Category Archives: Elliptical Steel Bending

“Daunting Curves Ahead”- Article in O & M Metal Fabricator

A recent issue of O & M Metal Fabricator Magazine, produced by NOMMA, features a case study written by Jeff Fogel with input from key members of the Albina Team, on the great spiraling feat it took to create the spectacular spiral staircase at the American Airlines Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

We spiral bent Tube Steel 16″ X 16″ X .625″ WALL A500 GR B bent down to a an 18 foot radius, using our induction heating process to create the spiral stringers for the staircase. In addition to the 16″ square, we produced another set of spiral stringers consisting of Tube Steel 14″ x 6″ x .625″ wall REALLY tight, exposed and bent to a 5′-6″ radius on a 45° pitch. These are the type of bends that ONLY Albina can do! The 1.7 million-square-foot complex, dubbed the “Trinity complex,” consists of four seven-story buildings. It cost nearly $300 million to build and houses over 6,500 employees. There were 10 tower cranes on the project and more than 1,000 construction workers on-site during the peak of the project. Viva Railings LLC (Photo credit & Glass/Railing Fabricator). Read “Daunting Curves Ahead

Signature Spiral Staircase at the Buddy Holly Hall of Arts & Sciences

The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Science in Lubbock, Texas is a 220,000 square foot state-of-the-art campus featuring two theaters, event space, a full-service bistro and a ballet academy under one roof. Albina bent various materials for the signature spiral staircase in the Christine DeVitt Lobby. See LINK IN OUR BIO to get a sneak peek inside!

TS 16″ X 8″ X .625″ WALL A500 GR C
16 pcs: Spiral bend the easy way
Bent down to a 7 ft plan view radius.

TS 10″ X 6″ X .625″ WALL A500 GR C
10 pcs: Spiral bend the hard way
Bend down to a 14′ 11″ plan view radius.

The Buddy Holly Hall of Arts & Science Lubbock, Texas-1
The Buddy Holly Hall of Arts & Science Lubbock, Texas-2
The Buddy Holly Hall of Arts & Science Lubbock, Texas-3

Custom Spiral Staircase Constructed of Rolled Steel Plate and Steel Tubing

Albina Co., Inc. recently rolled several materials for a custom spiral staircase. Materials bent by Albina Co., Inc. include:
PL ¾” X 14″ A36- spiral rolled to a 5’ 3” plan view radius and a 9’ 3” plan view radius.
PL ¾” x 4″ A36- spiral rolled to a 5’ 3” plan view radius.
PL ¾” X 8″ A36- spiral rolled to a 5’ 3” plan view radius.
1½” OD X .120″ WALL HREW: Rolled to a 8’ 11” plan view radius.

Curved Steel Creates Crown Jewel Wagon Creek Bridge in Lake Siskiyou, CA.

Albina elliptically bent 50,000# of 14″ XH pipe, all material exposed, to extremely tight tolerances for the Wagon Creek Pedestrian Bridge in Mt. Shasta, California. The McConnell Foundation partnered with Siskiyou County by awarding a $600,000 grant for the Wagon Creek Bridge, and the bridge is considered the crown jewel of the Lake Siskiyou Trail.

Curved Steel Wagon Creek Pedestrian Bridge Lake Siskiyou, California
Curved Steel Wagon Creek Pedestrian Bridge Lake Siskiyou, California
Curved Steel Wagon Creek Pedestrian Bridge Lake Siskiyou, California

Elliptical Bends Provided for Universal Palms Hotel Pool Renovation

Albina recently bent 100 lengths of TS 2″ X 1″ X .125″ WALL 6061-T6 aluminum in elliptical configurations. All of the ellipse bends had to be within 1/8″ of the template provided and it was critical that all parts match each other. This was a rush project that was required just a few days after receipt of material. The ellipse bends will be used in the newly renovated pool at the Universal Palms Hotel in Florida. The hotel was recently purchased by a group of New York investors that plan to re-brand the hotel under the Choice Hotels franchise. 

Tube Steel Elliptical Bends for Universal Palms Hotel Pool-1
Tube Steel Elliptical Bends for Universal Palms Hotel Pool-2
Tube Steel Elliptical Bends for Universal Palms Hotel Pool-3

Curved Steel Spiral Staircase at Tommy Bahama Waikiki, HI.

Albina recently bent very large HSS (Hallow Structural Steel) rectangular tubing 16″ X 4″ X .500″ WALL A500 GR B for an elliptical staircase at the Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar at The Shops at Mauna Lani in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Upon extensive review of the plans submitted to Albina for production, it was determined that some radius changes were required. Many of the original radii required were actually deemed “too tight” to bend. Original plans called for bends that were as tight as a 3’-8” Centerline Radius. To remedy this problem, Albina was able to provide suggestions and recommendations regarding the radii that we were able to successfully bend while maintaining a high level of AESS (architecturally exposed structural steel) quality.

This was a unique project because the stringers, as detailed, included numerous different radii. Many stringers are designed with a single radius or just a few radii. This staircase was originally designed with such complexity that it would have been fabricated from 38 individually bent members. Albina’s suggestion to decrease the actual number of parts and instead “blend” some parts together helped simplify the bending process, and reduced the total number of full-penetration weld splices that customer would need to perform during fabrication. After much discussion, the staircase was redesigned, resulting in only 24 individual members (a 37% decrease in the number of bent parts and full penetration weld joints). These changes resulted in a quicker lead-time and a labor cost savings.

After receiving the elliptical bends from Albina, the customer commented, “Albina worked with us on time frames and cost issues. Albina must roll these pieces perfectly or we can’t even attempt to get a finish product on this end. We are counting on these things being correct…period. Albina is not afraid to take the risk of rolling a radius that hasn’t been done before. I appreciate the consistent and un-prodded reports on job status and progression.”

Curved Steel Staircase Tommy Bahama

Curved Steel Staircase Tommy Bahama

Curved Steel Staircase Tommy Bahama

Curved Steel Staircase Tommy Bahama

What is Elliptical/Parabolic Steel Bending?

Elliptial/Parabolic steel bending occurs when the material is bent in one plane, but the radius changes throughout the arc. A radius is the line segment that joins the center of a circle with any point on the materials circumference (see Center-Line Radius). Arc is defined as the curved portion of a bend. Below are some examples of elliptical/parabolic bends.

elliptical/parabolic steel bending

elliptical/parabolic steel bending2