Bending Aluminum Plate

Have a question or want to show off your project? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Hello All:   Neat ng here with all the questions and answers on metal

I have a project coming up where I have to bend some 6061 T6 .18" thick
plate. The bend radius can be 1/2 inch, or even larger.

I bend aluminum tubing all time with good success, but it uses a 3 inch
bend radius. And thinner aluminum sheet metal bending isn't a problem,
keeping a eye on the grain and bend radius.

Is there a book or wed site that explains the rules and procedures of
bending aluminum??

Thanks for any help here.

Jay in the Great Mojave Deseret.

Re: Bending Aluminum Plate
   You may end up with some cracks in the plate even at that radius.  In
the T6 condition it doesn't like to be bent.  If you can get some 5052
aluminum it will bend with out cracking or you can try annealing the alum.
   I have annealled some 1" tubing on the BBQ, worked very well. The
tubing fits nicely in the notch of the BBQ cover where the rotissery
attachment goes :-) I made a set of dies out of plywood to put a
180degree 4" radius bend in the 1" tubing.  Just like butter.  It also
work hardened up nicely afterwards.
   I found this chart for bend tolerences

Jay Mojave wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it


James P Crombie

We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Bending Aluminum Plate
Jay:  .
I just finished bending some 063 6061T6 (across the grain) to a 90 degree
bend but used two thicknesses of 032 to create the needed radius.  Based on
my test you would need probably at least a 0.18 pre-bent piece of say 5052
and a brake with adjustable setback.  I made my own brake for small pieces
(12" wide) and have bent up to and including 0.125 4130 steel in it.  It has
adjustable setback built into it.

Where in the Mojave Desert are you?  Stuart Fields in Inyokern Ca

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Bending Aluminum Plate

Jay Mojave wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
You will do best to anneal the material first.  Heat the bend area with
a propane torch
until it causes oil to smoke.  Then plunge it into cold water.  The
material will
be AMAZINGLY soft for a day or so.  I had cut an instrument panel out
on my mill, with a lot of detail, and then realized this was some stuff
that absolutely
would not take any bending at all.  I heated and quenched it, and it
bent very well.


Re: Bending Aluminum Plate
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The minimum bend radius for 6061 T6 is 2 to 4 times the thickness.
The chart on the link is only good for steel!  For best results on a
small radius polish the edges of the material at the bend site. 1/2"
looks about right.

I have a file on
with the full range of aluminium alloys and tempers showing the
minimum bend radius for each.


Site Timeline