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How Mandrel Bending Improves Your Exhaust System

Mandrel bending is not something most people are familiar with, but it makes a big difference in the quality and sound of your exhaust. That's why if you're considering upgrading your exhaust to a high-performance stainless steel system, it's important to understand what mandrel bending is and how it improves your exhaust system.

What Is Mandrel Bending?

Mandrel bend

Tube bending is the process of bending metal tubing into different radii. It's necessary when creating exhaust systems so the exhaust pipes can clear other parts of your vehicle, like axles and frame members. Mandrel bending is the process of tube bending with a steel rod inserted inside the tube. This process ensures the tube bend is made without wrinkling or kinking the tube at the bending point. It's especially helpful when bending thinner tubing like exhaust pipes without creating any deformities.

Why Is Mandrel Bending Important?


If you bend metal tubes without using mandrels, it creates deformities like kinks or wrinkles. It also causes the tube's shape to deform and pinch. All of these things lead to exhaust flow constrictions, which impact the performance and sound of your vehicle. Think of it like bending a straight plastic drinking straw. When you bend the straw, the opening deforms or closes at the bend.

Mandrel bending is like inserting a flexible rod inside a plastic straw and then making the bend. The flexible rod keeps the straw from kinking or deforming. Using this process on exhaust pipes, a flexible steel rod is inserted inside the exhaust pipe. As the pipe bends, the steel rod helps the exhaust pipe retain its shape and prevents kinks or wrinkles. This eliminates exhaust back pressure, allowing the exhaust gases to flow with less turbulence. It also improves the sound quality of the exhaust, giving it a richer, fuller sound.

Do All Custom Exhausts Use Mandrel Bending?

No, not all custom exhaust manufacturers use mandrel bending. Many companies will advertise they do custom bending or performance tuning of their exhaust systems, but unless they specifically use a mandrel bending process, you won't get the full benefits of a custom, performance exhaust system. That means less power and a less-than-ideal-sounding exhaust note.

All Of Thermal R&D's Exhaust Systems Are Made Using Mandrel Bending

Mandrel bent exhaust

We use mandrel bending on all of our exhaust systems, which is one of many reasons why we offer a lifetime warranty. All of our products are made from durable, premium quality materials like T304 stainless steel by our team of talented fabricators and finishers.

Thermal R&D makes exhaust systems for a wide variety of cars and trucks, including popular enthusiast models and smaller niche vehicles other companies won't touch. Our products are manufactured in the USA using and feature drone-free True Helmholtz Technology.

Check out our videos for more information, or if you have questions, contact us online or call us at (661)723-2872. 

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