Aluminium is a light metal with good-natured bending behaviour. To permanently bend it into a new shape, only lower forces are required than for other metals with the same cross-section. This makes its processing so simple that many adjustments can be made by hand at the installation site. However, professional processing machines promise the best results in consistent quality when bending aluminium.
Aluminium bending in practice
Aluminium is available as sheet, solid material or profiles. Various processing machines for bending aluminium are available for thin sheets and profiles. Solid material and ingots are not bent. It is the preferred semi-finished product for machining.
The following processes are available for bending aluminium:
- Roller and roll bending
- Roller stretching
- Tensile bending
- Deep drawing and pressing
Roll bending is the forming of profiles or sheets in one axis by a multi-roll bending machine. If the semi-finished product is not moved during the bending process, the distance between the rollers, their diameter and the depth of immersion determine the bending radius. To produce particularly large bends, the material is pulled through the roller bending machine and moved alternately. The distance between the rollers is gradually adjusted. Roller bending machines with narrow rollers are used to form aluminium profiles. Roller bending machines work according to the same principle. They are used for gentle, one-dimensional forming of aluminium sheets.
Roller stretching is a combined press-bending process. The material is bent and tapered at the same time. Roller stretching machines consist of two opposite and very narrow rollers. With this process, aluminium sheet can be formed three-dimensionally, for example to produce a motorbike protective sheet.
In tension bending, an aluminium profile is clamped on both sides and stretched during the bending process. It is a gentle process that reduces the formation of cracks or pressure points at the bending point.
Deep drawing and pressing are three-dimensional processes for aluminium bending. It is particularly suitable for the production of complex shaped series components. This requires expensive pressing tools.
Folding is the forming of aluminium sheet along a sharp edge. When bending, it is important not to fall below the recommended bending angles. The rule of thumb is "Maximum bending angle = 1.5 x sheet thickness". If this angle is undershot, the material is in danger of breaking along the edge.
Advantages of aluminium bending
Aluminium is a good-natured material that is easy to bend. Once bent into shape, the sheet or profile retains its bending condition permanently. Provided no mistakes were made during bending, the formed semi-finished product remains in the desired position.