Many artists like creating work out of curved steel because of the originality and functionality of the final product. Taking a simple piece of straight material and yielding it to a point, yet preserving its structural properties, greatly expands an artist’s medium. Metal Rolling Services can offer thousands of variations and therefore, individuality on each design. This is why artists keep coming back to us to explore and expand their knowledge about rolled metal.
We recently worked with an innovative company that makes ingenious sculptures for residential and commercial applications. The job they came to us with simulates a giant bike lock – curved and twisted in the street, serving as a bike rack itself. It immediately catches the eye as a function piece of art. As you see in the print image, the “cable” of the bike lock sculpture is curved steel pipe to multiple radii and the “combination lock” is grounded into the sidewalk.
We used 1½ inch, schedule 40 pipe to create the curved “cable”. The wall thickness was great enough so that the roundness of the pipe stayed consistent through-out the curved sections. The tight radii required a higher force to induce greater deformation. As we can see in the print image above, the pipe comes off the ground with a relatively open radius and as it reaches its highest point the bend becomes tighter and radically twists almost 90 degrees towards one side. The print shows no straights in between bends but a continuous curve with multiple radii in different plans of action.
This is when we take a step back, look the part and suggest to the client improvising a rolled piece, or what we call free-style metal rolling services. It follows the general direction of the artistic work without exactly matching with dimensions. In the shop photo, you can see the bigger radius for the cable that comes out of the ground and how it dramatically shifts left, simulating the whip effect the artist is looking for.