The curving of window sections calls for specialist machinery and a lot of skill.
Many people assume that in order to bend a profile simple machinery is used. In fact quite specialist machinery is used and each section reacts differently to bending.
A typical open back box section such as a pocket outer frame used on shopfront systems is actually quite easy to bend. The clip-in plate used to close it off is also easily shaped. When you move onto more complex sections such as window sections or curtain walling sections that have the front nose for the pressure plate and cappings, things get more complicated.
Factor in other elements of window sections such as upstands and rebates, odd and equal leg profiles and things get far more complicated. When you are faced with these issues not only is there a risk that the curve won’t come out to the required radius but also that the accompanying curved bead will not clip incorrectly.
The ordering of curved windows has always been complex.
Anyone ordering and installing curved windows will have faced the extra work involved in creating templates. The vast majority of glass suppliers, aluminium panel manufacturers and metal section benders require templates to be provided. This is done to cover themselves understandably.
Then we come to the finishing of extrusions. In the case of aluminium, sections are curved before they are painted. This is the sensible approach as the powder-coated finish can be marked or have lines as it passes through the bending machine.
However, the biggest issue facing section benders, architects and window installers is how small a curve can be created and the complexities of them.
Gothic curves for example are notoriously difficult to create but many older properties feature small porthole windows in timber or steel that are quite difficult to replicate in modern materials. Look at any property with a new window installation and you’ll often see the original small curved windows are not changed.
Inductaflex changes the game in curving aluminium window frames.
Inductaflex are a UK bending machine manufacturer. They have reported that a brand new technique by them now solves the well known difficulties of curving aluminium sections. They claim sections can now be shaped to very tight radii.
Their Inductaflex AL–1 aluminium bending machine is reported to have created a curve with a 165mm radius external and a 120mm radius internally. This was achieved using a 45mm wide x 65mm high section.
“A significant innovation for the window industry”.
We agree. Where typically it was very hard to bend anything smaller than 400mm typically, achieving such a tight radius would normally be considered impossible.
Craig Barnshaw, Managing Director says:
The key to success was very careful design of the specialist machine tooling for AL–1 that we designed and manufactured specifically for this task. The end result is an affordable and reliable solution for more extreme bending of profiles that has the capability of introducing new design possibilities for aluminium glazing system manufacturers.
As you can see from the picture, there is indeed a very tight curve on what appears to be an odd leg window section.
For any company specialising in section bending, this new machine from Inductaflex not only enables them to offer smaller curves than before but addresses finally the many limitations faced by aluminium sections when it comes to curve them.