The Basic Guide to Bending Machine

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Publish Date: June 6, 2024

I. What Is A Bending Machine

A bending machine is suitable for bending sheet metal and shaping workpieces in sheet metal fabrication. There are many types and functions of bending machines, which can either serve as a press or a bending machine.

Some bending machines can process sheet metal directly without the need for clamping tools, while others require clamping tools to assist with bending.

The metal sheet is secured by the clamping device and remains in place throughout the entire processing process. The bending machines can also use the bending tool to shape the metal plate and create the desired profile.

The body and tools of the bending machine must be made of special materials to ensure that they can withstand the pressure applied during processing without being damaged.

The following is a comprehensive guide to metal bending machines, which covers different types of bending machines and provides detailed operating steps and precautions, specific functions and applications of pipe bending machines, metal sheet bending machines, plate rolling machines, and press brakes.

II. Types of Bending Machine

There are several types of bending machines, including pipe bending machine, sheet metal bending machine, sheet folding machine, hydraulic bending machine, mechanical bending machine, electric servo bending machine, electric pipe bending machine, and cutting and punching machine, among others.

tube bending machine

1. Pipe bending machine

(1) What Is A Pipe Bender

Pipe bender is a machine that is used for bending metal pipes and profiles into various shapes. The profiles are usually square or rectangular in shape and are made of thick metal. Bending is a stretching process that generates friction between the pipes and the bending tools.

To extend the life of the tools and the pipe bender, drawing oil can be used to reduce the resistance between the pipe and the tools. Pipe bending and manufacturing equipment are utilized for performing various operations such as bending, swaging, flaring, and crimping.

The pipe bender can bend various metal materials such as stainless steel, iron, copper, aluminum, titanium, and carbon steel. These materials have a high degree of ductility and small elastic deformation, which makes them suitable for supporting the structure of the bent section.

The pipes processed by the pipe bender have a smooth and uniform curve, with no external collapses or internal folds. The pipe is a hollow container that is widely used for transporting gas, solids, and fluids in various industrial, medical, and other equipment.

The pipe bender is mainly used for laying pipes in construction projects, such as in buildings, highways, railways, bridges, and more.

(2) Structure of Pipe Bending Tools

The pipe bending machine consists of the clamp die, bend die, pressure die, wiper die, and mandrel. The dies of the pipe bender are typically made of hardened steel to withstand the bending process and prevent damage.

However, tools like wiper dies are made of softer materials such as aluminum or brass to prevent damage to the pipes being bent.

Bend die

The bend dies, also known as the radius die, is a crucial part of the rotary drawing process. It holds the pipe in place and bends it during the drawing process. The shape of the bend die determines the inner radius of the bent pipe.

Clamp Die

The clamp die is used in conjunction with the bend die to hold the pipe in place and prevent it from slipping during the bending process.

Wiper die

The wiper die smoothens the surface of the bent pipe and prevents the inner radius from collapsing and the outer surface from being damaged. Made of softer materials such as aluminum or brass, the wiper die helps prevent damage to the pipes.

Pressure die

The pressure die is used to apply pressure to the pipe during the bending process, ensuring a consistent and accurate curved profile.

Mandrel

Mandrels are used to support the bending of small-radius pipes, thin tubes, and hard materials. They work with the wiper die to prevent the pipes from wrinkling on the inside and collapsing on the outside during the bending process.

(3) How Does A Pipe Bending Machine Work

A pipe-bending machine works by applying pressure to bend pipes. The source of this pressure can be hydraulic, electric servo, pneumatic, or manual. The pipe is first clamped in place by the clamping block and forming tools and adjusted to the shape of the die.

Then, as one end of the pipe rotates and rolls around the die, it is fixed in place. There are also other methods of processing pipes through rollers to form profiles. When bending pipes, a mandrel is often inserted inside to prevent the inside of the pipe from collapsing and wrinkling.

The scraping die of the pipe bender helps maintain tension on the pipe and prevent damage when force is applied. The wiper dies, typically made of aluminum or brass, help prevent scratches on the raw material.

There are several different bending methods of bending pipes with a pipe bending machine, including press bending, rotary draw bending, compression bending, roll bending, mandrel tube bending, wiper die bending, heat induction bending, sand packing and hot slab forming, and ram bending.

(4) Operating Steps

  • Preparation: Ensure the work area is clean and free of obstacles. Check that all parts of the bending machine, especially the bending dies and clamps, are in good condition.
  • Install the Die: Select the appropriate die based on the required bending angle and pipe diameter. Install the die on the machine's worktable and ensure it is securely fixed.
  • Secure the Workpiece: Place the pipe to be bent on the die. Use clamps to secure the pipe, ensuring it will not move during the bending process.
  • Adjust the Angle: Adjust the machine's angle settings according to the required bending angle. Start the machine and gradually apply pressure until the desired bending angle is achieved.
  • Check and Adjust: Release the pressure and remove the pipe to check if the bending angle meets the requirements. If adjustments are needed, make fine adjustments and repeat the above steps.

(5) Precautions

Keep hands and other body parts away from the bending area during operation to avoid injury. Regularly inspect and maintain the bending machine to ensure it is in good working condition. Use appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses.

