Bending stainless steel sheets is a common practice in the industry, due to its physical properties and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is strong and durable and can be shaped in a variety of ways. It is also one of the most common metals for industrial applications in the world. Bending stainless steel sheets can be done more quickly and easily than other metals, such as aluminum and copper.
Special-shaped bending of stainless steel sheet presents a unique challenge on the bending process. It requires special equipment, precise calculations and expert knowledge along with the right tools to achieve desired results. Here are the key points to consider when bending stainless steel sheet:
Select Appropriate Grade of Sheet
The most important part of bending stainless steel sheet is to select an appropriate grade of sheet for your project. Different grades of stainless steel have different bending properties. Softer grades like 304 will bend more easily than harder grades like 316.
Thickness of the Sheet
The thickness of the stainless steel sheet is a critical factor in the bending process as it will determine the amount of pressure that needs to be applied or the amount of force needed for the bending. Sheet metal thicknesses start at 0.4mm and go up to 6mm, so it is important to choose the correct thickness for the fabrication process.
Stainless steel is a highly formable material which is why it is popular in the bending process. However, the formability of the sheet will depend on its thickness and strength. Special-shaped bending allows for complex configurations as well as precise shape making.
Use Proper Bending Tool
Select a proper tool for bending stainless steel sheet. If you are bending a small sheet, you can use a hand-held roller, a metal brake, or even a pair of pliers. For bigger sheets, you will require more powerful tools such as a press brake or a CNC bending machine.
Special-shaped bending requires ensuring that the material is in good working condition and is free from any contaminants or dust. The material should be accurately measured and cut to the desired shape or size. The operator should also use the proper clamping and fixture material to secure the stainless steel sheet while bending.
When it comes to the actual bending process, controlling the speed and pressure of the bend is essential for good accuracy. Special-shaped bending machines are built to exacting standards, ensuring that each piece of metal produced meets extremely tight tolerances. For thin metal, it may be necessary to go extremely slow and apply gentle pressure to ensure that the metal doesn’t become overworked. Alternatively, thicker material may require more speed and pressure, although heavy forces should be avoided to prevent additional deformation.
Bending stainless steel is similar to working with other metals in that you should go slow to avoid over-stressing the material. Applying too much pressure at once can cause the sheet to crack or break.
Spring-back is a vital factor to consider in the bending process as it will affect the final product. Spring-back means that the sheet metal will want to snap back to its original shape once the pressure is removed. Special-shaped bending requires more precise calculations to counter the amount of spring-back and to achieve the desired shape.
Bending stainless steel sheet requires the right tools and techniques, as well as an understanding of the material’s properties and limitations. With the correct knowledge and expertise, special-shaped bending of stainless steel sheet can be achieved. It is a complex process that requires accurate calculations, precise shaping, the correct tools, and skilled professionals. With the right approach and attention to detail, complex shapes can be achieved with a high level of accuracy.