Over-Engineering Steel Section Bending

It is not hard to over-engineer steel section bending, but when the costs exceed the benefits, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.  For example, when designing a simple, industrial push cart, a customer requested 2in schedule 40 pipe bending which was much heavier than was needed.  The material alone would drive the costs up not to mention higher manufacturing costs. And specifying tolerances of +/- 1/32in or tighter can also drive up costs unnecessarily.

In construction, architects will sometimes specify AESS (architecturally exposed structural steel) when there is not a benefit. There is no reason to grind a weld seam smooth if it is 50 ft. above anyone viewing it.  Often a longitudinal weld seam on a tube can be hidden simply by turning it so that the seam faces skyward for roof supports or toward a wall. 

A dialogue between the architect, fabricator and a subcontractor who specializes in curving steel can optimize the value for your application.

Related posts:

  1. Tube Bending: Where to Locate the Weld Seam
  2. Can a curved steel section reduce the cost of OEM products?
  3. What Grade of Pipe Should I Specify to Bend Tubing?

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