Will it bend? Understanding stretch forming aluminum

big-8800-1Choosing a single partner to curve and finisher your architectural aluminum products offers a more efficient process with a higher quality result. At Linetec, our paint and anodize finishing options are both possible in combination with stretch forming services. Not only does this provide you with a single point of contact, it saves time and costs, and ensures a full warranty on the finished, curved materials.

What is stretch forming?

curved-metal-rack-698X400Stretch forming shapes aluminum sheets and extrusion profiles into simple or complex contoured curves with tensile and bending forces. The material is kept under constant tension, while wrapping it around a form, or die, to produce the desired arc.

Born from the aerospace industry, stretch forming maintains precise dimensions throughout a curve and produces perfectly contoured products while limiting, or even eliminating, wrinkling inside the arc.

Yale Peabody Closeup CTWhat shapes and sizes are possible?

Half circles (180 degrees) and eyebrow (usually 135 degrees) curves are the most popular requests that Linetec receives. These curves may be coupled with straight legs to create a larger opening as a window or door frame. Gothic arches also are common, especially for historic retrofit projects.

Larger arc lengths typically are specified on more modern facilities. Linetec can accommodate a maximum arc length of 260 inches. Those exceeding 260 inches can be reviewed and discussed. We can curved material up to 10 inches in width.

We can advise on accurate measurements to confirm the material dimensions meet your project’s requirements. A template will be needed for compound curves, which have more than one radius, and usually require a custom die.

Can thermal improvements be made to curved aluminum framing members?

Rolled-TB-Extrusion-web136At Linetec, not only can we coordinate the curving of your material and finish it in your choice of paint or anodize, we also can thermally improve the aluminum framing. We offer either a fully crimped, insulating, thermal, polyamide strut system or a three-step, pour-and-debridge process.

Both options separate the inside and outside aluminum framing members of a window, door, skylight, storefront or curtainwall system to reduce the amount of heat transfer, therefore saving energy and increasing occupant comfort.

Installing the thermal barrier in the metal after it has been curved helps minimize stress on the thermal barrier and ensures performance as specified.

What else can affect lead times, costs and warranties?

In addition to maintaining strict, factory-controlled standards by a single point of contact, relying on Linetec for your stretch forming, finishing and thermal improvement services also saves you time and money. You don’t need to coordinate between multiple suppliers’ facilities for logistics and freight. Which also minimizes handling and decreases the chances of your materials being damaged during loading and transport.

Nearly all manufacturer and applicator warranties require that the aluminum sheets and extrusions are finished after curving. When customers ship us their aluminum, Linetec alleviates this worry and performs all the services in the proper sequence and in the same place to retain the full finish warranty.

To learn more about how Linetec can support your next project with our stretch forming, finishing and thermal improvement services, please contact our regional sales managers, email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

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