The fact that we have metal bending tools for forming sheets into various shapes hides one of the world’s most significant innovations in engineering today. So routine is the process that we rarely think about it until we have a metal sheet and would like to craft an object out of it.
A simple sketch by Leonardo da Vinci laid the groundwork for the sheet metal bending tools and processes that have helped mold the world we live in today. The ever-increasing demand for custom-made parts calls for ways to simply and rapidly form accurate pieces.
This article will introduce you to sheet metal bending and which type is the right one for your needs. It is a basic overview of the processes we have mastered while serving Americans through our manufacturing operations. Contact Elemet Manufacturing for more information.
The Process of Bending Sheet Metal
Bending is one of the most widespread forms of sheet metal fabrication. It goes by other names, such as folding and edging, flanging, press braking, and die bending.
This process involves using force to change the shape of a piece of sheet metal. It is necessary to achieve various forms and configurations of the raw material that go on for further fabrication. Sheet metal bending is widely preferred because of its simplicity and efficiency when fabricating new products.
Note that in sheet metal bending, only the external features of the work material will change. Other parameters, such as sheet thickness, density, or conductivity, remain unchanged upon process completion. Because metal is malleable, the sheet can undergo other shaping processes.
Sheet Metal Bending Tools and Operations
The end goal of these operations is to transform the sheet metal into the shapes you desire. The difference comes in which process is used to make this transformation happen. You can apply various methods to obtain different physical characteristics and achieve the final effect.
You’d also have to factor in material type, thickness, bend radius, bend size, and intended use of the finished product to determine which method of sheet metal fabrication best suits the purpose. Below are some of the most common bending operations you’ll encounter.
This is the most effortless sheet metal fabrication operation you’ll ever encounter. The process involves instruments known as a punch and a V-die. During the bending procedure, the sheet metal is placed over the V-die, and the Punch presses down onto the sheet and into the V-die.
The outcome is a bend at the desired angle, depending on how much pressure the operation placed on the sheet metal.
This method can be classified into three operations, namely;
- Bottoming: This operation involves pressing the Punch into the sheet metal until they come into contact with the bottom of the V-die. This means the sheet gains a new permanent structure with a definite shape and angle.
- Coining: The preferred method when looking for precision. Coining is capable of creating a distinguishing sheet with no spring back.
- Air bending: Also known as partial bending, it is a more straightforward method but less accurate. The Punch presses lightly against the sheet metal to attain the desired angle. It is prone to spring back. Thus, the bending has to compensate for the springing action once the pressure is lifted.
This is the method to utilize when you expect curved or rolled shapes. It involves three sets of rollers, a press brake, and a hydraulic press and is superb for making cones, hollow shapes, and tubes.
Here is an operation quite similar to V-bending, with the only difference being the die used. U-bending requires a U-die to perform successfully. The shape that comes out is, of course, a U. Despite its popularity, other methods are capable of providing similar outcomes.
When seeking sheet metal with bent edges, wipe bending is the operation to enable you to achieve it. This forming process relies on a wipe die, which sandwiches the sheet metal between itself and a pressure pad. A punch will then bend the edge of the material to the desired outer radius.
This bending operation has significant advantages over wipe and V-bending. It is a perfect operation for scratch-free outcomes. It can also bend materials into cross sections greater than 90 degrees.
Are You in Need of Sheet Metal Bending Services?
Then look no further than Elemet Manufacturing. We have been the premier manufacturing service provider for Aitkin, Minnesota, since 1935. Since then, we have spread our wings across the world, and now, we would love to partner with you.
We have a wide range of experience offering services such as waterjet cutting, CNC machining, welding, and other metal cutting and fabrication services.
So, whether you are farming, mining, logging, or looking to craft new pieces by sheet metal bending, there’s no one better than us to help you dominate the world. If you’d like to know more about how we can serve you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Elemet Manufacturing.