When designing a building, engineers perform a great deal of give-and-take when it comes to costs. They could pick a thinner wall thickness for HSS, saving on material, but deal with an added expense of additional through-plates or some other connectors to guarantee the structure has sufficient strength. Or they could choose thicker-walled HSS to make certain connections between structural members meet requirements. Architectural engineers may call for connections between HSS, or connect HSS to wide-flange beams. It’s a continual balancing act.
This balancing act may be easier-and this is when hollow section steel tube can definitely shine. The equipment effectively makes complex geometries at HSS end sections inexpensive to fabricate. Six-axis laser cutting heads create complex bevels in addition to tab-and-slot arrangements to simplify fit-up. Including tilting back and forth (moving down the A/B axis), which is often extremely beneficial not just for HSS, but for cutting various structural geometries, including wide-flange beams. By tilting, the pinnacle can cut geometries in corners, eliminating secondary operations.
This tilting permits cutting angles for bevels and also precise fit-up between two HSS of different diameters. What if you require one tube to slip in with an angle with another tube? A 3-D cutting head can cut the desired angles to make sure complete surface contact; which is, no gap in between the two workpieces. Systems also provide secondary tapping units to tap holes within the laser cutting work envelope (see Figures 3-7).
This done-in-one concept reduces handling and total production time, at least that’s the ideal. But this is way more complicated than the usual tube cutoff operation using a saw, and quite not the same as typical light-gauge laser cutting; again, stick weight could be a huge number of pounds. This makes proper planning and inspection even more important.
It starts off with the 3-D CAD model, which inside the architectural world is normally incorporated into BIM, or building information modeling. The architectural industry also transfers data via files formatted as Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), an item-based building model format created by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). Such files can now be imported straight into machine tool software.
The software program shows the way the laser cutting machine will process the hollow steel pipe, simulating the whole work cycle. Including the loading automation, when a series of V arms position a new component of material, be it round, rectangular, or square. The simulation then shows the master chuck grabbing on the material and pushing it through another chuck (the slave chuck) and in to the laser work envelope.
As being the material moves into position, the software reveals precisely where the probe will contact the workpiece. Touch sensing can be critical with heavy HSS. The probe compares the specific workpiece geometry to the one programmed from the machine. For instance, the longitudinal weld in the tube production process can make distortion in extremely long HSS, and the touch probe can account for that distortion.
The program simulates the laser cutting and (if necessary) tapping work cycle, ensuring there are actually no interferences between the processing heads and workpiece. It simulates chuck movement throughout the cycle and after that shows just how the machine will unload the finished workpiece and remnant.
This is planned before anything moves on the shop floor. This sort of simulation can benefit a variety of fabrication processes, obviously, but it becomes much more important when confronted with large sections. Moving and fabricating bad components from the 2,000-lb. tube represents a great deal of wasted time and expense.
When you consider how long wide-flange beams have been in use, HSS remain newcomers, but now more builders are calling for them. Examine various building designs today, and you’ll see HSS becoming more prevalent, either dominant inside a building’s design or providing efficient support between wide-flange beams.
In the fabrication side, most beams being shipped to construction sites are processed through beam lines, and some of the latest technologies for the reason that arena include aspects of the done-in-one concept: stainless steel tubing, tapping, drilling, plus more, in one machine. This concept has carried over to the laser cutting arena, in dexopky12 the workpiece and multiaxis cutting heads move in concert to produce extremely complex geometries, many thought to be too expensive or simply impossible a little while ago.
Now the laser has created these possible and expense-effective, because process simulation, touch probing, and also the done-in-one concept reduce overall fabrication time. And as soon as these heavy sections get to the work site, erectors can assemble them quickly, shortening overall construction time-which, from the scheme of things, provides the most dramatic impact on construction costs. It has been core to the success of many architectural and structural fabricators lately: Do more from the controllable environment of your fabrication shop to help make things easier within the relatively uncontrollable environment from the construction site.