A Brief But Comprehensive Introduction To Sheet Metal Bending

27 December 2021
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Sheet metal is widely used to make various products, including medical tables, auto bodies, aircraft wings and fuselage, and major home appliances. Look closely at any two different sheet metal products, like a cabinet and truck body, and it's distinctly clear their shapes are different. Professionals rely on a solution known as sheet metal bending to achieve such a feat. Keep reading to learn more about this process and what it entails.  

What Is Sheet Metal Bending?

Sheet metal bending is a popular fabrication solution that transforms sheet metal structures into preferred shapes and forms. Its popularity is largely influenced by the rising demand for customized components and products in numerous industries, including automotive and aviation. In a nutshell, sheet metal bending involves using an external force to alter and transform a particular material's exterior features into a desired shape or form.

Common Sheet Metal Bending Techniques

Some of the sheet metal bending techniques commonly used today include:

1.       V-Bending

V-bending is arguably the most popular sheet metal bending technique. As the name suggests, it involves using a "V" shaped punch and die. With this technique, the sheet metal is forced into the die's v-shaped groove, thereby bending it.  V-bending can be further categorized into air bending, bottoming, and coining. Air bending involves leaving a space between the die cavity and the sheet metal undergoing bending, while with bottoming, the material is forced to the bottom of the die cavity. On the other hand, coining is primarily employed in applications requiring accurate results such as a specified angle repeatedly.

2.       U-Bending

Experts rely on U-bending to fabricate components like frames, beams, and channels. This technique operates on principles similar to V-bending, with one distinct difference: the punch and die used are "U" shaped. Generally, U-bending involves clamping sheet metal between a punch and counterpunch, using clamping force to bend said sheet into a U-shape, and unloading it once the desired results are achieved.

3.       Rotary Bending

Many manufacturers prefer rotary bending because it doesn't scratch the sheet metal's surface. Experts using this technique can avoid such an issue by using special polymer tools that protect the material from all forms of tool marking. Plus, this method can effectively handle sharper corners without the risk of a spring back.

4.       Roll Bending

If your operations involve rolling sheet metal into a circular arc to facilitate the manufacturing of cones or tubes, roll bending is likely the ideal solution. This technique is made possible by a set of rollers designed and set to facilitate incremental bending in a material. The process continues unabated until the sheet metal in context is deformed and the desired shape and radius are achieved.