Curved Aluminum Tube Create a Dome Trellis

As a specialty bender roller, we see a lot of domes come to us for estimating. One of the recent projects that came through to us was this dome trellis pictured below. The interesting piece about this project – it was designed using aluminum material. The dome trellis used a variety of rolled, rectangular tubes to create the shape and was likely designed out of aluminum to minimize the weight of the trellis frame.   Continue reading Curved Aluminum Tube Create a Dome Trellis

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Custom Pipe Bending – 1D to 5D Bends

Custom pipe bending is generally any type of pipe bends that do not conform to standard short or long radius bends in the standard bend degrees of 45deg, 90deg, and 180deg of rotation. In the pipe bending world, bend types are often called out and referred to by their respective bend radii.

With standard pipe bending this is done so by comparing the bend radius to the diameter of the pipe being bent. 1D, 2D, and 3D bends are often referred to as short radius and long radius bends; with the 1D, 2D and 3D specifications calling out the center line radius of the bend as the multiplier of the pipe’s respective diameter. 1D would be a centerline bend radius that is one times the diameter of the pipe. This means a 1D bend on a 6-inch pipe would be a 6-inch centerline radius. Short radius bends are specified to be 1D bends. Continue reading Custom Pipe Bending – 1D to 5D Bends

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Curved Structural Steel for the Denver Civic Center Station Steel Canopy

Civic Center Station in Denver, Colorado underwent drastic renovations last year. The station is one of the busiest regional bus transit centers, serving an average of 15,000 passengers a day according to RTD Denver. So, RTD and the City and County of Denver set off to revamp this station in 2015. As of December 17, 2017, passengers are enjoying this newly renovated station including a boomerang-shaped, curved structural steel canopy. Continue reading Curved Structural Steel for the Denver Civic Center Station Steel Canopy

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Curved Aluminum Leaf-Shaped Canopy

A program I was a part of – The ACE Mentorship Program – is a national organization that gives students hands-on experience as if they were actual engineers, architects, constructors, etc. This helps demonstrate what these careers are really like day-to-day in real life. The Ace Mentorship Program also gives students a chance to work during the summer as an intern at a firm. This summer I was the intern at Chicago Metal Rolled Project. As an intern, students get experience in an actual professional field.

During my internship, I helped with the Design Build project alongside a CMRP estimator, Laurel Chavez. Students involved in ACE can also be part of Design Build during the summer. Design Build is a project where students transform ideas from conception to an actual project that they are able to visit and admire, as well as many people across the city.

This year the summer Design Build students in Chicago had the Illinois Institute of Technology as their client. The University requested to have a project completed on campus next to a community garden.

The students in ACE had an idea of creating a canopy that was leaf-shaped, which provides a nature theme to the garden. The students designed the canopy to use materials such as wood, aluminum, and steel. CMRP took part in this project by helping bend and fabricate the outer edges of the leaf shape, which were made with heat treated aluminum.

CMRP made the student’s leaf design idea come to life with the group effort of employees in the shop and Laurel, who was able to do what was deemed to be “impossible,” possible. The company was tasked with creating three curved tubes that ran over the top of the main structure and braces to keep them in place.

These tubes weren’t just typical bent tubes – two of them had flattened ends to create an area to connect the tubes. Designing the flattened ends was the most challenging part of the design. Using the different machines at CMRP made the rolling and flattening tasks much easier. Rolling machines, ram bending machines, saws, and punches were used to complete the job.

Visiting the site with Laurel, we saw students working hard in the heat trying to set in place the final components for their big unveiling the next day. Some design issues appeared during the assembly – the tubes were sitting lower than they should have been. We helped reconstruct the canopy to achieve that desired design the students wanted in the first place.

The design proved to be a success and is now at its final state located at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Here are the students at the final unveiling.

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Rolled Stainless Steel Half-Pipe for the Eternal Flame of Hope

This summer, the city of Chicago hosted an international celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. The event just wrapped up on July 21, 2018.

