At the North American Steel Construction Conference held on May 11 to May 14, 2011, we learned from Bill McEleny, Director of the National Steel Bridge Alliance, that the AASHTO construction specification has recently been revised to allow cold cambering of rolled beams.
Article 188.8.131.52.6 has been revised to read as follows – “Camber for rolled beams may be obtained by cold cambering (cold bending) or heat-cambering methods approved by the Engineer.” The italicized, underlined words have been added.
Cold cambering is generally thought of as less expensive and faster than heat cambering. This bending of beams is usually done either in a cambering machine comprised of hydraulic rams or in a three-roll structural rolling machine. Both methods are regularly employed across the United States by numerous fabricators and companies that specialize in section bending.