In this article, we’ll be discussing metal forming and take a look at some of the more common types of forms used.
Press brakes are the most commonly used method for metal forming. They’re versatile and cost effective, and can produce a wide variety of bend types, including:
- Angular bends – any bend with an angle of zero to 180 degrees.
- Offset bends – two opposing bends that are near one another, creating two parallel surfaces or an offset in the part.
- Hems – bends of 180 degrees, used primarily to create a protective edge on a part
Standard tooling is available for the most common bend types.
Angular bends are generally defined by the inside radius of the bend. Angular bend tooling is readily available in radius sizes from 1/32 of an inch to ½ inch.
Offset bends are created using special offset tools which form both bends simultaneously. Offset bends are typically defined by the height of the offset. Offset tooling is available from 1/16 inch offset heights up to ½ inch offsets.
Press brakes use a process known as V forming to create angular bends. V forming gets its name from the die used to form the bend, which has a V shape that establishes the outside of the bend surface. The material to be formed is placed over the V opening and a punch is pressed into the material. One of the considerations to V forming is the V opening must be wide enough to allow the material to enter, but not be so wide as to not let the material span across the top of the V opening.
Another consideration for V forming is choosing the right radius for the type of material being formed. The smaller the radius used, the more consistent the bending is from part to part. However, if the radius used is too small, cracking of the material around the bend as well as severe marking of the material can occur.