How to Bend Aluminum Diamond Plateby C.L. Rease
Lightweight aluminum diamond plate does not corrode when subjected to water and the raised diamonds give the diamond plate extra strength. Although aluminum diamond plate is a soft metal, problems arise when attempting to bend the thick aluminum. The stress of bending the diamond plate causes cracks to form at the bend location. Softening the aluminum at the bend location will eliminate cracking and increase the tightness of the bend.
Stretch a tape measure along one edge of the aluminum diamond plate. Mark the bend location on the edge of the diamond plate with a scratch awl. Move the tape measure to the other edge of the aluminum diamond plate and place a second mark.
Turn the acetylene valve of the oxy-acetylene torch counterclockwise to start the flow of acetylene to the oxy-acetylene torch. Open the oxygen valve to supply oxygen to the torch head. Light the oxy-acetylene torch with a striker. Set the lit torch to a neutral flame. A neutral flame has a light blue outer flame and an undefined bright blue inner flame.
Move the torch along the marked bend location for five to 10 minutes. Turn off the torch and allow the aluminum diamond plate to cool to room temperature to anneal the metal.
Turn the adjusting nut located on the clamping die of a sheet metal brake with an adjustable wrench. Turn the nut until the distance from the front edge of the clamping die sits one metal thickness behind the bending die.
Push the handle of the clamping die away from you to open the sheet metal brake. Slide the aluminum into the brake. Align the bend marks on the aluminum with the front edge of the clamping die. Pull the die handle toward you to lock the aluminum in place.
Pull the bending die handle up to bend the aluminum diamond plate. Push the clamping handle away from you to release the bent metal from the sheet metal brake.
- Wear gloves when annealing the aluminum diamond plate.
Items you will need
- Tape measure
- Scratch awl
- Oxy-acetylene torch
- Sheet metal brake
- Adjustable wrench
- torch image by Guy Verville from Fotolia.com