Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Why Is It Called a Press Brake?

February 28, 2020
For most people, it is confusing why it is called a press-brake. There are other names like the metal joiner and metal blender that could fit better. The first thing you must do is to understand the meaning of the terms.

The press brake is a machine pressing tool that is perfect for blending sheets and plate materials. It is most commonly used for sheet metal. The forms predetermined bends that clamp the work pieces between the die and the matching punch. It typically has two C-frames that form from the side of the press brake. These are connected to the movable beam at the top and connected to the table at the bottom. Before you understand why it is called the press brake, you must understand the origin of the name.

T-stakes and Cornice press brakes

In the past, if you wanted to bend sheet metal, you were forced to attach it to an appropriately sized piece of sheet metal mold, which was filled with lead shots or sand. The T-stake was then used to pound the sheet into the desired shape. This was most common when making breastplates for armor suits. While it is still a method used today, it is manual and taxing on energy and time.

The first brake was the cornice brake patented in 1882. It was manually operated and had a leaf that clamped the sheet metal and caused it to bend in a straight line. These later evolved into pan brakes, leaf brakes, and folding machines, which are common today.

The newer evolved versions were fast, efficient, and beautiful, but they still did not work quite like the original machine. This is because there is an authentic feeling when the sheet metal is hand-worked.

The first press brake was developed in the early 1920s. Today, both electric and mechanical press brakes help make it easier to shape sheet metal. When it was invented, it was a tool for pounding and crushing. Eventually, the name brake because synonymous with the machine, and thus, the device was called a pressing machine.

The term brake was derived from the Middle English verb breken, which means to break or change the direction of or deflect.

The Hydraulic Press

The word press was derived from the phrase presse in the 1300s. The noun means to crowd or crush. In the 14th century, the press became a machine used to juice olives and grapes and for pressing clothes. It evolved to mean squeezing. The person using the pressing machine dies and punches the sheet metal until it bends in the direction they need it to. As the bending technology progresses, we have also included more machines that can crush and bend metal into the shapes we need. This is why there are mechanical, electric, hydromechanical, and hydraulic press brakes. Regardless, they are all machines that are meant for squeezing and crushing.

In a nutshell

Now that you understand where the name comes from, you know why the tool is called a press brake. You also understand better how it works and how the device shapes the sheet metal. For more details about presses, here at Press Master we are more than willing to help you out.