The Fine Art of Stretching Metal Without Making it Scream
An old craft, a modern process: People have been bending metal for centuries, but stretch forming is a relatively new process born from the aeronautic industry’s need to maintain precise dimensions throughout a curve while limiting, or even eliminating, wrinkling inside the arc.
Heat and press: Most metals can be stretch formed, although aluminum is by far the most common. In simplest terms, stretch forming is a way of bending metal into a desired shape—usually curved—by heat treating it then pressing it over a die.
Stretchforming – Process for Lineal Shapes
Loading: Both ends of the part are inserted in gripper jaws, themselves mounted on swing-arm.
Pre-Stretching: The part is stretched to its yield point.
Wrapping: The part is wrapped around the form die while the stretch force is continuously maintained.
Release: When the wrapping is completed, the stretch force is released and the gripper jaws are opened.
Don’t try this at home: As with other ways of curving metal, stretch forming is both difficult and delicate, requiring advanced technology, experienced management and skilled, highly trained metal workers.
Our standards: At Southern Stretch Forming, our customers know they can count on the right equipment, mature management and knowledgeable workers to realize their projects. Southern Stretch Forming is committed to an ethic that has guided our business from the beginning: customer service means customer satisfaction. Our credo is simple: until the customer is satisfied, the job isn’t done.
Stretch Forming makes possible the shape of the modern world.
Stretch forming turns a straight aluminum extrusion into a vital component of contemporary structures: a hotel skylight, a contoured sign, a mall archway or a skyscraper’s glass and metal facing.
Like many modern technologies, stretch forming may not be a household word, but without it, our houses and buildings and cities would look very different. Stretch forming frees architects, designers and builders to realize forms as graceful as they are sturdy and functional.
From the delicate barrel vaulting of a solarium to the bold contours of a superstore sign, stretch forming makes possible all sorts of shapes – including the shape of tomorrow.