We asked one of our senior technical employees about some of the most common questions he answers about the structural properties NuMetal. He replied that people often ask about post-forming NuMetal—that is how flexible the substrate is when bent. There are two aspects to this question: whether the NuMetal is “cold bent” or bent with a post-forming machine that that heats and bends the sheet. With that said, about 95% of people who ask are simply referring to cold bending the product, like we do rolling it for shipment.
Different backed NuMetals can be bent to different radii:
- NuMetal backed aluminum—approximately 6”
- NuMetal backed stainless steel—approximately 6” to 8”
- NuMetal backed copper—approximately 8” to 10”
- Unbacked aluminum—up to 90° with the use of a brake press (Ultra gloss and ultra-matte will show a white line if bent to that angle)
These numbers are approximate. In some cases the radius may be smaller, but not drastically. For instance, it may be possible to take the 6” radius limit down to something like 5½” when cold bending, but that is not a certainty. Making it as small as 3” for instance, would not be possible. Heating the metal with something like a heat gun can help to ease the bending process.
While most only need to cold press, some have a post-forming machine. This machine requires an actual post-forming grade of backed HPL that uses a specially treated, thinner backer. With the use of the machine, the specially treated NuMetal can be bent to a radius as small as 3/8”. Because this is such a specialized market, ATI carries very few NuMetal products with such a grade, one being 245-Brushed Aluminum.
Adhering to these specifics will ensure that the product remains strong and durable and does not stress crack.