I have a project where I need to bend 1 1/2" PVC into a half circle
with a radius of 3-4 feet. I know it can be bent once it's heated but
I don't know how hot it needs to be and the best method to accomplish
this. Any help or ideas would be apprediated.
A collar with about six sources of heat (probably propane) would do it.
Problem is, by the time you set it all up, do trial after trial, figure out
the right heat, figure out the right feed rate, you would end up with a pile
of used bent PVC the size of Cleveland.
It doesn't sound like a hard thing to do, but a more difficult thing to
Will watch for the suggestions you receive.
I got a friend of mine who is a union electrician. I know they bend PVC. I
will ask him for input.
The very best, easiest pipe bending I have done was on
electricians PVC. The pieces I bent and have seen bent are
smaller diameter than yours. Slide them up inside the tail pipe
on a running vehicle. There is enough moisture in the exhaust to
prevent burning the pipe. This is not a really quick process, but
the pipe becomes like cooked spaghetti and is really easy to
shape. The pipe is quite hot to the touch, probably more than you
want to hold onto. It is really easy to create flat spots if you
bend it too tight. If you know your shape, set up some cement
blocks or something to hold the shape and control the curve till
the pipe cools.
(top posted for your convenience)
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
Rather than buying a heater made specifically to bend PVC, you
can use this trick; Acquire a 5-6' length of 3" stove pipe
(single wall). Place one end over the tailpipe of your truck
and start the motor. Place the pipe you want to bend into the
pipe and leave it there for about 20 minutes. Bend it to the
shape you want and hold it in that position until it cools.
I have always found that it is best to over bend it, as it
will attempt to return to its original shape even after
cooling down a bit.
That is a unique idea.....
I know they do make commercial benders, but you'll need $$$
If the tailpipe method works, the OP might be able to use a car tire
for the "mold" to get the proper shape. It sounds like about that
Hard PVC is very difficult to bend without kinking, especially for a 180
degree bend. You may have to buy several 20 ft. lengths before perfecting
the technique. In the long run, it's probably be easier and cheaper to just
use flexible PVC, but the surface will be ribbed slightly.
In 2002, I bought a 1-1/2" x 50 ft. roll of flexible PVC for $42 from my
supply house. It was made by Pacific Echo.
http://www.pacificecho.com/spiralite.htm My local pool supply store wanted
$6 per ft. for the same stuff. A lot of plumbing supply places sell it, but
some don't even know what it is.
This will be fairly hard to do with out a big electric heater.
The tail pipe idea does not work for bends like this. (30 plus years
installing electrical conduit)
I suggest that you find an electric contractor that is using a electric
heater like this one
It is about 5 feet long and will heat MOST of the pvc up the first time.
Greenlee also make a PVC pipe plug kit that seals the ends so that the
heated air will prevent the conduit from collapsing.
I suggest you build a form to put the pipe into. Stakes in the ground on the
inside of the radius, is a suggestion.
Good luck your going to need it. I sure hope your not planning on pulling
wire through this.
Find a patio furniture shop. They do lots of PVC bending. If the shop near
you doesn't make pieces, ask them who does. I am sure that a polite request
and an offer to pay will get you a professional job done.
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