What Does Mandrel Bent Mean?

Are you thinking about replacing one or more parts from your vehicle’s exhaust system? This type of job is more accessible for the average person than it ever has been before. The first step you should take, however, is research. You should know exactly what part you want to replace, know what you can replace it with, what the benefit will be, what tools you will need, and more. You should also know if you can find the right part for your vehicle specifically. 

For example, if you are considering Nissan Titan XD mods, you will need Nissan Titan parts. The Nissan Titan exhaust system will be very different from the Jeep Wrangler exhaust. This guide will go over one specific aspect of exhaust replacement jobs: Mandrel bending.

What Is Mandrel Bending?

Mandrel bending is a method used to bend metal, usually metal pipes. Right off the bat, you are probably wondering what this has to do with your exhaust system. It is more relevant than you might expect, but first you should understand what it is. Mandrel bending is a process where a steel bar is inserted into a tube before it is bent. Then a machine will bend the tube. The presence of the metal bar inside the tube reduces the amount of wrinkling the metal experiences. It also prevents the tube from breaking and improves its strength in general. There are several different types of mandrel bending:

  • Plug mandrel – The standard type of bending with a steel bar
  • Ball mandrel with cable – Instead of a bar, linked ball bearings are used, which helps when precise bends are needed
  • Ball mandrel without cable – The same as ball mandrels with a cable, but the ball bearing are unlinked
  • Form mandrel – Using a bent bar instead to provide more support

The exact mandrel method used is not terribly important, but whether or not mandrel bending was used is a factor you should consider when preparing for an exhaust replacement job and choosing parts.

Why Is Mandrel Bending Beneficial?

So why should you care about mandrel bending. The fact that it improves the strength of the parts you buy is nice, but this is actually not the most important reason. Whether you are doing a complete performance exhaust systems replacement or just switching out one part, you should care about the flow of your exhaust. If the exhaust flows better, then it will allow the engine to work more efficiently. When a piece of metal is bent, it normally creates wrinkles on the area that is bent. This makes a pipe less aerodynamic. Because mandrel bending reduces the amount of wrinkling, finding a part that was created with mandrel bending is an easy way to be sure it is as aerodynamic as possible. Ideally, an exhaust system would not have any bends in it at all, but most vehicles have to bend the pipes around other parts to transport the exhaust to the back of the vehicle. If you are preparing for an exhaust replacement job, keep mandrel bending in the back of your mind.

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