Defining “Curved Steel” in Construction

More and more architects are designing structures that incorporate curved steel sections whether they be angles, bars, beams, channels, tees, pipe or tube.  This increased use of curved steel is the result of the combination of the fabricators’ increasing capabilities for curving of steel and the owners’, architects’, and engineers’, desire to create strikingly beautiful and efficient buildings.  The more that the designers know about how many ways steel can be curved the more likely they will design with curved steel.  The more fabricators are challenged by designers the more the fabricators will develop innovative ways to curve steel.

Design of the San Jose International Airport

Within this large community there is sometimes some confusion regarding what to call these curved steel sections.  The nomenclature is ambiguous partly because each level on the supply chain speaks differently.  For example, steel mills and steel service centers often refer to straight steel members such as wide-flange beams as “rolled sections” becaue they are produced, in part, on rolling mills – they are passed along and through rollers to create the desired shape.  Architects and engineers also refer to straight steel sections as “rolled sections” or “rolled members”.

Companies that specialize in curving steel, sometimes called Roller/Benders, most often use “rolling” machines to curve steel sections.  The most common machines used to induce a curve are variously called “angle rolls,” “section benders,” or “profile benders.”  The machines are said to “roll” steel.  The companies are sometimes referred to as “rolling houses”.  If a Roller/Bender told a fabricator that he rolls steel, the fabricator might say, “I buy my steel from my local steel distributor.”  The Roller/Bender is referring to curved steel; the fabricator is referring to straight steel produced at a rolling mill.

Curved Beams for Roof Sections

Increasingly variations of the word “curve” and other words are used to convey that the steel member is no longer straight but has some curvature.  That curvature can be defined through references to the radius, chord length, arc length and degree of bend.  Furthermore references to circles or circle segments also help to convey that a given circle is curved.  Further delineation can be made to curves with a constant radius and to curves with varying radii like parabolas and ellipses.

Curved Steel Provides a Distinctive Shape


Copy link
Powered by Social Snap