5 Techniques for Bending Metal
The metals industry is one of the most important sectors of the global economy. Metal bending is a common procedure in transforming metal into finished products. Bending metals may look simple, but it requires a variety of specific techniques and complex machines.
Our metal bending experts introduce you to the top 5 metal bending techniques used today, to help you choose the most suitable bending technique for your industrial project.
1. Press brake
A press brake is a metal bending machine that consists of a worktable, a hydraulic cylinder, a bending tool (called a punch) and a holding tool (called a die).
The unbent metal is placed on the worktable between the punch and the die. The hydraulic cylinder lowers and puts pressure on the metal until it bends into the shape of the die.
This bending technique is very precise and works well for bending complex, large or thick metal parts. However, it is relatively expensive and requires specific training to be used safely.
Press brake bending is used widely in industrial settings, from automotive parts manufacturing to the production of equipment for the oil and gas industry. It is the preferred technique for parts that require high precision, such as machine components, door frames, body panels, etc.
2. Rolling machine
A rolling machine is used to bend metal sheets into cylinders, cones or similar shapes. It consists of three rollers: two side or bottom rollers and a center roller. A metal sheet is placed between the rollers, which rotate to exert force on the sheet and bend it to the shape of the rollers.
Folding with a rolling machine is ideal for projects requiring curved metal parts. The side rollers can be adjusted to create complex shapes, making it a very versatile bending technique. However, rolling machines are not the best choice for bending thicker parts or parts requiring high precision.
Industrial applications for roll bending are diverse, ranging from pipe and tank manufacturing to the production of components for food and beverage processing equipment.
3. Universal bending machine
A universal bending machine is commonly used for bending metal in industrial settings. This metal bending technique can be used to create various precise shapes. It is generally used to bend tubes, profiles and sheets.
A universal bending machine works by forcing the part through a mold or die. The force exerted on the part creates a bend in the shape of the die. Bending machines can be used to produce parts with simple or complex curvatures.
Modern bending machines are often equipped with digital controls and electro-mechanical devices for accurate and repeatable bending. Operators can input data on bending dimensions and angles, allowing for accurate results every time.
Universal bending machines are commonly used in the automotive, shipbuilding, construction and heavy equipment industries. They are particularly useful for the mass production of parts because they are fast and can be automated to increase productivity.
This technique also has its limitations. Universal bending machines have a maximum bending capacity, which means that larger or thicker parts may require a different bending method.
4. Hot bending machine
Hot bending is a metal bending technique that relies on high temperatures. It involves heating a metal sheet to make it easier to bend. Once heated to a very high temperature, the sheet is bent to design specifications, then cooled in the open air or in a cooling bath.
Hot bending is typically used for projects involving large, intricately shaped metal parts, such as storage tanks, chemical reactors, pipelines and steel processing equipment. It is also used in the aerospace industry to manufacture jet engine components.
Hot bending requires specific equipment and qualified personnel to be done safely. Industrial mechanics and machining companies specializing in hot bending use professional CNC machines to ensure maximum metal bending precision.
5. Hydraulic bending machine
Hydraulic bending is used to bend parts that require high precision. A hydraulic press applies uniform pressure to a metal part and bends it to design specifications.
Hydraulic bending is often used to produce parts with complex shapes, such as pipes, conduits and electrical boxes. This technique is also used to produce large parts like metal beams and profiles.
Hydraulic bending offers several advantages over other bending techniques, including high accuracy, the capacity to form large and complex shaped parts, and high repeatability for mass production. In addition, this technique can be used on a wide variety of metals, including steel, aluminum and copper.
Trust HARtech for industrial metal bending services
Metal bending is key to many industries, in particular those involved in manufacturing metal machinery and products. The 5 metal bending techniques described above can be useful in different contexts, and each has its advantages and limitations.
Choosing a bending machine or technique involves assessing your design specifications, the size and shape of the part to be created, and whether you require the capacity for mass production.
Ultimately, selecting the appropriate metal bending technique can help companies improve operational efficiency, reduce production costs, and meet customer demands for high-grade, complex metal parts.
HARtech Enterprises offers top quality metal bending services, in addition to industrial machine maintenance and repair. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.