As a tribute to the Special Olympics and to mark the 50th anniversary, the Chicago Park District and Special Olympics erected a 30’ tall, 10’ diameter permanent monument of stainless steel. The monument – named the “Eternal Flame of Hope” – is meant to “convey the hope for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.” Continue reading Rolled Stainless Steel Half-Pipe for the Eternal Flame of Hope

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A Crowning Achievement

A recent project request came into CMRP from one of our customers to help them in recreating a unique feature for one of their clients.  The client wanted to add a truly standout ornamental showcase for their building based on a piece they encountered elsewhere.  The piece was designed to be a decorative crown for a circular tower with a prominent location on their building.  A varied combination of tubes, plate, and sheet would be needed to recreate the leaf-like crown display.  Continue reading A Crowning Achievement

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A Perfect Storm is Brewing

Since January 1, 2018, trucking rates have risen 20 to 40 percent. This holds true for LTL (less than truckload) loads and full truckloads. According to the American Trucking Association, there is a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers nationwide this year – that number is up by 20,000 in 2013 and 36,500 in 2016. And by 2021, there will be an expected shortage of 100,000 drivers. Most of this shortage in the industry is the result of the new electronic logbook devices (ELD) requirement. Every truck newer than the 2000 model year is required to implement an ELD. Continue reading A Perfect Storm is Brewing

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The Only Problem was Time

It was Thursday, March 29th just a day before the Easter Holiday weekend and while the phones were quiet for most of the day due to a vast majority of the industry gearing up for time away from the office; just after lunch the expected lone phone call rang through seeking much-needed help in a time of despair.  The project was 24-02 49th Ave, Long Island City, NY. The building was purchased as a combined office/warehouse in 2016 but plans to turn the building into creative office spaces took a few years to come to fruition.  Continue reading The Only Problem was Time

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Plus or Minus 1 Degree Tolerance

In today’s world of complex steel fabrications, we are all governed by allowable tolerances. Tolerances are important as they ensure a clean/neat fit up and or proper clearances. This confirms that at time of assembly everything fits as how it was designed; thus alleviating headaches or issues at critical points in the project where any mistakes could lead to bottlenecks and negatively impact the manufacturing or fabrication process.

But many times, and especially in the bender roller industry, we are presented with contradictory tolerancing. This is especially true on frame rail members made for the construction and or agricultural industry. These parts usually consist of a single kick bend (primarily less than 45deg), with two long tangents coming from both sides of the bend; with the critical dimension to hold, being the offset from straight at the far end of the member. (This issue can be observed not only in these specific parts but any bent member where the far end tangent position is critical). This offset from straight is usually toleranced at +/- ¼” deviation. At the same time, the degree of bend is toleranced at +/- 1deg deviation. It should be noted that in most applications +/- 1deg allowable deviation on the bend made is industry standard.

The issue between these two tolerances increases as the length of the tangents increase and we move further away from the bend. In looking closer at the +/- 1deg tolerance on the degree of bend, this allowable deviation is problematic in nature as it is derived from the slope and is linear in its function. This deviation can be expected to exhibit itself incrementally, and as tangent lengths increase the deviation equally increases. This places the measurement of the offset at the far end of the tube out of tolerance while maintaining a +/- 1deg .

This issue can be observed in almost all parts with tangent lengths longer than 1ft or 12”. In order to hold the +/- ¼” tolerance placed on the deviation in the offset from the straight dimension, the tolerance placed on the degree of bend must be fractional at best, which in most cases is extremely difficult to hold and or maintain.

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Curved Pipe and Technology in Modern Architecture

Architects and sculptors are continuously coming up with new ideas to use steel pipes and tubes in their designs and work. Steel is a popular artistic medium because it is impactful to the viewer, seeing such a hard material twisted and curved, often on a large scale. Architects and sculptors also like using steel because it is a material that stands the test of time. Now incorporate technology, and a steel artwork or sculptures becomes even more awe-inspiring. Continue reading Curved Pipe and Technology in Modern Architecture

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