In the second part of this series, bending guru Steve Benson describes how material grain size affects a bending operation. Getty Images Last month we dove into the weeds to understand material grains in sheet metal and plate, how they form, and what determines their size and orientation. This month we’ll dive into how exactly those grains affect how a material forms on the press brake. We ended with a dichotomy: Large-grained materials are more ductile, small-grained materials are stronger and less ductile—and yet small-grained materials still can be easier to form on a press brake than certain large-grained materials. In fact, form very coarse-grain material, and you’ll find tearing and orange-peeling on the outside radius, especially if you’re making a sharp bend. What gives? To find out, read on. Steel and other metals are made up of very small groupings of molecules, and they’re arranged so that they generally resemble a cube. The length of these groupings is smaller than one-tenth of a millionth of an inch on each side. While you will be unable to see these groupings of molecules, we can see the effects of their presence. These groupings of molecules manifest as irregularl...