Bending Articles

The bending technology area includes all manner of machines and processes for bending sheet metal, including press brakes, folders, panel benders, corner formers, ironworkers, notchers, orbital formers, and roll benders. It also has information on accessories such as gauging and backgauging systems.

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How to calculate the air-formed radius of different bend angles

July 21, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Using the 20 percent rule works well when calculating the floated radius in an air form, but what about the radius at different bend angles? To calculate this, we start with geometry to find the arc length and radius at different bend angles. We then manipulate these results by factoring in real-world bending conditions.

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Horizontal bending on the press brake

July 15, 2015 | By Greg Flaherty, Michael Sosnoski

With the right tooling, you can accomplish horizontal bending—that is, where the sheet remains horizontal during the bend cycle—on the press brake. In general, horizontal bending on the press brake is accomplished with either wiping tools or rotary-style tools.

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Forming aluminum on the press brake: Bending soft, not sharp

June 29, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Air bending soft aluminum has such a low tensile strength that it doesn't take much for a narrow punch tip to penetrate the surface and turn the bend sharp.

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Employees set the pace for success

June 25, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Wisconsin Metal Parts Inc., Waukesha, Wis., has grown its metal fabricating business very aggressively in recent years. The latest machine tool technology has helped, but its employees have made it stay in control and on course.

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Precision sheet metal bending, bump by bump

June 1, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Bump bending remains more art than science, especially for large and thick workpieces, but using the right tools and setup procedures help make this challenging brake operation much more efficient.

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Bending and brewing

May 11, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

Sheet metal worker Paul Ziegman puts in long days building stainless steel kitchen equipment for restaurants and other food-service businesses in and around Spokane, Wash. He recently opened his own such business using the same equipment and skill set.

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The 4 pillars of press brake tonnage limits

May 3, 2015 | By Steve Benson

To ensure you always work within the tonnage limits of your press brake and tooling, first calculate how much tonnage you need. Second, identify your tooling’s load limits. Third, calculate the sinking tonnage limit, which, if exceeded, can embed tooling into the ram or bed. Fourth, determine your press brakes’ centerline load limit.

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How an air bend turns sharp

April 30, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Why do air bends in cold-rolled steel turn sharp at an inside radius that’s about 63 percent the material thickness? It has to do with the relationship between forming forces and a material’s tensile and yield strength.

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The different parts of panel bending

April 30, 2015 | By Kevin Bartels

Is producing a hem on a part more suitable for a panel bender or press brake? Does a part less than a foot long make sense for a panel bender? Can a box design with a 13-in. wall be done on a panel bender? Part designs help to reveal the answers to these questions.

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Getting a grip

April 24, 2015 | By Steven Parrow, William Q. Tingley

Setting the grip die securely in rotary draw bending requires close attention to three factors: the pressure exerted by the machine, the contact area, and the material’s coefficient of friction.

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Minimum versus recommended inside bend radius

April 1, 2015 | By Steve Benson

A material’s minimum inside bend radius shows the smallest radius that’s physically possible in an air bend, though your machines and tooling may not be able to handle the tonnage. The recommended inside bend radius, such as those found on bend allowance charts for air bends, shows you what’s optimal in typical applications

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How a punch press acts like a press brake

March 4, 2015 | By Dan Caprio

Traditionally bending high flanges on a punch press just hasn’t been practical, but new machines and software are changing the situation. Today, flanges up to 3 inches high can be bent not by the press brake, but by special tooling on the punch press.

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4 ways to improve time per bend

March 4, 2015 | By Jamie Crandall

The time that a press brake operator spends walking to a control or maneuvering a part is time the customer is not paying for. Those seconds add up over the day and cut into a fab shop's profitability. New approaches to bending, however, can help to remedy that.

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Bending Basics: 6 steps to successful die selection for press brakes

February 16, 2015 | By Steve Benson

Choosing the right die for an application hinges on the tooling and press brakes you have, and the tonnage limitations of both.

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Automated tooling setup for press brakes

January 22, 2015 | By Dan Davis

As metal fabricators look to increase throughput in their bending departments while also facing a dearth of seasoned press brake operators, they may find their answer in the form of automated tooling change technology now found on the latest generation of brakes.

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