Metal deforms plastically to bend, either stretching on the outside radius
or compressing on the inside radius. In both cases the dimensions of the
metal have been changed to accomodate the plastic deformation. The amount
that the metal can bend depends on the radius of the bend and the thickness
of the metal plus the modulus of elasticity inherent in the metal.
Plastic behaves the same exact way, except that heat must be applied to
facilitate the deformation - hence the term thermoplastic.
Metal is easier to bend under normal conditions, plastic is more flexible
under controlled conditions. The problem with plastic under heat is that
gravity can make a mess of your intentions - sagging the plastic where you
don't want it to sag.
Actually it does both. There is a formula for figuring this out (in my
machinist book, but it is packed away right now), somethign like a 60/40
split up to a certain diameter.
In both cases the dimensions of the
Yes, it can be done. I don't redcall the specific heat but back in
the M.E.N. days before they went yuppie there was an article using
antifreeze to get the temperature up to the required level. Probably
also need a form to bend it around, i.e., not freehand. Google might
turn up something.
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