Material grain size matters in sheet metal bending Grain Size Image – (C) The Fabricator 8 ways material grain size affects how metal parts form

The Fabricator recently ventured to put together a comprehensive list on the ways that material grain size can affect the process of metal forming.

Eight Factors

During forming, sheet metal expands on the outside of the bend and compresses on the inside of the bend. How well the metal responds to the expansion and compression during bending determines the amount of unexpected deformation.

There are eight main factors that affect deformation during sheet metal forming related to material grain. A deeper understanding of these factors allows manufacturers to make corrective action that reduce variations during a part run. Analysis and insight into these eight factors, operators should see errors diminish and product quality improve.

The eight factors identified by The Fabricator article include:

1. Work Hardening. Plastic deformation causes dislocations within the metal’s structure, which in turn generates additional dislocations. 

2. Hardness Variation. Steelmakers make sheet metal within a tolerance zone for hardness. 

3. Thickness Variation. The same thing goes for material thickness, specified within a tolerance zone that corresponds to a given material gauge.

4. Bend Line Location. A feature near a bend changes the way that the metal expands, compresses, and deforms. 

5. Forming Method. The common bending methods on the press brake are air forming (or air bending), bottoming (or bottom bending), and coining.

6. Bend Length. The length of the bend is proportional to the tonnage required to make the bend. 

7. Grain Direction. During the process of turning ingots of metal into sheet at the mill, the metal is forced between a set of rollers. 

8. Grain Size. Grain within the material influences its strength. The borders between grains act like a barrier to dislocation movement. 

Further details about these eight factors and information on identifying grain is available in the full article available on The Fabricator:

Reducing emissions and finding ways to produce energy more cleanly has been a priority for manufacturers for years. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regularly updates requirements to improve the safety and purity of emissions from engines, companies have been scrambling to keep up without sacrificing efficiency.

The latest Tier 4 Final emissions standards apply to both on-road and non-road engines – so many more manufacturers are now impacted by the rules, not just those associated with locomotive equipment like trucks and trains. Now, engines found in power generators and other stationary equipment will be under scrutiny as well. This especially impacts companies working in the oil and gas sector.

The main purpose of Tier 4 Final regulations is to cut back on the amount of particulate matter (PM) by 80% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 45% more than previous regulations. To meet this requirement, companies such as Cummins have already taken steps by implementing a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment solution for engines. There’s a long line of chemical reactions that go on during this process, and in the end, ammonia and water vapor create the catalytic reaction that results in the reduction of NOx into a harmless gas. Full details on the chain reaction can be found on EngineerLive.

We’ve been working with companies to ensure that our tubes meet their requirements for Tier 4 Final standards. This requires the use of Stainless Steel materials and sufficient insulation on the outside of the tube to keep the gases inside hot (extreme heat is an essential component of the catalytic reaction). The number and severity of bends in a tube can impact heat loss, so we make a conscious effort to reduce the number of bends and ensure smooth transitions to retain the most heat possible.

Learn about our tube bending and Tier 4 capabilities and how we can assist you in meeting Tier 4 Final requirements, feel to contact us or call 440-974-2500.

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