OT: PVC pipe heater---kind of

I am welcoming any advise for heating a plastic brush handle in order to put
a 30 deg bend in it. Imagine the part is 20" long and about 1" in dia. with
a head on one end like a hockey puck. I want to bend the handle just before
the head. I've seen PCV pipe benders that heat 18" to 24" of pipe but I
want to heat just 3" of the handle. Any ideas of a heater for some industry
that would do this? The material is poly-something (I'll find out if it
matters) and it's not really solid, it's called a foam block in the industry
and there are little voids in it if you cut it open. I have done some with
a torch and it takes skill not to burn or melt it. I need to do 100 of
these for samples, if it flies, I'll get a mold made. These are off-shelf
and cost a buck apiece. Yes it's a new, cool product that will be a
high-end grill brush and I will sample some out to my buds.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
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That is about the right size to match some little one-cup heaters found in cooking supply and other incidentals-type stores. It would have to be strung down the length of the handle, with an Al or Cu tube the right length to spread the heat out a bit. Control the heat with a light dimmer.
Maybe practice on scrap first 8^)
Reply to
Fred R
Yep, like Grant said, I think hot air or possibly radiant heat should work well to avoid burning the material. There are so many application-specific industrial heaters that it's difficult to pick which ones to try, and which types would work best.
You'll probably want a method of controlling the temp of the heater or the air flow. The heaters that are in the Master brand heat guns for exmple, are available in a couple of different wattages, and the Master models have an adjustable air flow regulator at the blower intake. There are accessory nozzles (or you could form some sheetmetal) to direct the air around the piece.. there is a style shaped like a question mark ? for directing the hot air around pipe, for example.
If you have a separate blower and heating element for the hot air approach, you might be able to control the heater output (not really regulate, just limit) with a low cost 15+ amp capacity variable speed controller (the type used for router/power tool speed control).
Depending on the characteristics of this plastic material, it may do goofy stuff when heated.. since you mentioned that it's foam-like material, it may start looking bumpy/bubbley from the trapped air expanding as it's heated.
If hot air didn't work satisfactorily after numerous tries, hot water might be another approach worth trying.
WB .................
Reply to
Wild Bill
| I am welcoming any advise for heating a plastic brush handle in order to put | a 30 deg bend in it. Imagine the part is 20" long and about 1" in dia. with | a head on one end like a hockey puck. I want to bend the handle just before | the head. I've seen PCV pipe benders that heat 18" to 24" of pipe but I | want to heat just 3" of the handle. Any ideas of a heater for some industry | that would do this? The material is poly-something (I'll find out if it | matters) and it's not really solid, it's called a foam block in the industry | and there are little voids in it if you cut it open. I have done some with | a torch and it takes skill not to burn or melt it. I need to do 100 of | these for samples, if it flies, I'll get a mold made. These are off-shelf | and cost a buck apiece. Yes it's a new, cool product that will be a | high-end grill brush and I will sample some out to my buds.
A poor mans bender is his grill, gas or charcoal. Sounds like a perfect application. You'll have to play with yours a bit to get the right time and temperature. Electricians using gray plastic conduit (see it at your big box store) have a couple different heaters to do the job. Some are blankets, hinged boxes, and so forth. Last time I bent some it was with a grill, IIRC. Worked fine. I never looked in the stores to see if they sold a heater, though; they just might sell one.
Reply to
carl mciver
What's wrong with a hand held heat gun? For a measly 100 pieces let's not over engineer a solution!
Pedroman
Reply to
Pedro
There has been a lot of electrical PVC pipe bent into all kinds of kinks and curves by sticking them up the tail pipe of a running vehicle.
The exhaust temperature is just about perfect. Works great on an old truck with a few feet of straight pipe on the tail end. I have never seen a pipe burned or discolored by this method.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net
Reply to
DanG
I use boiling water to shape PVC pipe, it's barely warm enough but I'm usually trying for precision bends so it works for me. Hot oil would get it a bit hotter and it would bend easier.
Reply to
Nick Hull
Just heat up some antifreeze [Ethylene Glycol] in a suitable container. Immerse the plastic in it and you can do anything with it. When PVC pipe first came out, they didn't have ell fittings. The local dealer had a 50 gal. barrrel of antifreeze over a wood fire. He would bend me any angle I wanted. Be sure to use heavy gloves in handling the hot plastic. Bugs
Reply to
Bugs
When I am out on a job, I typically stick the PVC in the exhaust pipe of my Tahoe. A few minutes and it bends like butter.
Reply to
BigMoose

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