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Facts About Curved Steel



Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences- Lubbock, TX.

2022 IDEAS2 National Award Winner ($75M-$200M) for Innovative Design in Engineering & Architecture with Structural Steel

Hayward Field and Tower-Eugene, OR.

2022 Architizer A+ Award in the Stadium and Arena Category

2021 @archpaper AN Best of Design Award in the Sports & Stadiums category

Barbara Walker Crossing-Portland, OR.

Two-time CODA Award Winner for worlds best in public art. People’s Choice Award as voted on by the public, as well as an award in the transportation category. Photo Credit: Ed Carpenter.

Williams Creek Shoup Bridge-Salem, ID. 

The National Steel Bridge Alliance has awarded the Williams Creek Shoup Bridge in Salem, Idaho a Merit Award in the Medium Span bridges category. Photo Credit: Linda Ulery. 


The Spheres-Seattle, WA. 

2019 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award & Outstanding Project Award Winner & 2019 IDEAS2 Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in Fabrication


 San Diego Public Library-San Diego, CA. 

2014 IDEAS2 National Award Winner for Innovative Design in Engineering & Architecture with Structural Steel


Newport Beach Civic Center-Newport Beach CA.

2014 IDEAS2 National Award Winner for Innovative Design in Eng. & Arch. with Structural Steel

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis CA.

2018 IDEAS2 Merit Award Winner

Vancouver Waterfront Handrails- Vancouver, WA.

O & M Fabricator Magazine's 2019 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Winner


Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building- Portland, OR.

AIA and COTE 2014 Top 10 Examples of Sustainable Architecture and Ecological Designs


"A Monumental Journey" by Kerry James Marshall- Des Moines, Iowa

2021 IDEAS2 Merit Award Winner for Sculpture/Art Installation Photo: MJ Rowe




Curved steel is the better choice for architects, designers, and engineers!

What Every Building Professional Wants:

  • Reduced Risk
  • Controlled Costs
  • Sensitivity to the Environment
  • An award winning project that stands out from the rest


R: Recycled Material & Reduced Schedules

Steel is the most recycled material on the planet. 90% recycled content. More steel is recycled than aluminum, paper, glass and plastic combined. Steel is fast to fabricate and erect resulting in reduced schedules and earlier revenue generation. Steel is easy to install and maintain resulting in an improved bottom line.

O: On-hand & Odd Shapes

Huge national inventory of steel means short lead times and lower exposure to risk. Rolled steel allows for more flexibility in construction and the ability to create odd shapes. Steel weighs half the amount of concrete resulting in a lighter building and less cost.

L: Look & Laurels

Rolled steel is more aesthetically appealing and attractive than "built-up" or "welded" sections. Rolled steel is not a "common" product. Projects that contain rolled steel are different, eye catching and artistic.

National and merit honors awarded to projects with Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel Members:

  • Innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire protection and blast
  • Aesthetic and visual impact, particularly in the coordination of structural steel elements with other materials
  • Innovative uses of architecturally exposed structural steel
  • Advances in the use of structural steel either technically or in architectural expression
  • Use of innovative design and construction methods such as 3-D building models, interoperability, early integration of specialty contractors such as steel fabricators, alternative methods of project delivery or other productivity enhancements
  • Sustainable design

L: Less Labor Intensive & Lower Design Costs

It takes a great deal of manpower to erect forms, place rebar, place concrete strip forms, re-shore, 50% shoring, 25% shoring, etc. Rolled steel can be put into place with a crane and a few erectors. All this field labor increases the likelihood of errors and accidents. It is more expensive to design a building in concrete.

IT: Information Technology & Information Sharing:

BIM (Building Information Modeling) provided legal issues have been resolved for sharing drawings, specifying commercial jobs, etc. and technology tools are changing the way buildings are designed and built. We use modeling for analysis and for creating geometries never before available. Involvement of Albina during the early part of project design saves all parties involved time and money. We have access to many resources including Regional Engineers and various industry associations across the country.


10 Things Everyone Should Know About Curved Steel

  1. Curved steel members don't just "come that way" from the mill. Curved steel members are produced from straight lengths of material and are bent per your specifications by a bending company.
  2. The bending process does not affect the strength or structural integrity of the steel. When a shape has been curved successfully, with no buckling or localized cracking in the steel, the strains the member will experience under actual service conditions will be much smaller than those associated with the curving operation. Once the curving is done, the member can be expected to perform as needed.
  3. Steel can be curved with minimal distortion and is very attractive for AESS (Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel) applications. The most qualified bending companies have an internal quality control system as well as internal tolerances that they adhere to when curving a steel member.
  4. The radius of a bend is the most critical piece of information required to curve a steel member. The radius requirement dictates the bending process used. Roll Bending is used for larger radii bends while Rotary Draw and Hot Bending are used for tighter radii bends.
  5. The terms "Easy Way" and "Hard Way" have nothing to do with how easy or how hard it is to bend or curve a steel member. "Easy way" is bending a member around the weak axis, while "hard way" is bending a member around the strong axis.
  6. It is possible to spiral bend true HSS material. It is not necessary to split HSS prior to bending and weld the sections back together to meet your needs. It is not necessary to fill the HSS material with other structural members for internal support. We do not "build-up" stringers out of plate.
  7. Curved steel sections that create a smooth, consistent arc are more aesthetically appealing and less labor intensive than fabricated sections that need to be welded or spliced together.
  8. You can contact a bender to secure material from a local steel service center or you can contact a steel service center near you who will then arrange for the material to be drop-shipped from a steel service center located near the bender of your choice.
  9. Straight material and curved material with the same theoretical outside dimensions can be welded together after the bending process. Qualified bending companies can control the amount of deformation or distortion of the bent steel member to ensure proper fit/alignment to the straight member.
  10. Steel does not always have to be heated up in order to be bent or curved. In many instances, steel can be curved using a hot or a cold bending process.


AESS Requirements

AESS diagram