipes made of stainless steel in case you are replacing damaged pipes, you'll have to use identical material. Also, there is the performance-oriented exhaust system, in which thinner materials can result in the reduction of weight. Stainless steel is making its way into other parts such as side members too. 

How do you bend stainless steel?

If you're wondering which materials are the best choice for your needs There are two choices that you are likely to be familiar with.

  • Invest in a mandrel bender
  • Order pre-bent parts in low volume (and increase inventory costs)

If you have experienced the failure of a crushed and worthless part, you may be tempted. But there is a more economical way to bend. A “Controlled wrinkle” die has gem-shaped recesses that tell the material how to flow to avoid crushing, the material will form into the recesses, forming a distinctive gem pattern and a really nice bend. You may have seen this pattern on some OEM bends. It works amazingly well, and it doesn’t crush your part!