We recently had a unique job with unique packaging requirements. A customer was in need of helical strakes to wrap around a tower. Strakes are helical flat bars that are curved the “hard way,” i.e. against the strong axis. This is the same type of bending process that is used for ribbon mixers or ribbon flights.
The . . . → Read More: Packaging Helical Strakes for Shipment
Curving rectangular bars can be done several ways:
the “hard way”, that is, against the strong axis (if it were rolled into a ring, it would look like a washer);
the “easy way”, that is, against the weak axis (it would look like a belt);
helically, as in a railing for circular stairs, or
off-axis like a cone segment.
Bars can . . . → Read More: What Works Better When Curving Steel Bars? Sheared Plate or True Mill Bar?
In many cases, steel bending can minimize welding and reduce material waste on a component part for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer).
For example, an OEM was designing a gear cover for pumps. The component part was a 1 x 1 ½ flat bar curved the easy way (against the weak or y-y axis) to form what . . . → Read More: Using Steel Bending to Minimize Welding and Reduce Material Waste.
Of course a picture is worth a thousand words, but what happens when you don’t have a picture? Customers call from the field to describe how they want their steel curved. We love everyday references to help us describe the section bending:
–The “belt around your waist” (easyway flat bar) versus the “flat washer” (hardway flat . . . → Read More: When There Are No Pictures to Communicate Specifications for Bending Steel Sections, Use Everyday References
We often receive orders for bending bars the hard way helically. While entering orders for such helical bending of stainless flat bar, I noticed that very often they have the same pitch—57.9 degrees. Helical bending of steel sections can be used for mixer blades, handrails on staircases, and auger conveyors.
But it turns out that this 57.9 . . . → Read More: Helical Bending of Bars for Strakes
There is not a mathematical formula for determining the minimum bending radius of steel sections. To better explain this, lets look at bar bending. Steel is curved using a cold-roll bending process. Steel sections are put into a section bender (also called an “angle roll”) with a three or four roll configuration. Rollers put force against . . . → Read More: Minimum Bending Radius When Bending Bars of Steel
(Can a woodchuck chuck wood?)
While attending various trade shows either for OEM products like storage tanks, antennas, agricultural and construction equipment, etc., I regularly see where the use of a curved steel section—produced by beam bending, bar bending, angle bending, channel bending or any other section bending—could have reduced the cost of the equipment.
For example, I . . . → Read More: Can a curved steel section reduce the cost of OEM products?
Whenever I talk to architects and engineers about bending beams, bending pipes, or any other steel section bending, three questions usually come up:
Is it structurally sound?
Is it too expensive? And
Is it readily available to meet a demanding construction schedule.
Is it structurally sound?
Writing specifically about steel beam bending, Reidar Bjorhovde addressed this question in the Engineering Journal/Fourth . . . → Read More: Curved Steel in Construction? No worries!
Recently, I gave the presentation at the Kansas City Regional Steel Fabricators Association biannual meeting. 110 steel fabricators, engineers, architects, detailers, and others attended the breakfast.
I talked about the benefits of involving a specialty subcontractor like Chicago Metal Rolled Products in the design process when curved steel elements are included like rolled HSS and W beams.
During . . . → Read More: Galvanizing Curved Steel