Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Press Brake or Metal Former

February 29, 2020

Understanding why press brake is called press-brake and not metal former, or sheet metal bender can be quite complicated. You will require to go back to history and learn more about the hydraulic press brake and its components. That could be a lot of work, and it can take more of your precious time. However, this blog is here to shed light and provide you with a better understanding.

From T-Stakes to Cornice Hydraulic Press Brakes

Before the initiation of machines, the process of bending sheet metal was a little tiresome. It involved attaching a piece of metal sheet metal to a 3D scale or mold model with a similar shape you need. Using the T-stake, lead strap called a slapper, ball-peen hammer, and tools called spoons, tradespeople with exceptional skills were able to create desired shapes from sheet metal. It is through these techniques that they could develop breastplate used as a suit of armor, among other shapes. The operation was quite manual but with exceptional results. It is, however, been performed even today at the art fabrication and autobody repair shops.

Cornice brake was patented in 1882 as the first “brake.” For its functionality, it bent sheet metal into a straight line by forcefully clamping the piece through a manually operate leaf. As time went by, this technique has evolved to the new machines that we know as leaf brakes, folding machines, and pan & box brakes. The new models are efficient, fast, and beautiful, hence making work easier.

However, the process of evolution continued to expand with more brake versions getting on the market. For the last 100 years, the first powered press brake was introduced using flywheel-driven machines. These were later followed by hydraulic and hydromechanical press brakes in the 70s and the most recent electric press brakes in the 2000s.

There still remains a mystery as you try to understand how the braking system operates. This is due to the connection between electric brake and the mechanical press brake. It is essential to delve into some etymology to get the difference.

Brake Broke Broken, Breaking

The above words are all verbs that come from archaic terms, and they all share a common origin. The words had a different pronunciation from one nationality to the other. For instance, in German, it was brechen, in Gothic was brikan, while in the middle English, it was pronounced as breken. Bras or brac in French meant an arm, a lever, or a handle. This was entirely instrumental in evolving the word to the current form “brake.”

The word press, on the other hand, has numerous means, some of which are entirely unrelated to the current topic of discussion. Press in brake first can to action in 1300 as a noun “Presse,” which meant to crush. In the late 14th century, it had a device used for various activities, including squeezing juice from olives and grapes as well as pressing clothes. It later evolved into a machine that squeezes by applying force on something.

Conclusion about the Hydraulic Press Brake

This is just some basic historical information that circles the press brake. However, that is not all as history is quite broad and cannot be wholly discussed in one post. If you have any information that is relevant to any type of brake, here at RK Machinery we will be glad to hear you out.