What is air bending
With air bending, a press brake is equipped with a punching tool and commonly a v-opening bottom die.
The punch presses the material into the bottom die,creating three contact points; one on each side of the top of the v opening of the die, and one at the tip of the punch.
This defines the bend inside radius. The metal does not get pressed to the bottom of the die but rather, the depth is used to define the angle bend.
Generally, the same die can be used to accommodate different materials, bend radii, and bend angles based on the punch profile and depth.
Air bent pieces will experience some spring back and angles are not highly accurate.
- No retooling is required to create different bend angles, saving time and expense with the process
- Able to bend most material types and thicknesses
- Faster than bottom bending
- Less pressure is required to perform the bend
- Less contact with tooling results in less surface damage
- Not well suited to parts requiring highly accurate bend angles
- Material will have a spring back effect which needs to be considered in the bend angle*
- Older press brake equipment often results in inaccurate bends*
*Unless your fabricator has the latest equipment with laser measuring technology