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Can You Bend Aluminum in a Press Brake?

May. 22, 2024

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Yes, you can definitely use a press brake to bend aluminum. Aluminum is a popular material in fabrications due to its lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties. However, bending aluminum requires some special considerations compared to bending steel or other metals. Here are some tips to effectively use a press brake for bending aluminum:

 

1. “Tooling Material”: Use tooling made from softer materials such as urethane or equipped with rubber pads. This helps to prevent scratching or marring the surface of the aluminum during the bending process.

 

2. “Radius Considerations”: Aluminum has a tendency to crack if bent too sharply. Therefore, it's important to use a larger bend radius than you would with steel. A good rule of thumb is to use a bend radius that is at least equal to the thickness of the aluminum sheet.

 

3. “Springback”: Aluminum exhibits more springback than carbon steel, which means it tends to try to return to its original shape after bending. This requires compensating for the springback by over-bending the aluminum slightly. The exact amount of over-bend will depend on the grade of aluminum and the bend radius.


Differences Between Punch Presses and Press Brakes

CNC Electro-hydraulic Sheet Metal Press Brake

 

4. “Lubrication”: Although not always necessary, using a lubricant can help reduce friction and protect the aluminum's surface during bending. Choose a lubricant that is suitable for aluminum to avoid chemical reactions that could damage the metal.

 

5. “Press Brake Setup”: Adjust the press brake settings according to the thickness, hardness, and type of aluminum alloy. CNC press brakes can be particularly useful because they can be programmed to adjust for the material properties and required bend angles, accommodating for factors like springback.

 

6. “Test Bends”: Before going into production, it is wise to make a few test bends to ensure that the setup is correctly adjusted and that the desired angle and radius are being achieved without damaging the material.

 

7. “Handling and Cleaning”: Aluminum is softer and more prone to picking up dirt and debris, which can then scratch the metal surface. Ensure that all surfaces that come into contact with the aluminum, including tools and workbenches, are clean and free from particles.

 

By following these guidelines, you can effectively bend aluminum using a press brake while maintaining the material's integrity and appearance.


Anhui Hisman Intelligent Equipment Manufacture Co., Ltd.

Anhui Hisman Intelligent Equipment Manufacture Co., Ltd. is located in A-8#,Dahe Industrial Park,Bowang Town, Bowang District,Maanshan City,Anhui Provence,China.

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