There are two types of press brakes â€“ hydraulic or mechanical. Both these hydraulic and mechanical machines are used to bend sheet metal and steel plates into different angles.
How a press brake works – a piece of sheet metal or plate is placed over a long bottom V die. By activating the top beam it descends and the die which is attached to the top beam presses the material into the bottom die thus making an angular bend in the material.
Mechanical press brakes are predominantly used in the manufacture of door and window frames because they are geared and therefore quicker in production
More recently the trend has been towards hydraulic bending machines. These are activated by two synchronised hydraulic cylinders, one above each end of the beam.
By attaching an NC or CNC computer control system to a hydraulic press brake, the machine can be programmed to do various bends on a single piece of sheet metal. These can be repeated as and when the job is repeated. The control can also be programmed to a back stop which is used to position a piece of sheet metal over the bottom die in order to make an accurate bend.