Materials of fine grades save fabrication time and costs on press brakes.

In our previous articles, we looked into the brain matter in sheet metals and plates, into their formation as well as the reasons for their sizes and orientations. Herein we are going to investigate the grain influence on the formation of materials on press brakes.

We came to the conclusion that material with big grains is of higher ductility, the one with small grains is featured with more strength and lower ductility, but the latter delivers more easiness information compared to the former one. Actually, the formation of large-grained materials is accompanied by ruptures and orange-peel effect over the outer radii, particularly in case of performing acute bends. To explore more have a look into the article. 

A Prompt Overlook 

Actually, molecules group together to make up metals and their arrangements look like cubes. The grouping length is less than one-tenth of a millionth of an inch on each side.

Seeing the molecule groups is not possible, yet the effect of their existence is seen. They appear in the form of irregular crystal shapes and grains.

The crystals can be seen to the unassisted eye when excessively great numbers of molecules exist. Cold rolling or cold procession brings to the elongation of crystal grains and their orientation along with the rolling directions, thus producing every single grain visible to us.

Grain sizes and quantity in materials depend on the rates at which a metal turns into solid from the fluid condition. Steelmaking begins with the melting process which is followed by solidification when materials cool. At the point of crystallization, new grain nucleation happens, which implies the growth of grains in the old distorted ones as well as at their borders. Due to the crystallization, the mechanic characteristics of materials come to their initial, weak condition possessing more ductility.

The capability of a crystal material to plastic deformation is dependent on its ability to dislocate; i.e the ability of the grains to run easily in the material. Borders of grains, zones of molecule excess do not appear as parts of symmetric crystalline formations are like barriers for the disposition, at which crystal grains fail to slide freely over each other. With the decrease of grain sizes the boundaries increase. The small sizes of grains ensure more strength for materials.

The slower movement of grain dislocation provides more strength as well. Certain means are offered to decrease the movement of dislocations, such as alloy and strain hardening techniques.

Controlling Grain Sizes 

Large grains make materials weaker and provide less solidity. The causes of the size enlargement are different. For instance, leaving the materials at crystallization temperatures longer than required will bring on the increase of grain sizes due to the diffusion at the borders of grains.

Thus, grain sizes affect the material strength, for the borders of grains act like barriers to disposition leading to the move alongside slip planes. This can be reasoned by the fact that adjacent grains are of varied orientation. (Fig. 1). Within the small-grain materials, the distances that particles may run alongside the slip planes are short. The move reduction within small grains ensures more toughness for materials.

Grain Directions and Bending Lines

Materials of sheets or plates have to be considered in the formation process. Prior to carrying out designs, it is advisable to review more than one variety. It is best when the grain factor is deeply taken into consideration prior to making projects and the release of purchasing orders.

Fig. 1

Ruptures and the effect of orange peel upon the outer bend faces might be the cause of grain orientations. While bending on press brakes, bending lines should be placed vertically to the material grain directions. This has been proved to be the best practice. Still, this might not be carried out all the time, particularly when performing several bends. In case of impossibility to have vertical bend lines to the grains, then bend diagonally to the grains.

Annealing and Normalization

If materials handled with strain-hardening are put to the high temperature the strength gained from the ductile deformity of the formation may disappear. This can bring on some difficulty when the significant extent of strength is needed for metals to bear loads. Nevertheless, the strength that strains hardening causes might not always be needed, particularly when more viscidity is required to perform several bends. The thermal treatment removes the impacts of strain hardening.

Grain sizes are possible to control during the production processes even in the step followed by the formation on the press brake, no matter what were the initial sizes of grains made at mills. Material grains are possible to make more unified through heat treatments such as annealing and normalization.

Normalization implies heating materials up to a certain point under crystallization, then allowing to chill in the air. While annealing, materials are reheated to the pointless than crystallization, yet, instead of air chilling, materials are left in furnaces allowing them to cool gradually to the room temperatures. Normalization provides better grain structures compared to annealing.

