ACP which stands for Aluminum Composite Panel is a very versatile, functional and durable material that creates modern and aesthetic look for building facades. These panels are very flat looking in comparison to typical cladding and siding sheets. ACM panels are used for many applications due to their characteristics. The product is mostly available in 4mm of thickness for building. However, in many cases the product need to be fabricated in order to fit the application desired. There are many fabricating methods for the product such as routing, saw cutting, grooving, folding, rivet and bolting, CNC cutting and bending. These materials are ductile which means they can be bent before braking. This article will introduce two main methods to bend an aluminum composite panel for residential and commercial purposes.
Three Roll Bending Process
Three roll bending machine is a one of the most popular manufacturing machines worldwide which is used for turning metal sheets into curves, cylinder and other shapes. Nowadays this machine is also very applicable for fabricating and bending aluminum composite panels.
In working principal of three roll machine, the relative position change and the rotation of the working roll bends the ACP sheet by producing continuous plastic deformation until it reaches the predetermined shape. To start the procedure, the panel should be placed in between the upper and lower rollers and the three points which are exposed to the panel and are called cutting points. During the procedure, one end of the product gets into the three roller plate which is positioned between two main rollers and then a downward displacement is done by the top roller having a specific compression force.
The aluminum panel starts to bend and move along its longitudinal direction right after the start of the roller movement. The plastic deformation starts right when the panel pass the bottom of the upper roller. In this part the stress exceeds yield limit and the product starts shaping and having required curves. When the bending is finished, each edge of the product will surely have non-symmetrical bulges or they can be left straight, thus, they should be bent again with any mechanical tool. However, this part of the product must be curved precisely. Some manufacturers prefer to pre-bend the edges in order to avoid any inaccurate results.
Bending with Press Brake
Press break is an industrial and manufacturing machine which is used to bend aluminum composite panels. This machine is typically produced with narrow and ling dimension in order to have the ability of bending large pieces of sheet. The bending process in this method is done by lowering a punch onto the sheet which has been positioned on top of the die. The desired form will be achieved after several times of bending.
Types of Press Break
Bending aluminum composite panel requires a lot of force, thus for delivering this force, different methods are used to lower the punch onto the metal. These methods include hydraulic, servo electric, pneumatic and mechanical process. This type of bending is also varied in the amount of the force which can be provided. This force is known as tonnage which is a measure of tons of force that the press break is able to provide. Hydraulic presses often deliver bigger amount of force in comparison to mechanical and servo electric types. Thus for ACMs which are hard to bend, this method is recommended in many cases. The speed and accuracy are other factors which classify types of the machine. Pneumatic press is well known for its fast pace procedure and servo electric is popular for its high level accuracy.
Important Things to Consider When Using Press Break
When bending aluminum composite panel using press break procedure, it is important to consider some factors such as; type of the product, the die, punch and the force required. The type of the cladding or siding is important due to the different physical properties which they have. The punch and die are both very effective factors while having impact on the process. The die is a hollow material that the panel is placed on top it and it is a very strong and hard material which is shaped almost near to the desired look of the panel. However, the punch is solid metal which is lowered down onto the ACP. Quality of the result is depending on the suiting accuracy of these two factors. Punch and dies are designed in a way to fit in many different bending applications and jobs.