How much lead time is for required for bending steel sections? How long does it take to fabricate curved steel? What is the schedule impact? Architects, engineers, and structural steel fabricators regularly ask these questions of Benders and Rollers, companies that specialize in curving steel.
The answers vary, of course, from company to company depending on its capacity, its processes and its overall responsiveness. Many Bender/Rollers can easily fulfill an order to curve a few beams, for example, within a two-week time span. Larger orders might take longer, but often the customer, typically a structural steel fabricator, will be happy with an initial partial shipment so he can begin his fabrication. The Bender/Rollers most often simply curve the steel so their turn-around time is usually faster than a fabricator’s because the latter has more work to do on the steel sections.
The trend over recent years seems to be that the Bender/Rollers are offering faster and faster turn-around times. At Chicago Metal Rolled Products, for example, we have offered three-day, two-day, one-day and same-day service. Truckers will haul in beams as large as W44 x 290, drop them off, go to McDonald’s for lunch during the beam bending, come back, and load up the curved steel sections destined for the fabricator’s shop.
Quick turn-around times are sometimes required because although the project’s due date remains firm, delays in permitting, engineering approval, design revisions, etc. can impact the schedule. In most instances, however, curved steel can be supplied quickly enough for any project’s schedule.