Industrial Systems Engineering

How To Bend Aluminium Extrusions

The bending of aluminium extrusions is a skill that is almost a daily requirement in the manufacture of all types of aluminium extrusions. They can be found in so many products that is would be difficult to list them all. Some of the most common are curved window frames in caravans and motorhomes, sections of track for conveyor systems, curtain rails and shelving.

How To Bend Aluminium Extrusions

The Basics Of Bending

When the aluminium has been heated sufficiently to be forced through a die, the flow of the metal has to be perfectly aligned to create the desired bend. Sound, reliable dies, clearance and surface finishing all contribute along with compressional force. As the radius of the bend decreases, the compressional force increases. Roll or stretch benders are particularly useful in creating bends with a large radius. Rotary draw benders are more suitable for bends with a smaller radius.

How A Die Can Influence A Bend

Excellent tooling is a critical factor in bending aluminium extrusions. A perfectly constructed die needs to be able to withstand the increase in compressional force. It is at this point that thinly designed cross-sectional profiles can begin to distort. Where a complex extrusion has multiple bends along its length, thinner sections can be too flimsy as the aluminium’s weight fails to support the emerging extrusion. A well-cut die will account for accuracy in producing components with the correct thickness.

State Of The Art Bending

Today’s manufacturers use sophisticated, programmable machinery for tube bending, profile bending and hydraulic plate bending. They are suitable for aluminium and other metals and are capable of producing tubes, pipes and complicated cross-sectional profiles. Many have self-aligning shafts and devices to reduce friction. Right hand and left hand bends can be produced. Aluminium extrusions are weak in composition as they leave the die and are in need of constant support to prevent them collapsing. Even though the manufacture of aluminium extrusions relies heavily on machinery, the skill of the workers is still paramount in handling and gauging the procedure with precision.

Programmable Bending

Computer programs aid the manufacture of aluminium extrusions across a wide range of functions. CAD programming will determine stress factors, die positioning and bend radius. Bending aluminium extrusions can enable the production of components with enhanced design in a range of industries such as architecture and car manufacture. If your engineering project requires the bending of aluminium extrusions, contact Edmo to discover the possibilities.