Though aerospace and real estate development applications are two dominant uses of curved metals, there is also a large market among retail manufacturers. Consider some other end-products now using curved aluminum: the automobile industry, for example – truck and RV fenders, bumpers, carlines, wheel wells and grill frames. Other products utilizing curved extrusions are sign frames, escalators, rolling doors, even dishwashers.

Extrusion Curving

Hand Forming

The simplest type of curving as it applies to aluminum extrusions is hand forming that uses simple hand tools, an arbor block and radius gage. It can be easily managed in-house and is a good method of last resort curving for simple, low quantity production.

Compression bending

Another common type of curving is compression bending that uses a modified tube bender to wrap the aluminum extrusion around a radius form block. This method is fast and when one has the exact same item to be repeated in quantity, it is very cost-effective. Also, if there is no need for the use of a mandrel, the compression-bending process offers unlimited use of length capabilities.

Roll Forming

Roll forming is the third common method that involves using a three- or four-roller system either vertically or horizontally, placing the part between the rolls, and pinching to achieve the desired shape. It is a process which has low tooling costs and can usually form a painted or anodized part. Another advantage is that it also offers competitive pricing for small part runs.

Stretch wrap forming

The final method of stretch wrap forming involves the curving and stretching of a metal part. The extrusion is stretched past its yield point to create a part that is in an elastic state. This means that a part is deformed permanently. The idea is to hold the profile by wrapping it around a form block. This method has many advantages, including: excellent, repeat ability of parts, little or no distortion, due of longer lengths, and a relatively low scrap rate. Most important, stretch wrap forming is ideal for forming compound curves and multi-radii parts. Multi-assemblies are also easily achieved by stretch forming, and price per part costs can dramatically be reduced in quantity orders.

Metal Forming

Cold Forging

A forming process in which a metal object at room temperature is shaped by repeated hammering.

Hot Forging

A method of forming metal objects in which a heated slug or blank cut from wrought material is pressed into a closed cell impression die.

Hydro-Forming

A forming process in which a sheet alloy is pressed between a male die and a rubber piece subjected to hydraulic pressure.

Roll Forming

Shapes made from sheet or strip material by passing it between multiple stands of contoured rolls. Generally, the corners are not as sharp as those achieved by extrusion

Metal Bending

Bottoming

In bottoming, the sheet is forced against the V opening in the bottom tool. U-shaped openings cannot be used. Space is left between the sheet and the bottom of the V opening. The optimum width of the V opening is 6 T (T stands for material thickness) for sheets about 3 mm thick, up to about 12 T for 12 mm thick sheets. The bending radius must be at least 0.8 T to 2 T for sheet steel. Larger bend radius require about the same force as larger radii in air bending, however, smaller radii require greater force—up to five times as much—than air bending. Advantages of bottoming include greater a accuracy less spring back. A disadvantage is that a different tool set is needed for each bend angle, sheet thickness, and material. In general, air bending is the preferred technique.

Coining

In coining, the top tool forces the material into the bottom die with 5 to 30 times the force of air bending, causing permanent deformation through the sheet. There is little, if any, spring back. Coining can produce an inside radius is as low as 0.4 T, with a 5 T width of the V opening. While coining can attain high precision, higher costs mean that it is not often used.

Three-Point Bending, Folding and Roll Bending 

Welding & Fabrication

With diverse equipment and highly skilled, certified journeymen, Bend Tek Inc. has the capability to produce anything from small machine parts to 30 foot long, 15,000 lb. weldments, all in different steel and alloys.

Our comprehensive welding services feature MIG, TIG, and Arc welding to meet the needs of a wide array of welding applications. We work with steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and exotic materials. We offer welding on .012 to 1 inch thick and above. We weld angles, channels, rails, beams, weldments, tanks, and pipes. With a 20,000 lb lifting capacity, our facility can handle large and heavy components such as heavy machinery.

Machining

Our team has continuously invested in new CNC machining equipment and software throughout the past three years and has kept current with the latest innovations in order to provide our customers with exceptional results. We specialize in products requiring high strength, high temperature, and extreme environment resilience.

CNC Machining

Utilizing the most modern machining technologies coupled with the latest innovations in CNC allows us to optimize product quality, increase productivity and deliver to our customers with exceptional results.

2, 4 & 6 axis precision turning machine tools with live tooling, Shaft work up to 32″ x 78″ long.

Our CNC router gives us the ability to drill, shape and profile materials including aluminum plate and plastic sheeting in dimensions up to 5′ x 10′. We are capable of completing precision micro drilling to .015″ in diameter.

CNC Prototype Service

Our team appreciates the challenges prototype work entails. We view it as an opportunity to work closely with customers to develop solutions. Together, we can adapt our processes, improve our methods and overcome any challenges the project presents. Our goal is to use our extensive machining experience and skilled workforce to meet your prototyping needs.