Bending aluminum shapes into rings can be challenging. Fabricators know that aluminum work-hardens and often cracks during the forming process. Nevertheless, the benefits of using the light-weight material with its strong strength-to-weight ratio appeal to design engineers including those designing antennas.
Years ago when satellite TV reception required a dish 4 feet in diameter, the “petals” radiating . . . → Read More: Bending Aluminum for Antennas
Can’t bend a tube? Bend two channels—one flanges in, one flanges out—and then weld them together to create a curved tube. No channels in the desired size? Form two steel plates into channels, bend them and then weld them together. Such steel channel bending solved the challenge of providing exhaust elbows for locomotives bound for Saudi . . . → Read More: Steel Channel Bending for Exhaust Elbows: We’ve Been Working on the Railroad Engines
Engineers have often observed that tube bending can change the mechanical properties of a hollow structural section (HSS). Typically the yield and tensile strength increases as a result of tube bending, but there may be a loss of ductility, however minor. And any decrease of ductility is likely to become an issue when curved tubes are . . . → Read More: Tube Bending for Seismic Zones
I have frequently lectured and written about structural steel bending for architects, engineers and structural steel fabricators as well as for undergraduate and graduate school engineering students. In the dialogue that followed the presentations, I have been asked a number of questions.
Some of these questions are best answered by the rolling houses (companies that specialize in . . . → Read More: Structural Steel Bending Questions From Architects and Engineers Answered Here.
First of all, the footwork. A narrow, tight-radius spiral staircase (the kind that comes in a kit form) challenges you to step carefully on each tread but might allow you the use of handrails on each side of the steps. A wider circular staircase offers the choice of walking on the inside radius or on the . . . → Read More: Why Is It Fun to Walk On a Circular Staircase?
Most nuclear and other power plants must be engineered to safely shut down in the event of seismic activity or other natural or man-made disruptions. Others, however, must become operational within seconds after such a disruption. A case in point is the power plant supporting our missile defense system in Alaska. One day a few months . . . → Read More: How Helical Bending from Chicago Metal Is Saving the World(Or At Least Helping)
As a young man, now internationally famous architect, Frank Gehry, was walking down the street in Chicago and came upon the Inland Steel Building designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM). He thought, now that is a well designed building. As he approached the structure, he noticed some oil canning in the sparkling, stainless . . . → Read More: When Oil Canning Is a Good Thing
In an example of adaptive reuse, a studio complex called Cinespace is under construction at the old Ryerson Steel site in Chicago. (Please see photo below.) For over one hundred years, Chicago Metal Rolled Products has been—and continues to be–both a metal-buying customer and a steel-bending supplier for Ryerson Steel, one of the largest steel distributors . . . → Read More: Steel Bending for “The Playboy Club”
When I was young I could buy a straw filled with bubble gum. Unlike an empty straw, I could bend the straw with gum without kinking the straw. The gum was working basically the same way a mandrel works. Most commonly a mandrel bend of metal pipe or tube is done on a rotary-draw, pipe-bending machine.
The picture . . . → Read More: What’s a Mandrel Bend?