How Cambering Steel Beams Affects Their Physical Properties

A steel beam can be cambered by rolling it in a three roll bender, by ramming it with a hydraulic cylinder, or by applying heat with a torch.  Cambering a steel beam, by any method,  will increase its yield and tensile strength but decease its ductility and toughness.  Data from research, however, indicates that the effects will be relatively small.  For a low strain of 1-3%, the increase in tensile strength is only 4%.  Cambering would certainly fall in that low strain range of 1-3%.

Cambering of steel, “hot” or “cold”, will create some changes in the properties of the steel.  However, the effects of the changes are rarely seen. Modern steels  engineered by metallurgists to have higher strength and toughness make the safety of cambering, hot or cold, of even less concern than in the past.


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