Most of the time metal needs to be formed before it can be used. There are a lot of ways that metal is formed. The most common is to use a machine press. A press uses some kind of force to change the shape of the metal. There are several different presses and methods to pressing metal. One kind of press is the press brake, also known as the brake press. This machine press bends sheet metal into the desired shape.
Angles formed with this kind of press can be extremely accurate. Depending on what kind of die is used, multiple bends can be made at one time. Press brake machinery has two frames that are the sides. They are attached to a table on the bottom with a ram or beam on the top.
The die and punch are attached to the table and the beam. The sheet metal goes in between the two, the punch lowers and the metal is formed into the shape of the die. When it comes to basic operation, there are 4 basic types. They break down as to the way that force is applied to the metal to bend it. Not all the methods work for all applications. Some of them are slower or less accurate than others press brake.
One type of brake press machinery is the mechanical press. This kind of press has a flywheel inside the electric motor. Energy is applied to the flywheel and a clutch is used to engage the wheel so it moves a crank to lift the beam up and down. This kind of press is fast and the most accurate.
A hydraulic press uses two cylinders that are mounted on the sides of the press. The cylinders are synched up so that they move together. A hydraulic press is slower than a mechanical press. A pneumatic press is similar except instead of using fluid.
The servo-electric type of press has a belt drive or ballscrew that is driven by a servomotor. The best uses of the servo-electric and pneumatic brakes are jobs that don’t need as much pressure, or tonnage, placed on the ram. Until recently, the mechanical presses were most commonly used. This is because they are fast and highly accurate. In the past hydraulic presses were much slower because they had to wait to reset. But advances in hydraulics have markedly reduced that waiting period.
The advances of computer controls have also made hydraulic press brakes much more accurate. They are also the safest choice. One piece of press brake machinery can be used for a number of jobs. All it takes is changing the punch and die. The punch goes on the ram. It pushes the metal down into the die.
The punch gives the bend its inside angle and the die gives it the outside angle. However, depending on the bending process, whether it is air bending or bottoming, a die might not be needed. A press brake is used to fold and bend sheet metal into new shapes. Things like brackets and cases for electronics are made this way. There are different kinds of press brake machinery as well as different processes and dies.