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Bending PE Pipes

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A PE pipe is flexible and can be bended. For pressurized pipe the bending radius should not be less than

rmin = 60 d              (1)


rmin = minimum bending radius  (m, in)

d = pipe diameter (m, in)

For pipe without pressure - or for pressure pipes during installation - the bending radius should not be less than

rmin = 30 d           (2)

Example - Min. Radius when bending PE Pipe

The minimum bending radius for 300 mm (0.3 m) PE pipe during installation can be estimated to

rmin = 30 (0.3 m)

        = 9


Radius and Angle vs. Deflection when bending Pipe

The radius of the bending pipe can be hard to measure in field. In practice a rope or chain may be tied to the end of the pipe and the end is pulled until deflection is achieved.

Deflection for a given radius and length of deflecting pipe can be calculated as

h = l2 / (2 r)                       (3)


h = deflection of pipe (m, in)

r = radius of bending pipe (m, in)

l = length of pipe from fixed position (m, in)

Eq. 3 can be modified with eq. 2 to calculate maximum deflection for minimum radius to

hmax = l2 / (60 d)                     (3b)


hmax = deflection at minimum radius (m)

The angle can be calculated as

α = l 180 / (π r)                  (4)


α = angle (degrees)

Eq. 4 can be modified with eq. 2 to calculate the maximum angle at minimum radius as 

αmax = l 60 / (π d)                  (4b)

Bending PE Pipe Calculator

This calculator can be used to calculate maximum deflection and angle of deflection for a PE pipe during installation. It is based on eq. 3b and 4b.

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