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What are Mandrel Bent Pipes?

Mandrel bent pipes are the same diameter throughout the entire pipe. For example, a stock bend will constrict the pipe through the bend, but a mandrel bend remains the same diameter even through the bend radius. Notice in picture below, the Stock bent pipe (A) is smaller in diameter through the bend, while the Mandrel bent pipe (B) does not change in diameter.

The consistent diameter of the Mandrel bend reduces the restriction by roughly 25% as compared to factory bends. The result: Mandrel bent pipes give you up to 25% more flow than compression bent pipes.
Mandrel bending can create a bend much tighter than non-mandrel pressure bending. Bending companies refer to the bending dies as mandrels or shoes. Technically the mandrel is a part of the tooling set but does not exist in most bending applications. The mandrel actually goes inside the tubing and is held by a mandrel rod to support the tubing at the tangent point of the bend. The mandrel is then extracted after the bend is complete or within the last few degrees of bending.

This results in the tubing being the same diameter through the straight tubing as in the bend radius. So if you started with 2" pipe and bent it into a 180-degree bend, it is still 2" through the entire bend radius.