In aluminum extrusion, channels are unique C or U-shaped profiles of varying thickness and sizes. They are employed in various applications, including framing trims and support structures.
However, before these aluminum profiles can be adapted to various projects, a bit of customization is often necessary. Usually, the profiles require a bit of bending to fitment and installation. It helps improve performance and aesthetics and eliminates the requirement for extra connectors and fittings. Here is a look at the process of bending aluminum channels.
What does bending aluminum channels mean?
Bending aluminum channels refers to molding and adapting aluminum channels to particular project needs. Indeed, bending aluminum channels is necessary and beneficial in the following ways:
Manufacturers can bend aluminum to create unique angles, curves, and shapes fit for a particular application. This flexibility is especially useful in architecture, manufacturing, and construction, where designs must meet unique specifications.
Some architects and designers also leverage the flexibility of aluminum to create visually pleasing structures. For example, you will see displays, signages, or architectural structures featuring elegant angled or curved channels. It enables the structures to stand out without compromising their integrity.
Occasionally, bending is also done to provide extra support and reinforcement in projects requiring superior structural strength. Manufacturers can precisely shape channels for optimal performance.
Better fitment and space optimization
Bending also makes it possible to fit aluminum channels in complex structures easily. For example, channels can be forced around obstacles and contours, leading to efficient use of space without reducing the structure’s integrity. It also eliminates the need for connectors and fittings, thus eliminating the need for extra materials.
How is bending done?
Aluminum channels can be bent via rolling, incremental, or induction bending. Rolling is often done using a machine with at least three roles. The roles are set to a specific radius, and the channel is inserted, then the machine applies the pressure to get it to the desired shape. Induction bending uses heat.
A coil is used to heat specific sections of the channel to around 1850 F, and then a fixed radius arm applies pressure, resulting in the desired shape.
On the other hand, incremental bending is a process where small, intricate bends are made one step at a time until the channel assumes the desired shape. It’s time-consuming, but the fabricator has better control over the bend radius. All in all, there are a few things to consider when selecting the bending method. Here’s a look:
- The thickness of the material: the thicker the aluminum channel, the more force it will need to bend
- Material strength: stronger materials require immense force to bend
- Bend angle: When bending via a large angle, you will need to exert more force
- Bend radius: smaller bend radius requires more force
- Surface finish: channels with powder coating or other surface finish must be heated before bending to keep the finish from cracking
Another consideration is alloy selection. Always select aluminum designed for bending applications. These include the 6063 and 6061. These are known for their superior formability and strength.
You can search online for the best suppliers of high-quality aluminum profiles that fabricates globally. One of them is Weiye, they provide various solutions, including customizing and adapting profiles to an ideal assembly design. If you need help selecting an aluminum product, please contact one of the experts for guidance.