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Bending HSS the easy-way vs. the hard-way

Contrary to what most people think, bending HSS (hollow structural sections) the "hard-way" will frequently result in less concavity (distortion) then bending the same size of material the "easy-way".

Bending the hard-way simply means that the steel member is being bent around/against the "strong-axis".

Bending the easy-way simply means that the steel member is being bent around/against the "weak-axis".

When bending the easy-way, the greater difference between the sides of the tubing will result in greater distortion (less concavity on the inside of the bend). For instance, TS 8" x 2" (a difference of 6”) will have less concavity on the inside of the bend than TS 16" x 4" (a difference of 12").

When bending either the easy-way or hard-way concavity may become less of a problem if the wall thicknesses of the material are increased. For example, TS 12" x 6" x .250" wall material bent the easy-way will result in more concavity (distortion) then TS 12" x 6" x .375" wall bent to the same radius.

Bending companies, like Albina Pipe Bending Co., Inc. implement various techniques to minimize concavity (distortion) when bending HSS material the easy-way and when bending the hard-way. These techniques include but aren’t limited to: bending style (roll, increment, hot, etc), tooling, internal support systems, etc.

It is critical that the end user states their distortion requirements (i.e. what does the material need to look like after it is bent) prior to receiving a quote for bent HSS. By discussing your distortion requirements early in the process, before a quotation is issued, bending companies like Albina Pipe Bending Co., Inc. are able to provide accurate quotations representative of what end users require.
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