2. Metal Sheet Bending Machine

A sheet metal bending machine is suitable for shaping sheet metal into specific profiles. The metal sheet is positioned on the lower die of the workbench and then pressed by punches to complete the bending process.

The movement of the slider, which is driven by the power system, results in the downward movement of the punch. This type of machine can bend metal sheets or pipes to any angle. If the machine is specifically designed for bending pipes, it is referred to as a pipe-bending machine.

The sheet metal bending machines are essential tools to achieve complex bending requirements, which are suitable for processing larger workpieces that other machines cannot handle. The workpiece is securely held in place by the clamping shaft, driven by the power system.

After the workpiece is fixed, the folding arm of the swing beam swings in an arc, bending the flange to the desired angle.

(1) Operating Steps

  • Preparation: Ensure the work area is clean and free of obstacles. Check that all parts of the bending machine, especially the bending dies and clamps, are in good condition.
  • Install the Die: Select the appropriate die based on the required bending angle and sheet thickness. Install the die on the machine's worktable and ensure it is securely fixed.
  • Secure the Workpiece: Place the metal sheet to be bent on the die. Use clamps to secure the sheet, ensuring it will not move during the bending process.
  • Adjust the Angle: Adjust the machine's angle settings according to the required bending angle. Start the machine and gradually apply pressure until the desired bending angle is achieved.
  • Check and Adjust: Release the pressure and remove the sheet to check if the bending angle meets the requirements. If adjustments are needed, make fine adjustments and repeat the above steps.

(2) Precautions

  • Keep hands and other body parts away from the bending area during operation to avoid injury.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the bending machine to ensure it is in good working condition.
  • Use appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses.

3. Plate Rolling Machine

Plate Rolling Machine

A pyramid-type mechanical plate bending machine is utilized for bending and forming metal plates. The bottom roller is powered by a motor and gear and can rotate. The upper roller's required bending radius can be adjusted manually up and down.

The steel plate bending machine features a double-sided pre-clamping device, with a unique structure that enables the two bottom rollers to pre-clamp the workpiece. The upper roller is fixed and pre-clamped by the two lower rollers through hydraulic cylinders.

(1) Operating Steps

  • Preparation: Ensure the work area is clean and free of obstacles. Check that all parts of the roll bending machine, especially the rollers and clamps, are in good condition.
  • Install the Rollers: Select the appropriate rollers based on the required bending radius and plate thickness. Install the rollers on the machine's worktable and ensure they are securely fixed.
  • Secure the Workpiece: Place the plate to be bent on the rollers. Use clamps to secure the plate, ensuring it will not move during the bending process.
  • Adjust the Parameters: Set the machine's parameters, such as pressure and speed, according to the required bending radius and plate characteristics.
  • Start the Rolling Machine: Start the machine and gradually apply pressure to perform the bending operation. Monitor the bending process to ensure the plate bends as expected.
  • Check and Adjust: Release the pressure and remove the plate to check if the bending radius meets the requirements. If adjustments are needed, make fine adjustments and repeat the above steps.

(2) Precautions

  • Ensure the rolling machine is free of leaks and regularly inspect and maintain the rollers.
  • Keep hands and other body parts away from the bending area during operation.
  • Use appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses.

4. Press Brake

press brake

Press brake is a type of bending machine that is used for metal forming andbending a sheet metal plate. There are various types of press brakes that are powered by different systems. The press brake has at least three shafts on the rear gauge, which allows for control over the accuracy, speed, and stroke of the machine. It is equipped with a CNC controller for precise bending. Thus, the machine can make the metal to the desired angle, which is easy to operate, and can process workpieces in bulk.

(1) Operating Steps

  • Preparation: Ensure the work area is clean and free of obstacles. Check that all parts of the press brake, especially the dies and clamps, are in good condition.
  • Install the Die: Select the appropriate die based on the required bending angle and sheet thickness. Install the die on the machine's worktable and ensure it is securely fixed.
  • Secure the Workpiece: Place the metal sheet to be bent on the die. Use clamps to secure the sheet, ensuring it will not move during the bending process.
  • Set the Parameters: Set the machine's parameters, such as pressure and speed, according to the required bending angle and sheet characteristics.
  • Start the Press Brake: Start the machine and gradually apply pressure to perform the bending operation. Monitor the bending process to ensure the sheet bends as expected.
  • Check and Adjust: Release the pressure and remove the sheet to check if the bending angle meets the requirements. If adjustments are needed, make fine adjustments and repeat the above steps.

(2) Precautions

  • Ensure the press brake is free of leaks and regularly inspect and maintain the dies.
  • Keep hands and other body parts away from the bending area during operation.
  • Use appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses.

III. Conclusion

Many metal bending machines are indispensable for meeting the various bending requirements. Each type of machine has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best machine for the job can be chosen based on the production requirements. Factors such as the required production process, output, and budget should be considered when selecting a bending machine.

As a professional sheet metal manufacturing company with over 40 years of experience, ADH Machine Tool is dedicated to providing high-quality bending machines and other sheet metal processing equipment, including shearing machines, laser cutting machines, press brakes, slotting machines, etc.

I hope the technical insights provided in this article help you achieve greater success in the metal fabrication field. If you need help selecting the right metal processing solution, please do not hesitate to contact us, and one of our sales representatives will be happy to assist you.

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