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Home > Company > Industry News > E-Newsletter > May 2014 > Some People Stretch in the Morning

Some People Stretch in the Morning

We Do It All Day

From simple tube bending to more complex custom extrusion bending, Alexandria Industries' ability to shape materials to provide the bend angles you need is another way we bring value to you.

Our programmable 32-ton stretch former is used to form aluminum parts within 288 inches in length. The use of our rotary benders and push benders make it possible for us to provide the right solution to meet your formed extrusion product needs.


In a precisely controlled timeframe after extruding your product, our age ovens allow for bending in soft (T4) condition as well as artificial aging to maximize temper after bending.

The combination of controlled time (measured in hours) after extruding is an advantage only an extruder with in-house forming capabilities can take advantage of. Most fabricators and end users do not have artificial aging capabilities and often bend material after it is tempered, where bending repeatability suffers and cracking often occurs with extreme bends. Even a fabricator with artificial aging capabilities cannot reliably account for the lack of control of time from when a product is extruded, which causes formability and repeatability to suffer.

When considering your forming options, keep these key points in mind.

  • Working with aluminum can make parts three times lighter than steel.
  • The 6063 T4 aluminum alloy is better for bending than the 6063 T52 alloy.
  • Aluminum is strengthened significantly by age hardening, or artificial aging after the bending process.
  • Equipment programming and positioning accuracy directly reflect bend part repeatability and accuracy.
  • Major changes in aging cycles and alloy selection have big effects on formability.
  • Interpreting bending prints requires conversion of angular dimensions to linear dimensions.

Critical factors to determine before bending are the alloy, temper and cross section of the extrusions. Deformation of the inside or outside radii can also be a design issue and determines which forming process to use. Before designing your products that require bends consider these parameters:

  • What tolerances are expected on the inside, the outside dimension radius, and the overall length of the part?
  • What surface areas are critical for appearance?
  • What mechanical strength is required?

Alexandria Industries offers expert stretch forming and bending of your aluminum products by controlling extrusion dimension, temper and amount of stretch. To learn more, schedule a customized education seminar on stretch forming and bending of your aluminum extrusions.