An Italian engineer named Leonardo Da Vinci sketched a machine that could bend metal. However, the realization of the notion took place in about 1590 when metal workers began using heavy cylinders to alter the shape of the metal.
Although a sheet metal bending machine started as an impossible idea, it occupies a prominent position in the manufacturing industry. Now, these machines incorporate numerous technologies to bend and shape metals.
Although the name of the machine explains a lot about its doing, it is essential to note that not all sheet bending machines work identically. The bending machines fall into multiple categories according to their active mechanisms and the type of shapes they create. Without any further ado, let’s get bending!
Types Of Metal Sheet Bending Machines Can Perform
Before diving into the details, let’s quickly view what ‘bending’ means in the metal forming industry. Bending refers to the process where a high-pressure punch acts on the metallic sheet to change its geometry keeping the metal intact.
In short, the procedure only alters the shape and doesn’t compromise the intactness and quality of the metal. Some standard bending machine methods are:
The name of the method is pretty straightforward. However, the process; actually, has more than what meets the eye. V-bending uses a V-shaped die on which you place the metal sheet. A punch or a press comes down on the metal to create a V-like geometry.
You can customize the shape of ‘V’ according to the varying requirements. For instance, some standard bending angles for V-bending are 90, acute and obtuse.
The second most commonly used bending technique is called bottoming. You can classify it as a sub-type of V-bending; however, the method is different based on the extent of the bend.
Bottoming bends the sheet to the maximum depth of the die. Also, bottoming produces strict V-shapes and no other, so that is why it is an independent bending method.
A bending method that doesn’t bend the metal to the maximum depth of the mold. For instance, if the cavity is 4cm deep, the air-bending process will mold the sheet to 2, 3, or 1cm. As it leaves the ‘air’ underneath the metal, hence the name.
Many sheet bending machines also support roll bending. It is the method in which the metal sheet passes through a high-pressure roller to get the desired geometry. Roll-bending allows curvature customization better than other bending methods. Therefore, it is commonly used for metal parts up to 0.004 and 0.125 inches thick, with a maximum length of 20 inches.
How Does a Standard Metal Sheet Bending Machine Work?
Sheet bending machines commonly fall into three types based on the working the press brake, CNC, and hydraulic sheet bending machines. Each kind follows a fundamental working principle with variations.
The metal sheet is clamped on a worktable, and the die or the mold is placed under it. The machine’s head with a press brake comes down on the sheet molding it according to the cavity’s shape. It is how a standard press brake bending machine works.
In comparison, hydraulic bending machines use high-pressure sequences to mold the metal. Lastly, CNC machines combine computerized programs with hydraulic presses to modify the geometry of the sheet.
Sheet metal bending is the most accurate forming technique in the metal forming industry. Also, manufacturers are using AI-powered programs and advanced mechanisms to ensure quality production. But despite the machine’s intelligence, the production still requires human scrutiny. Therefore, the excerpt delivers all the core material related to sheet metal bending machines.
These machines differ significantly in their working, precision, and material compatibility. Therefore, it is essential to consider the project’s requirements and budget before feeding the sheet into the machine.