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Bracket Bending vs. Welding WRT to Cost

Bracket Bending vs. Welding WRT to Cost

Hi all, I have a question concerning costs for different manufacturing processes.  I'm a rather fresh ME, so please bear with me.  I am concerned with the cost of manufacturing the bracket depicted in the attached image.  I am looking for the lowest cost option to manufacture the bracket from 3/16" thick, 4" wide, low carbon steel.

In general, which would be lower cost: bending a single piece of steel sheet, or welding 3 pieces to form the bracket.  Is there a lower cost option than those aforementioned?  

Thanks for your help, and please let me know if I left out any pertinent info!

RE: Bracket Bending vs. Welding WRT to Cost

99.99999% of the time is cheaper to form a shape like that in a press brake. However you might have issues with how narrow the U shape is as far as being able to get the punch into that spot. Typically press brake companies have a "bend limit chart" in their tooling catalog showing minumum distances/leg lengths that their dies can form.
It all depends on the tooling your fabricator has (one can do it another cannot because they don't have the tooling).. But I suspect this shouldn't be an issue. In fact I just looked in my Wilson tooling catalog and this is not an issue with their taller gooseneck tooling.

RE: Bracket Bending vs. Welding WRT to Cost

You also have a bend radius problem.  The inside radius of the bend should generally not be smaller than 1.0 times the material thickness, so you can't bend a part that "looks like" what you have drawn.

It's better to not specify an exact bend radius because it's dependent on what tooling is available, but to instead specify a maximum radius that you can tolerate, and let the fabricator work out the details.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Bracket Bending vs. Welding WRT to Cost

Ask yourself several questions.

How many do I need to make?
What are the tolerances of the part?
What equipment do I have? Do I have a pressbrake? Do I have a welder?
How much do I want to invest in tooling and equipment?


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