What are bendable aluminum strips

Bending aluminum - you have to pay attention to that

Bending aluminum can also be done by hobby craftsmen, but there are a few things that you should be aware of. An aluminum sheet can be used in a wide variety of places. On the one hand as decoration in the interior or in your own garden. So that bending is not too difficult for you and you achieve a beautiful result, we will show you what you have to consider.

Bending aluminum - which tools do I need?

Aluminum is relatively easy to bend compared to steel or other metals. If you have already worked with aluminum, you will have noticed that the exciting machining is easy. But you also need a few tools and aids to bend aluminum.
  • Marking out: Before you can start bending, you have to mark the piece on the corresponding bending edges. There are special scriber needles for this. However, a fine, waterproof foil pen can also help. So that the scribe line is as straight as possible, use a ruler or other straight tool of the appropriate length.
  • Press brake: Perhaps there are people in your circle of friends who have a press brake. As a rule, you will get better results than with your own vice in the garage. Asking at a metal construction company is also worthwhile, especially if you want to use your piece as a decoration. The cost is relatively low.
  • Alternatively: If you don't have a folding bench or would like to do it with your own hands, there are two other options. You can bend on the vice with a bending aid, or you can build your own makeshift press brake. For this it is sufficient to clamp the sheet metal between two wooden beams and to secure the beams with screw clamps or wood screws.
  • Hammer: You select the hammer according to the size and shape of the workpiece. A light hammer is suitable for small, thin sheets and a proportionally larger hammer is suitable for larger and thicker sheets. With particularly long sheet metal strips, several people can help out and bend the piece using muscle power. Gloves to protect against cuts are recommended during processing.
  • Bending block: So that you can distribute the force of the hammer over a targeted and larger area, add a bending block. It can be made of hard rubber or wood. In addition, a bending block protects the surface of the sheet metal from hammer blows and prevents scratches and quirks.

Bending aluminum - how to do it correctly

Before you start bending, there are a few more things to consider. You need to mark out your workpiece to match to get the dimensions you want. After that, you need to clamp and secure it neatly and in place. In the following steps you will find out how best to proceed and what else there is to consider.
  1. Marking out: Before you mark out your workpiece, you have to find out the compensation value for your desired bending radius. Note that the minimum bending radius for aluminum is 0.8 to three times the sheet thickness. If you fall below this radius, the material will tear on the outside. Example: With a bending radius of 2.5 millimeters and a sheet thickness of 2 millimeters, you have a compensation value of 4. This value must be added to the scribe in order to achieve the desired dimensions.
  2. Clamping: When clamping, accuracy is key. This is easier and more accurate with a folding bench than with a vice or a temporary folding bench. Place your workpiece with the scribed line on the edge of the folding bench or on the upper edge of the vice jaws. Check that the workpiece is really straight, otherwise you will get a crooked end result. You get your radius from another workpiece with the same outer radius; it is clamped on the scribed edge.
  3. Bending: When it comes to bending, you need to concentrate. Place the bending block a little above the bending edge. Then bend the sheet metal with hammer blows. The force you need at this point depends on the thickness of the workpiece and the desired bending angle. Then work your way step by step along the bending edge. In order to work as precisely as possible, hike a little further along the line after each stroke. This will give you an even result.
  4. Straightening: If you find that you have bent your workpiece too far, you can still straighten it. To do this, leave the piece clamped and try to bend it again slightly in the opposite direction. In the case of aluminum, however, this step is limited, as the material can tear too quickly.
It's already the weekend and your bent workpiece still needs to be drilled? Another article tells you what to consider when drilling on Saturday and Sunday.