Every technical field no doubt has its jargon that has developed over decades. The world of structural steel bending and rolling is no exception. Bender/Rollers talk of bending beams the “hard way,” rolling angles “heel in,” and curving bars the “hard way.” There are dozen of possibilities for curving steel members — angles, bars, beams, channels, tees, pipe and tube — to various orientations. And there can be some confusion when the individuals who are ordering curved material do not have the same understanding as those who are providing the service.
Here are some ideas about how to eliminate misunderstandings.
First, a certain amount of redundancy may help. For example, in describing a hard way beam, it might be helpful to also say that it is being rolled against the strong axis, i.e. the x-x axis. When rolling angles apex in, it might help to say it is being rolled 45 degrees off-axis and looks like a pulley. A hard-way bar ring looks like a washer and not like a belt. You get the idea.
Second, a drawing can certainly help. It just has to be detailed correctly. Many Bender/Rollers provide charts to show various orientations, what they are called, how they are typically measured, and the maximum capacity of the supplier. The cross sections may be illustrated in both isometric and section views.
More complicated bends are becoming more common and will require additional attention. Many Bender/Rollers perform helical rolling, multi-radius bending, off-axis curves, compound curves in two planes, reverse curves, and extraordinarily tight bending. Recently we curved some 1in stainless tube 45degrees off-axis with a reverse curve. Full-size templates were made to ensure the bends met the required tolerances, and the customer visited to check his parts.
Clear communication between the customer and the project manager eliminated any confusion that might have derived from the jargon of the bending industry.