A press brake is a machine used for bending panels of sheet and plate metal. The press brake works by clamping the material between a v-shaped die and punch, the backgauge moving the workpiece to the correct size, then the punch forces the material down into the die to form the predetermined bend.

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A press brake is a machine used for bending panels of sheet and plate metal. They are mostly used in a variety of industries including automotive, aircraft and cabinetry. Their many different forming jobs all depend on the right die design, for instance they can be used to bend metal for flashing, decorative trim, fascia, unique coffee tables, magazine stands, and all kinds of other useful items.

The press brake works by clamping the material between a v-shaped die and punch, the backgauge moving the workpiece to the correct size, then the punch forces the material down into the die to form the predetermined bend.

There are many press brake makes and models available in Australia, with some of the most popular manufacturers being Steelmaster, Amada, Fasfold and Hydrabend. Each manufacturer offers different designs that vary in price, depending on their unique features. These features can include 2-axis backgauge, European standard top tooling, touchscreen controls and more.

The press brake comes in a variety of types including the manual press brake, hydraulic press brake and the CNC press brake. Manual press brakes require the operator to manually set the workpiece, the bending dimensions and angles, and are usually powered by a flywheel. While the CNC press brake is computer controlled and offers high levels of precision, accuracy and automation. Generally, CNC press brakes will be more expensive than their manual counterparts, as they offer more features and the ability to work autonomously.

For different bends, you will require different dies. Some of the most common types of dies available include v-dies, rotary bending dies, 90-degree dies, curling dies and many more. Some dies cater to specific bends, such as the u-bend die and the box-forming die. The die you need will depend largely on the type of bend you want to achieve in your metal workpiece.

When looking at different press brakes for your project, you'll want to look at its tonnage and the working length of the machine, as well as stroke length, distance to the backgauge, work height and distance between frame uprights or side housings.

There are lots of different types of press brakes available, along with tooling and accessories. If you're stuck for which press brake is best, chat to your local metalworking machinery dealer.