Bending Stainless Steel

Stainless Protectors

In doing the Abattoir ceiling we used a lot of stainless steel. Stainless steel threaded sockets for hanging the rails. Stainless steel threaded rods bent in hooks to grab the concrete beams. Stainless steel rebar with tail hooks for reinforcing the beams that will carry the carcass load, the snow load and be self-supporting thus carrying their own load and the attached ceiling.

All these stainless steel rods and rebar pieces needed bending. The problem is our bar bender is plain steel. When bending it puts a lot of force on the metals, crushing them together. It is less than desirable to crush stainless steel against plain steel because it can result in contamination of the stainless steel with the plain steel.

Will’s solution was to put pieces of plastic, can-of-foam caps in this case, on the rollers of the bar bender. This keeps the two types of steel separated by a very thin layer of non-reactive plastic and prevents contamination.

Outdoors: 44°F/15°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/59°F

Daily Spark: Terry Pratchett nicely sums up my livestock raising philosophy: “We are as gods to the beasts o’ the fields… We order the time o’ their birth and the time o’ their death. Between times, we ha’ a duty.” -Claire Weldon

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Bending Stainless Steel

  1. Edward says:

    Hi are you concerned with the bending of the stainless stell possibly weakening the metal?

    • It is a concern. What we have read is that fast bending creates more of a problem than a slow gentle bend. Thus we are doing the bend slowly. This makes sense when you notice that if you bend the metal quickly it heats up but if you bend it slowly it stays cool.

  2. Susan Lea says:

    Your kids have your ingenuity. Pretty neat!

  3. Jarad says:

    Have you taken into account the greater thermal expansion of stainless steel?

    • Yes, in fact I’m planning on the greater coefficient of thermal expansion of the steel to pretension the stainless steel rebar in the abattoir ceiling beam. Regular steel has a coefficient of 11e-6 to 13e-6 while concrete is 12e-6. Stainless steel on the other hand is 17.3e-6. The steel is now cold but the hot concrete poured on it will warm it. The concrete will stay warm for a long time due to the exothermic energy of the chemical reaction of curing. Then by the time the concrete is hard the stainless steel will shrink putting it into tension. Unfortunately I can’t do that trick with regular steel as its coefficient of thermal expansion is so close to that of concrete. This makes one more interesting reason to use stainless steel rebar. Once our concrete is cured the structure will be very thermally stable.

      For those unfamiliar with thermal expansion see this Wiki page for an introduction to the topic. In a nut shell each material type changes dimensions as the temperature changes. This is why glass breaks when the water in it freezes and why concrete work has thermal expansion joints.

  4. Dawn says:

    Mass Rocket Stoves come in all shapes & sizes. Have you looked at these units? They seem to be pretty simple & inexpensive to build…
    Someday I will have one or two….for the house, green house, and the barn.

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