Metal Bending Service
Sheet metal bending is the forming of sheet metal by the application of force. Metal bending is used to apply a preferred shape to the metal without welding. We carry out bending of sheet metal parts using electrical and hydraulic CNC press brakes.
Fractory’s metal bending services allow a maximum bending edge length of 7200 mm and a pressing force up to 1000 tons. The machinery is highly accurate when it comes to positioning and repetition, and has a wide array of capabilities, including hemming and seaming.
The minimum bending radius depends on the plasticity and thickness of the material. Generally, we recommend the largest possible bending radius to avoid cracking on the outer surface. Fractory offers a minimum bending radius as small as 1 mm.
What is Metal Folding?
Metal folding is a very common forming method used to to give the desired shape to structural steel, stainless steel, aluminium, etc. parts. A press brake is used to give the final shape to a part. It is important to bear in mind that bending is done after the cutting process. Therefore, you have to keep some design tips in mind.
Metal bending is possible for sheets (up to 6 mm) as well as plates (anything above). The possibility of executing a job depends on the manufacturer’s capabilities – maximum bending edge length and pressing force. Thicker materials and longer bending lines need more force. Whereas 200 ton pressing force is enough for most jobs – it can, for example, bend a 2 m line with a 10 mm thickness – you sometimes need more. Fractory’s metal bending capabilities reach up to 1000 tons.
The calculations for tonnage requirements are based on the bending force chart above.
Metal Folding Methods
A variety of bending methods exist to do the job. Although most of them are suitable for the average job, each has some specific use-cases. Here’s a list of possibilities to make your life easier when looking for a metal folding service.
V-bending – The most widely spread folding method where a punch presses the sheet metal onto a die. V-bending has 3 divisions – air bending, bottoming and coining. Air bending is the most common of them. There, the sheet is not pressed onto the die but rather some way towards it until the desired angle is achieved.
U-bending – Quite similar in terms of using a punch and die. Instead of a V-shape, it uses a U-shape. Thus, it’s main use is to produce U-channels.
Step bending – Uses successive V-bending to achieve large-radius bends. Smaller steps assure better and smoother quality.
Roll bending – A bending method that uses rolls instead of punches and dies. Great for producing parts with large radii or conical sheet metal details.
Rotary bending – Another bending technique to produce angular bends. The big advantage over other methods is the lack of bending marks (usually left by the V-shaped die) on the part.
Metal Bending Advantages
While welding is inevitable in many cases and bending cannot substitute it everywhere, we recommend choosing metal bending services whenever possible. The advantages of metal folding are:
Aesthetics – Although in engineering functionality comes first, design follows closely behind. The lack of weldments guarantees on nice visual for your project.
Coating – A smooth surface is a great canvas for coating procedures, leaving a better result.
Less mistakes – Welding needs more manual labour. Manual labour, in turn, leaves more room for mistakes. Automatic bending systems provide accurate results.
Less parts – Firstly, it is more convenient to re-work your parts in CAD, if needed. But it’s also easier to keep your workfloor nice and tidy with a smaller number of parts laying around.