Of all the structural steel sections that are curved in a variety of ways, one of the most difficult to curve is the steel channel rolled against the strong axis.
Sketch of Structural Channel Rolled the "Hard Way"
When bending a channel the “hard way” in a three-roll bender, the section tends to distort in a number . . . → Read More: Curving Formed Steel Channels
Of all the structural shapes – angles, bars, beams, channels, tees, pipe and tube – everything else being equal, the most difficult shape to bend is channel the “hard way,” i.e. against the strong axis. As you can imagine, pressing against the flanges to curve the metal shape is likely to push them inward, especially at . . . → Read More: The Challenges of Rolling Formed, Metal Channels
A rotary channel splitter is a device that cuts with revolving steel wheels. A blade that is stationary rotates to push the channel against another blade that causes the material to experience highly localized shear stresses between the two blades. In a rotary shear process, materials are cut in the pinch between two overlapping hardened metal . . . → Read More: Rotary Channel Splitter
Bending aluminum channel can be difficult. Under extreme conditions, it tends to crack. Bending aluminum channel into a helix is even more of a challenge. With the right tooling, machine, machine operator and process, however, some impressive bends can be achieved.
The new Manning Family Science Building, designed by architects Bartzen & Ball, recently went up at . . . → Read More: Aluminum Channel Bent to Represent a Double Helix DNA Model
Steel beams and channels rolled into a circle and installed horizontally are often used to reinforce soil in trenches. These rings are called walers. Typically, steel sheet piling is driven into the ground behind the walers. This creates a ring template used to protect workers and to allow construction equipment access to an excavated area.
Excavating and pile-driving . . . → Read More: Curved Steel Beams and Channels Used as Walers
When one considers ways to bend a large channel flanges-out to a minimum bending radius, doing a mandrel bend is one alternative. A recent requirement was for more than 200 rolled channel, bump protectors to cover cement columns in an airport. The design called for MC12 x 10.6 curved to a very tight 12-1/2 inch inside . . . → Read More: Alternatives to a Mandrel Bend of a Large Channel to a Minimum Bending Radius.
Specialty subcontractors who curve steel often enter into a dialogue with their customers about beam bending, channel bending and tube bending. The results of these discussions can determine which steel sections to use in a project and what the costs might be. And the earlier that these conversations take place between the specialty subcontractor, the structural . . . → Read More: Dialogues About Beam Bending, Channel Bending and Tube Bending
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
(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!