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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Aberdeen, Scotland
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    Question Whose brake or other tools to custom corrugate sheet steel for my home DIY project?

    Me

    Hi, I have a part-time home DIY project in the planning stage and as part of that I have in mind using a custom design of corrugated sheet stainless steel because the off-the-shelf corrugated sheets are either common and have far too large corrugations or rare and prohibitively expensive and still not all that close to what I would like.

    For me, half the fun of the project is learning how things are best done so I have been researching what tools do this job most easily and cheaply. So I am looking for more than a quote, I am looking for an explanation as to "how?" and "why?" as well.

    I live in Aberdeen in the north of Scotland and a bonus for me would be placing the order with a company within travelling distance so that I could come and see how the panels are made. Alternatively, for companies in southern England or further away if you could video key stages of the production and send me the video that would hopefully satisfy my curiosity and save me a long journey.

    The tooling

    All that follows below about one fabrication method I have researched as I try to source my panels. Before this project, I have never even heard of a "press brake". Before this project, "press brake" is what I did when I wanted to stop a car.

    Maybe some other tools could do this? A box and pan brake maybe?

    The Job

    I'd like to find a manufacturer to bend stainless steel sheets to make some corrugated panels of a custom design of my own, which would be a similar profile but bigger panels than this small sample made by a company in England, though in the end we did not agree a final sample, never mind a price for the job, before the company pulled out from quoting.



    The shape of the corrugations profile would be about this size, or perhaps slightly smaller.



    I think this sample was made using an Amada press brake from flat stainless steel sheet by making bends perhaps using a 6 mm V-die as shown in the diagrams. The sheet had to be manually turned over before each fold, easy enough for the press brake operator making a small sample but turning over before each fold becomes an issue with larger panels.

    This image shows the position of the sheet relative to the 6mm V-die block before the 3rd bend is made. The top tool is not drawn in.



    There would seem to be two alternative possible ways to position the sheet for each fold

    If a CNC press brake is used, the back edge of the sheet could be positioned against the back-gauge which would move under operator sequenced CNC control by a set distance before each fold.

    Or, and this would seem to be the only method for a non-CNC press brake, a strip of steel could be attached (either using a strong epoxy glue such as Araldite, or soldered) along the vertical side of die block which would serve as a shim between the die block and the vertical side of the previous bend and the sheet could be positioned against the shim on the die block.

    Each proposed method of manufacture has its own advantages and disadvantages no doubt.

    This diagram shows the position of the sheet after the 3rd bend is made. Again the top tool is not drawn.



    Not all die blocks with a 6mm V are suitable for this job. The 6mm V does have to be quite close to the edge of the die-block. Fortunately, this is the case with some of the Double V Dies, of the type to fit an Amada press brake.



    There are a few similar Double V-dies listed in the Amada catalogue.


    2 of those 123061 bottom tools would cost £254 which would give me panel length folding of up to 1670 mm.

    3 of those 123061 bottom tools would cost £381 which would give me panel length folding of up to 2505 mm.

    Or, here is a diagram of the 5mm V-die as well, this is straight from the Amada press-brake die catalogue.



    Alternative makes of similar tools might be slightly cheaper to buy, or it might be possible even to hire out those dies and suitable punch tools for this job?

    Not every company with a press brake will have the correct V-dies and punches to do this job in house to begin with so we may need to look at the options to buy or hire the right tooling to do the job.

    This extract from the Amada reference pdf recommends tonnage of 17 per metre and to bend to an inner bending radius of 1mm.



    The appropriate punch or top tool to use we can discuss later but I think many punches would work well enough providing they are 88 degrees or less with a point of 1mm radius or less.

    As you can gather I hope, I have researched this method of manufacture in some detail so I believe these panels can be manufactured this way.

    Possibly there are other methods, perhaps using different tools which would be worth considering so if you can think of another (cheap) way to make this panel please feel free to make suggestions for alternative manufacturing methods to me.

    Mass production of similar architectural facade panels uses roll-forming most often but this is not practical or affordable for a custom design of panel.

    Also there is the question of exactly how big the panels can be made? There is no set size demanded, but I would prefer bigger panels all other matters being equal. Bigger panels are more difficult to make well so there will be an upper limit to the size of panel which can be made which may well be less than the size of the steel sheet as supplied.

    For the sample profile and using a 6mm V-die, I'd like to use 1.0 mm thick stainless steel sheet.

    For a proportionately smaller profile, using a 5mm V-die, I'd suggest around 0.8mm thick stainless steel sheet.

    The total area of sheets to be bent is likely to be about 10 metres squared of 316 grade in total - possibly less if the expense of manufacturing each panel is more than I hope.

    I can certainly afford the sheet steel, the question is how much would it cost to get the corrugated panels manufactured?

    Perhaps you would like to quote for this job, ask for more details or make a helpful suggestion?

    Thank you for your interest in my project.
    Last edited by Peter Dow; 07-18-2011 at 08:09 PM.

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