Metal bending - which methods are there?

Metal bending is a type of metal working. Various bending and bending processes are used. What can be used in which cases and which factors play a role in this case is explained in more detail in the following article.

Forming metal

In most cases, metal is transformed into sheet metal. Sheets are flat pieces of metal with layer thicknesses of several millimeters. Bending is also called folding. The angle of the fold can be arbitrarily large, at a 180° angle is then no longer a fold, but an envelope. However, metal profiles and pipes can also be formed. Here are partly other devices than in sheet metal used. Bending can be done by hand on metals, but this always depends on the type of metal and its surface treatment. In some cases, metals can break when bent. Both pipes and hollow profiles cause additional problems during bending.

Relevant factors for bending or bending

  • Metal type or alloy
  • Workpiece shape (sheet or profile)
  • Bending or round bending or bending of pipes or bending of profiles or hollow profiles
  • Surface treatment of the metal

Forming processes in the industry

In the field of industrial manufacturing, various forming processes are used.

Folding methods

When bending the sheet metal is held in a stop system, a top cheek pushes the sheet against a specially shaped lower cheek. By an additional bending cheek an angle is then pressed into the sheet.

roll bending

The roll bending works as well as the swivel bending, however, the bending beam moves away from the plate.


When bending the sheet is pressed by a stamp in a die, taking the shape of the die. For pipes and profiles, other machines are used. These are mainly bending presses and hand bending presses, also bending springs transmit the bending moment to the pipe or the profile made of metal.

Hot and cold bending

Some metals and alloys need to be heated before forming. This is called hot bending. The heating can be done in different ways. The temperatures depend on the respective alloy. During cold bending, the metal is cold formed or folded. Most metals allow such editing easily.


To keep a certain radius when bending so-called matrices are used. These are preformed parts whose outer shape and diameter correspond exactly to the desired inner radius of the bend. You can either make dies yourself, or use finished dies according to custom dimensions. Especially when bending pipes or profiles find matrices application.

Tips & Tricks

Pipes or profiles can usually bend locksmiths professionally because they have the necessary tools. Challenging tasks and machining of sheet metal or other metal workpieces, on the other hand, are only reshaped by companies that specialize in bending.

Video Board: BaumBuilds Build Tip #2: Sheet Metal Bending Techniques