A keen knowledge of Bending Direction can help protect sheet metal strength. When metal is rolled and stretched thinner and longer in a particular direction,
it develops a natural “grain.” This grain has a significant impact on the nature
and strength of the metal. Sheet metal fabricators must be able to identify the
direction of the produced grain and counteract any defects that might develop if
the metal is formed or rolled in the wrong direction. Working with the natural
grain and natural ductility of the metal in the appropriate manner will help
maintain its strength. In fact, the direction of the grain on a piece of rolled
metal will have a direct impact on the type and degree of inside bend
Trust the math; the ratios and proportions of the Inside Bend Radius matter. Yes, contrary to belief, understanding the math is crucial to successful sheet metal bending or rolling. The minimum inside bend radius is directly proportionate to the thickness of the metal being formed. The thicker the material, the greater the radius. Calculating the proper inside bend radius is a key step in crafting a strong product every time. Every type of metal will have its own unique capabilities and ratios assigned for bending. Then, the next step is to identify which tool is the proper tool to complete the bend appropriately without compromising its structural integrity. It takes a highly skilled, exceptionally trained fabricator to understand those unique specifications and produce optimal results every time.
Not all metals bend the same. Always consider individual metal elasticity. Bending metal is a skill. Anticipating how the metal will bend under pressure can be challenging. One thing is certain however; metal is elastic. Yes, that’s right. Metal will tend to bend back toward its original shape when being bent. This is a fabrication problem that great formers will be able to overcome, however. By knowing exactly how much to over-bend the sheet or plate beyond the intended final radius, formers can compensate for the “spring back” of the metal, ensuring that the desired radius is reached in the end.