Elastomer Bending

In this method, the bottom V-die is replaced by a flat pad of urethane or rubber. As the punch forms the part, the urethane deflects and allows the material to form around the punch. This bending method has a number of advantages. The urethane will wrap the material around the punch and the end bend radius will be very close to the actual radius on the punch. It provides a non-marring bend and is suitable for pre-painted or sensitive materials.

Urethane tooling should be considered a consumable item and while they are not cheap, they are a fraction of the cost of dedicated steel. It also has some drawbacks, this method requires tonnage similar to bottoming and coining and does not do well on flanges that are irregular in shape, that is where the edge of the bent flange is not parallel to the bend and is short enough to engage the urethane pad.