Knowing the methods for bending aluminum plates can be helpful for you if you need to fabricate or reshape a piece of metal for a DIY repair or crafting project. There are some standard methods of bending aluminum plates depending on the form you want to create.
Construction materials manufacturers use aluminum plate bending methods to create various products, including:
- Aluminum Composite Panel (cladding material)
- Aluminum Siding (cladding material)
- Structural Materials
- Modern Advertisement Boards
ACP companies use metal bending brakes and other machines for bending large aluminum sheets. However, you can improvise by using a study tabletop to do the job. If you are working with small pieces, you can do the job clean and precise by using an arbor press.
Now let us teach you the best methods for bending aluminum plates which are:
- Bending Brake Fabrication
- Arbor Press Aluminum Plates Bending
- Bending Aluminum Plates with Hand
Bending Aluminum Plates with a Bending Brake
As told, bending aluminum plates with a metal bending brake is a standard fabrication method that you can use for your project. Follow the steps that we provided for you to get the best results.
Buy Bending Brake for Bending Aluminum Plates
You can purchase a bending brake from a local hardware store. You can use this tool to create precise linear bends and folds in aluminum sheets with lower gauges. The bending brake features two long platforms; one is fixed, and the other swivels freely.
Pulling up on a pair of handles will move the platform and rotate it upwards, bending aluminum plates at varying angles to the fixed platform.
Basic bending brakes cost around $15 to $40 and can fit easily on most tabletops or workbenches. These machines are the best for shaping square and flat sheets of light gauge aluminum. On the other hand, heavy-gauge plates or rods must be heated using an acetylene torch and vice for further bending.
Since it is a potentially dangerous process, we recommend you experience this method with a professional for the first time.
Insert the Aluminum Sheet into the Device
Lift the removable clap bar and slide the aluminum plate perpendicularly to the bending direction. Then place the clamp on the top of the metal crosswise. Ensure the bar is firmly seated inside the frame.
After you place the clamp bar, the two platforms of the brake should be positioned parallel to each other and overlap slightly.
Adjust the Aluminum Plate
Move the aluminum sheet around inside the device as needed to align the bending point with the inner edge of the clamp bar. The section of your aluminum plate beneath the clamp bar will fold up and produce the bends you want.
We recommend making sure the outer edge is running parallel to the clamp bar.
Position a c-clamp an equal distance from either edge of the clamp bar and screw them down tightly. You do not need to place the clamps directly over the aluminum plates.
Lift the Handles for Bending Aluminum Plates to Desired Angle
Since aluminum is a soft metal, you do not need to use much force for bending aluminum panels. With the apron coming up, your metal sheet will be bent around the edge of the clamp bar at the angle you chose.
Continue pulling up the handles until you get the shape you desire.
Aluminum Sheets Bending with Arbor Press
The second-best method for bending aluminum plates, especially for small pieces, is using an arbor press—this method involves seven essential steps that you should follow.
Buy or Rent an Arbor Press Machine for Bending Aluminum Plates
The arbor press is a compact, hand-operated machine that is perfect for installing and shaping small pieces of metal. Most arbor press machines have three primary components, which are:
- Table Plate or Flat Surface
- Hand Level
Standard machines are not bigger than a coffee pot, and you can put them anywhere you want.
Use and Angle Finder Tool
Generally, an angle finder tool features two short legs that rotate freely. There are many marks indicating different angles with the opposite leg on each leg. You should just move the legs into the position that gives you the required angle.
Remember that the aluminum bending radius you choose depends on your project.
Cut the Desired Bend Radius
After determining the radius for bending aluminum plates, mark the angle onto the vertical edge of the tabletop. Then use cutting tools such as a miter saw or circular saw to remove the excess edges inside the marking. This will create a solid block with a groove (V-shape) that you should use to bend the aluminum plate.
Draw a Line on the Bending Section
Use a ruler to align one edge with the chosen bend area and run a marker down the edge. Make the line as bold as possible to ensure it is visible through the bending aluminum plate process.
Tape a Metal Pipe Over the Bend Line
Tape a pipe to the aluminum plate directly over the bending line. When you place it where you desire, secure the tube by applying tape strips. This will serve as the punch around which you want to bend your sheet.
Center the Metal Sheet for Bending Aluminum Plates
Use a centered anvil to set up the block inside the device over the top of the taped pipe. Double-check the position of the tube and begin the bending of aluminum plates.
Lower the Anvil and Bend the Aluminum Sheet
When you lower the lever, the anvil will also go down and press the punch pipe into the metal sheet at the bending line. This will cause the aluminum plate to conform to the angle of the notch in the V-shaped block. After bending aluminum plates, remove the pieces and wipe off the bending line.
Bending Aluminum Plates with Hand
Bending aluminum plates with the hand is the last method we offer, and it is not recommended if you want your job to be precise.
- Draw a Bend Line on the Bending Section
- Set the Aluminum Plate on the Edge of the Workbench
- Place a Length of Wood Behind the Bend Line
- Clamp the Wood to the Aluminum Sheet with C-Clamps
- Bend the Edge of the Sheet Metal Around the Wood with Your Hand