When structural engineers are developing large new buildings or reconstructing existing ones, columns are chosen to provide stability to the structure and to distribute load-bearing capacity throughout the building. For columns to be functional and visually attractive, architects usually choose the strongest construction material such as steel-reinforced concrete while deploying sheet metal column covers to achieve the desired style and appearance.
Column covers can be made from curved and bent sheet metal. Sheet metal columns can be made out of mild steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, or stainless steel. Using sheet metal, covers can be formed into various shapes including round, oval, square, and rectangular. Column covers are a durable, versatile solution for cladding existing structural columns. To enhance the exterior or interior aesthetic of your project, custom column covers can be made to design-fit and cover unsightly concrete or metal beam columns.
Column covers are often attached to a sub-framing system consisting of steel studs and clip angles attached to the structural column. Metal column covers also offer protection against wear as well as savings in both maintenance time and costs. An example of column covers can be seen below.
In order to make these parts, both plate rolls and press brakes are used. The plate roll is used to curve the large radii, and the press brake is used to form the flanges. It is not that unusual to incorporate two different methods and machines to curve metal. The column wraps usually are designed in lengths anywhere from 12ft and under. The diameter of the sheet metal wrap can be as desired: there is no real maximum to the dimensions. The picture below shows 16 gage sheet metal covers that will be used as feature light columns for the Green Bay Pro Shop at Lambeau Field. The covers will be going around a 36″ concrete column and will have LED lights inside that will help to attractively illuminate the shop while covering unsightly columns.