Project designers often need to come up with interesting and unusual elements in order to please ambitious project developers. Sometimes these elements are purely aesthetic, but other times they may be key to the structure in question and able to withstand heavy loads. Designers and engineers have to work with a variety of different materials in order to come up with their finished product and frequently need to use heat to bend the materials in question. What are the options whenever complex bending is needed?
What Are the Options?
The path ahead will be dictated by the end requirement. In other words, what type of load will the structure be subjected to once it is complete? If it is a series of beams needed to support a train trestle or a new motorway, then special attention has to be paid to the engineering process. On the other hand, this process may be relatively straightforward in comparison to some of the more "out there" architectural shapes that project managers frequently require. Those intricate creations can be even more challenging when it comes to shaping and bending.
One of the options considered in the early stages is to use special machinery to "cold" roll the material. These machines can be configured to take material of all shapes and sizes and types.
It's not always possible to use cold rolling for more intricate or larger product requirements. In many cases it's more practical and certainly more cost effective to use induction bending, through the selective use of heat.
This will require an electrical coil to be created that is roughly the same shape as the material in question, which will be wound around the outside of the structure. This needs to be engaged very precisely and custom-made for the job, but once it is in place, an exact amount of heat will be transferred to the structure, using a lot of power to induce it. In fact, the more challenging the project, the more energy will need to be generated and applied to the bending process.
With so much heat comes a requirement for cooling, and water is sprayed on the material as work continues. This is certainly not the type of job that can be rushed, and in fact the speed of forward progress is a critical consideration. When all factors are in place and the work has been prepared properly, it's amazing how intricate a shape can be created with very low distortion. In fact, materials that would not be able to stand up to cold bending can be manipulated very effectively here.
Always remember that an adequate support structure has to be created as well so that the complex shapes being developed can be carefully rolled. It's also important to figure out how the finished product is going to be transported to its destination, with safety and cost efficiency in mind.
Working on Your Project
Have a word with engineers who are skilled in complex induction bending processes to ensure that your project is carefully planned and executed.