The most important thing to establish prior to any work being done on a multi radius bending of steel sections is to work hand in hand with your customer and even more importantly the detailer who has drawn up the prints. Multi radius pieces are very possible to fabricate and shouldn’t be immediately thought of as a nightmare project or a project that is sure to cause many headaches. If the prints are drawn and detailed correctly, achieving multiple radii within a single steel section is very possible. The most important thing to assure when drawing/detailing a steel section with multiple radii is to ensure that all arcs are tangent to one another; if not drawn this way, achieving these bends will most likely end up unsuccessful. Most details of these members I find to be drawn askew to one another, making the transition between radii impossible to achieve without putting some sort of kink or break in the part. Now you may ask, how can I tell if I am drawing my arcs tangent to one another? Well, if after the arcs are drawn, and if they intersect at more than one point, they are askew from one another. All arcs that are tangent to one another should only intersect at one point. If they intersect at more than one point they are not truly tangent to one another, and any way you try, the overall dimensions spec’d will never be achieved. Also all prints should be detailed for curving/rolling; specifying each of the member’s individual radii and the arc lengths that the specific radius is rolled to. Working directly with the detailer on these jobs will severely lessen your problems and ease your headaches and could possibly open a new door for potential business to your company.
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