How can I soften aluminum sheeting? Answered
I have some aluminum sheeting that I bought in a roll from a hardware store. It is aluminum flashing, and although it has no rating, I assume it is about 26 gauge (.019") because if I remember right thats the standard.
I cut the roll into 4x14" strips. Right now they behave like sheet metal, kind of springy and difficult to mould. What I need is more like thick aluminum foil, where it can be bent all around, multiple times without breaking and retain shape incredibly well. I've tried to cold work the aluminum by bending it and running it over an edge but its not very effective. Is it possible to easily anneal the aluminum in a conventional oven or using a propane blowtorch? I don't want to exert too much effort on each piece because they're going to have a short life before I hand them off and they get thrown away.
In case you're wondering or need more details:
I'm trying to make moldable aluminum splints, like the SAM splint. Pre-made SAM splints cost $4 each but this sheeting would work out to under $.11 each. In case you aren't familiar with them, SAM splints are essentially a plate of thick aluminum "foil," about 4"x36" wrapped in foam. The cool thing about them is that you can bend them very easily to any shape or body part, but when you mold them into a curve they have incredible strength to support an injury.