Heat treatment includes 3 facts: restoration, which implies grain restoration after cold processing, re-crystallization, which denotes the formation of new grains, and an increase of grains, which supposes grain growth on account of small ones. Fig. 2 shows that re-crystallization results in the reduction of toughness and strengths and with the grain growth the material viscidity grows as well.

Holding in high temperatures, materials exposed to strain hardening alleviate inner tense energy. The matter is that no molecule is in a fix location and moves it provided sufficient energy to come out of boundaries that hold it in its location. High temperature brings about higher levels of diffusion. Thus, a molecule, which is in excessively tense location can pass to zones of lower strain.  

This appears to be the restoration step in which molecules get adjusted to the strain on minor scales. The thickness of the disposition gets changed and changes the location to fewer energy states, decreasing the inner excess strain within the workpiece.

Specification of Grain Sizes

Grain sizes specified by ASTM International help in determining the grain quantity for each square inch at a magnification of a hundred times. (Fig. 3)Grain-sizes of steel varieties of HSLA range between 10 and 12. Any steel exposed to the conventional lower-force formation has grain sizes about 6 and 7. If the grain size number is 5 or less than it, such defects as cracking, tearing or orange-peel effects appear on the material surfaces. The borders of grains are more resistant compared to their core. While stretching the steels to high tress extents, the borders withstand the deformity exposing the interior of grains to deformation. It can be inferred that finishing of top levels cannot accept this. Thus, grain-size numbers of six and above seem the best practice.

Viscidity, Grain Size, and Deformability

Fig. 2

As grain sizes reduce, the mechanical features of sheets or plates get changed. A large-grain material is not as strong as small-grain ones, is of less yielding strengths and of more viscidity. And more ductility or viscidity ensures fine formation without cracks, tears or orange-peel effects. 

Small grains mean more borders, which assumes a higher persistence to disposition. This makes materials resistant to severe deformity and provides less ductility for them.

Still, it seems insensible that less ductility allows resistance to successful plastic deformity. Is this possible? The greater numbers of grains assume the larger amount of slip planes, that might have the same directional orientation. Consequently, this creates more possibility for excellent deformity free of cracks, tears, and orange-peel effect.

But the thing is not just in credibility. There are other decisive components. In the case of excessively small grains, the disposition move stops being the major method of plastic deformity. At this point, other factors appear, such as grain border slide, where grain movement is relative to each other. Grain border slide occurs in large-grain materials as well, though within restricted limits. Flow strain or the strain needed to resist plastic deformity at specified levels of stress have an effect as well.

Shearing allocation is the next factor of plastic deformity. With a tendency to localize shear, the grain borders of materials strengthen. Grain orientations may repress grain border slides, making it possible for the metals with higher ductility to get deformed with ease. These are the functions of anisotropy and isotropy, which are important to operators working on press brakes.

Small-grain materials have a great thickness of grain borders. This influences the material viscidity in a variety of ways. Borders of grains are featured with disposition resistance, which in turn decreases viscidity. Small-grain materials possess more borders of grains. This means that bending materials like these will require more tonnages for bending. The reason for this is that the strength of energy necessary for the move at the borders is larger compared to the grains themselves.

Meanwhile, small-grain borders increase viscidity. With the growth of grain border thickness, these dispositions become fixed and uniformly spread inside materials.

Grain Sizes and Spring-back

Spring-back gets changed in accordance with grain sizes. Large-grain materials require the least spring-back offset, whereas, small-grain ones need a great spring back compensation, whether by real-time angular monitor mode or by selecting tools.

Values of Good Materials

All these components discussed above, re-crystallization, grains, grain directions lead us to one conclusion: the purchase of top-grade materials saves costs as well as more time for the production process. 

Actually, there will be customers not allowing material updates because of mechanical or structural intentions. However, the majority of them won`t be in displeasure if they are not charged for updates. One thing is sure, that the costs of your material are going to rise, but the benefits are well worth it.

Nkar Figure 3

The improved quality of your products is bound to expand the circle of your customers as top-quality is a draw to everyone.