Bending or metal working is a process in the manufacturing industry that is used to produce a channel shape, U-shape, V-shape, or any other different shapes for various machinery or construction components. The different kinds of equipment used for metal bending are brake presses, machine presses, pan and box brakes.
Which Aluminum Alloy Is Best Suited for Aluminum bending?
Aluminium is the most commonly available element in the entire world. As seen in different metals, aluminium can be moulded into various sizes and shapes for industrial applications. Aluminium has properties like high conductivity and low melting temperature. Aluminium can be found in ores of bauxite, which are found in abundance in Brazil, Guinea, and Australia. Aluminium can be extracted from the ores of bauxite by making use of the Bayer process.
Aluminium in its pure form is very ductile and soft. The entire process of aluminium bending is a very demanding and delicate process. Hence, the degree of formability influences the choice of the aluminium alloy for the process of bending. The overall designation also plays a role in the different kinds of heat treatment procedures the alloy has to go through. Alloys that are naturally aged and annealed can be easily worked on when compared to other kinds of hard tempers. There are some more factors that need to be analyzed to understand which alloy is most suitable for bending. These factors are:
This is the first factor that needs to be considered while selecting the alloy for aluminium bending. There are many designations that have differing compositions in them, which in turn affect the ease with each of the aluminium alloys processed for bending. The different series of aluminium are:
- Series 1xxx – These series contain 99% of pure aluminium. This series is highly ductile.
- Series 2xxx – This is an aluminium alloy that contains copper. Even though this series has excellent machinability, its formability is low.
- Series 3xxx – This is an aluminium alloy that contains 1% manganese in it. This series has good formability, high resistance to corrosion, and good ductility characteristics.
- Series 4 xxx – This is an aluminium alloy that contains silicon, which actually lowers the overall melting point of the alloy.
- Series 5 xxx – This is an aluminium magnesium alloy that has excellent strength, formability, weldability, formability, and corrosion properties.
- Series 6 xxx – This is a combination of aluminium, magnesium, and silicon. It is very strong, formable, and improves the overall corrosion properties of the alloy.
- Series 7 xxx – This is a combination of aluminium, magnesium, copper, and zinc. Since they have high strength, it is hardly used in aluminium bending.
The elongation percentage is a very important factor that needs to be considered when alloys need to be bent. The elongation is the difference between the material’s ultimate tensile strength and its yield strength. The yield strength is the level of stress at which the material does not come back to its original position. The greater is the difference between the ultimate tensile strength and yield strength, better gets the formability of the material for aluminium bending.
The bend radius and thickness are two more factors that one should consider just before the process of aluminium bending is carried out. Aluminium thickens during the process of aluminium forming. Hence, the alloy becomes stronger during the process of binding. If sharpness of the radius is very high when compared to the overall thickness of the material that needs to undergo aluminium bending, it means that the material is very susceptible to breakage. Hence, this factor should be watched very closely just before the beginning of the aluminium bending process.