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Can I bend aluminum

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Hell no son. Don't even try it. Are you crazy!? Bend aluminum. I've heard it all now.

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All jokes aside, probably slowly pour some boiling water on it, being careful not to burn yourself, then bend it back using some pliers. Metal does fatigue from being bent, so it will be weaker than it was originally.

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I think it's always a preference not to aluminum especially weakens from bending, but if you have to because it's not lining up give it a try. I'd suggest heating it up with a little torch the put some vice grips on it and slowly bend back. Take your time and keep the heat on it.

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Yes and don't boil any water! Watch it as you go, it can crack but will be visible before it breaks, you can use some heat from a propane torch but be careful as it can melt pretty quick

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Yes and don't boil any water! Watch it as you go, it can crack but will be visible before it breaks, you can use some heat from a propane torch but be careful as it can melt pretty quick

No offense, but boiling water will heat up aluminium just as good as a torch. Either way will work. A torch could possibly leave carbon deposits, discolor or overheat the aluminum. Don't really have a problem either way.

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You're probably right, but figured it would be better than nothing. I remember reading about a guy putting bent brake/clutch levers in boiling water before attempting to straighten them. So tell me, how would you do it then Einstein. Don't think there is a proper way to bend aluminum.

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Yes you can bend aluminum but you must follow a few steps. 1st you have to anneal the aluminum. Take an oxy/ acetylene torch and light it with only the acetylene. Turn torch down so it is producing the nasty black smoke, then cover the area to be heated with the torch turning everything black with a coat of black, then adjust torch with oxygen as you were going to cut, heat the area to be bent but be careful that you don't heat it too much then slowly bend piece back. It will only  work if you anneal the aluminum first with the black smoke. You will know it is hot enough to when the black disappears when you are heating part.

 

Edited by kelloggss
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Aluminum will always break if you don't cover it with the black smoke from acetylene. I have over 30 years of welding experience and own a fabrication shop. 

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Could you explain the science behind that? I believe you, but am intrigued by the process.

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2 hours ago, jcross312 said:

Could you explain the science behind that? I believe you, but am intrigued by the process.

Sometimes there are little tricks that just work with no explanation.  I've found that out over the many years of wrenching and fabricating on countless vehicles.

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I've bent many levers by holding the base in vice, heating with propane torch and bending with a pipe over the thin end.  Never had one break, and never melted one - did not try to get it red hot though. 

I have broken some when I did not use the torch.

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5 hours ago, jcross312 said:

You're probably right, but figured it would be better than nothing. I remember reading about a guy putting bent brake/clutch levers in boiling water before attempting to straighten them. So tell me, how would you do it then Einstein. Don't think there is a proper way to bend aluminum.

The melting point of Al is about 1,200 degrees.  I would stay below that, but above the 212 degrees of boiling water, unless you are above sea level, then your boiling water is much less than 212 degrees.  

If boiling water softens aluminum, how the does your cylinder and head stay together, Einstein?

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