Bend & Fold Unique Materials with RAS Machines

Unique materials have unique needs when it comes to bending. How you get the job done is more important than ever. Traditional press brakes can struggle with forming and bending materials with embossed or textured surfaces. They can even, in some cases, bend the material past a point of productivity while trying.

RAS Systems sheet metal folding machines are designed for a wide variety of different applications used in the manufacturing of products. From the bending and folding of easy-to-scratch material surfaces, or detailed embossed sheets that require specific bending, RAS machines are designed to provide users with reliable results.

Follow along with us as we guide you through the common issues that can arise while bending unique materials, and see how RAS machines have been designed to prevent these problems.

Bending Stainless Steel & Coated Materials

Maintaining a perfect finish is important with stainless steel and coated materials – scratch marks or impressions can easily be left on the surface but must be avoided to leave a quality finish.

In folding machines with conventional technology, there can be small movements between the sheet metal and the folding machine which can leave scratch marks and indentations, destroying the quality of the surface. Coatings are applied to blank sheets of stainless steel to avoid this contact, helping eliminate the possibility of scratches and imperfections on the everyday folding machine.

Certain RAS Systems machines are created with 3D bending capability which eliminates the need for these preventative measures. The simultaneous swivel and bending motions of our machines form scratch-free bends and folds, even without a coating.

Avoiding Cracks and Stretch Marks

With pre-painted blanks, it’s usually impossible to complete bending and folding without surface protection; it’s important while bending to prevent the coating from stretching too much to avoid discoloration or cracking at bend lines. RAS machines do require surface coatings to be applied to ensure the quality of the paint’s surface, but the coatings can be thinner and easier to remove than the types other machines use.

You can also avoid these cracks and stretches by avoiding sharp edges; using upper beam tools with a small radius on the leading edge can help create smoother edges. RAS Systems offers these upper beam tools, as well as folding beam tools with plastic inserts. Using a tool radius gently elongates material without cracking, and plastic inserts glide across surfaces without any damage. These tools are also recommended when using thicker aluminum sheets.

Folding Unique Materials

Perforated, composite, embossed, and other unique materials can be bent and folded effectively by RAS machines without damage.

With RAS folding technology, the upper beam of the machine first clamps material against the lower beam to keep it from moving or sliding during the bending process. It also ensures the flange length can be achieved precisely on a constant basis.

The same method is followed when working with expanded perforated materials since metal is first cut and stretched. We recommend that sharp edges of these materials are placed on the back gauge of machines to make handling easier while ensuring that the position of materials remains the same.  This will keep your employees and workplace safer while still achieving consistent and accurate bends.

Creating Bends on Composite Sheets

Metal facades are often made with composite sheets or panels – sheets bonded so that a core layer like rubber is covered by two coating layers of steel or aluminum.

RAS machines offer easy-to-use step bending to create radii bends and rounded edges on these facades. Our Bendex software allows for consistent and easy-to-form radii bends without the complication of aligning and realigning sheets over and over again.

More frequently, bends must be formed in sharp and uniform ways. To achieve an optically flawless bend, trust RAS machines to create consistently exact bends where they’re meant to be.

Watch this video to see how the UpDownCenter folds this intricate design with exact precision:

Start Bending with RAS Systems

If you are looking for ways to optimize and simplify your manufacturing procedures and are working with unique or easy-to-scratch materials, we encourage you to request a quote from us. We can work together to find the optimal machine for your business and allow you to start making more products more effectively.

RAS Systems LLC was founded in 1992 near Atlanta, Georgia, and is a market leader in North America and worldwide for metal cutting, bending, and forming machines and the software that controls them. Its major markets are roofing and architectural, HVAC, electrical enclosures, machine covers and housings, signage, appliances, elevators, lighting fixtures, industrial kitchen equipment, metal furniture, steel doors and windows, and other precision sheet metal fabrication. If you have any questions regarding folding machines please contact us for more information or request a quote today!

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