Why Some Metal Can Be Bent and Some Can’t

Metal is an incredible material. It is incredibly hard, strong and durable, but many metals can be bent into just about any shape. Some metals are easy to bend and can be formed with little effort, while others will be more likely to break than bend no matter what method is attempted.

Why can some metal bend? And why are some metals hard to bend?

Read on to find out more about how metal is able to bend and how we can make this property of metal work in our favor.

How does metal bend?

Metal can bend thanks to the way it is formed on an atomic level. It consists of layers of atoms that can move over each other when the metal is put under stress, for instance, from hammering or pressing. This phenomenon is called malleability.

Gold, silver, steel, copper and aluminum all have high malleability, i.e., they are easily bent. This means they can be formed or shaped in just about any way imaginable, and they can also be pounded into thin sheets for industrial use.

Copper, for example, is often made into wire due to its flexibility and malleability, as well as the fact that it is a strong conductor of electricity. Some metals, like tungsten and titanium, are very hard and have poor malleability, making them unsuitable for bending in most cases.

Uses for metal bending

Bending metal can be an integral part of a construction project. This is especially true with any piping or tubing systems. For example, bending pipes can reduce the need for welds and fittings in a tubing system. This will help increase the flow efficiency for the entire process.

Another use of metal bending is for structural steel. Both I-beams and H-beams sometimes need to be bent to fit a specific shape, as do round bars, flat bars and rectangular or square shapes.

Coils require a specific type of metal bending in order to make a continuous, flowing pipe that can allow for lengthy travel distance in only a short amount of space. These are used in heating and cooling systems, as well as many other commercial applications. There are many different types of coils, including tapered or flat spiral coils, reciprocating coils, pancake coils, helical coils and many more.

Hire a professional

All of these metal bending tasks require specific machinery and experience, which is why it’s always best to contract this part of a job to a professional metal fabricator with experience in bending.

Now that you know why some metals can bend, you need to know where to take any metals that you need to have bent. For this, you should consult a professional metal fabricator with a lot of experience in bending metal to exacting specifications.

Contact Metal Works Corporation today for all your metal bending needs. Since 1956, we’ve been your go-to source for metal fabrication and manufacturing. We specialize in tube and pipe bending, coiling, springs and custom metal products—all with an emphasis on customer service.