Specialised induction bending solutions benefit industries across SA

By | 2022-01-11T06:39:37+00:00 January 11th, 2022|

Steinmüller Africa’s Cojafex PB 850 induction bending machine is one of only two induction bending machines on the African continent, enabling paper and pulp, power, petrochemical and mining plants to source custom bends locally, as well as large radius, multiple or complex bends with quick turnaround times.

Induction bending is the process whereby a straight pipe is precision-bent. The front of the pipe protrudes through an induction coil and is clamped into position. The induction coil is heated to a specified temperature and then the arm of the machine moves in a predetermined radius, pushing the pipe through the coil. “This is programmed into the machine upfront and is an automated process,” explains Lee Chapman, Divisional Manager – Piping, Steinmüller Africa. “Our machine is capable of bending pipes between 48.3 OD and 850 OD with a wall thickness up to 100 mm. It can create bends up to 180 degrees,” adds Chapman.

“Induction bending is ideal when standard size bends are not available and custom or large radius bends are required,” states Chapman. Since it can create multiple complex bends without the need for welding, induction bending guarantees pipe system integrity and reduced maintenance, making it well-suited to high pressure (HP) piping, steam piping and industrial piping systems. This means it delivers a relatively low cost of ownership. In addition, if multiple bends are done at once, there is a cost saving during the erection and ongoing maintenance phases of a plant’s operation.

The company offers complementary services in addition to induction bending. “There is no need to move the component between different suppliers as we are able to do all the necessary bending, welding and heat treatment in-house,” says Chapman. Using its Schlager gas furnace, the company conducts post bend heat treatment (PBHT), which ensures the pipe’s mechanical properties are restored following the bending process.

“Steinmüller has been carrying out induction bending for over ten years at its facility in Pretoria and has a number of qualified bending procedures to both EN and ASME standards for safety and quality. Our in-house quality management system ensures that our products meet all the necessary international standards,” adds Chapman.

Steinmüller Africa’s induction bending machine at work, bending thick-walled piping. Image credit: Steinmüller Africa

Steinmüller Africa’s induction bending machine at work, bending thick-walled piping. Image credit: Steinmüller Africa