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Cambering vs Section Bending: I-Beam Cold Bending Considerations

The choice between a Cambering Machine and a Section Bending Machine for cold bending I-beams depends on the specific requirements of the project and the desired outcome. Here are some key considerations for each type of machine:

Cambering Machine
Cambering Machine

Cambering Machine

  • Purpose: Specifically designed for inducing permanent camber or curvature into beams, channels, and tubular sections.
  • Operation: Focuses on bending beams to achieve a curved profile, often used for architectural curved steel structures, tunnel supports, subway engineering, etc.
  • Bending Angle: Typically designed for cambers and curves with smaller radii, usually not exceeding 180°.
  • Limitations: May have limitations in terms of the range of profiles it can handle and the precision achievable for larger bends.

Section Bending Machine

Cambering Machine of H Beam and I Beam with Hard Way
  • Versatility: More versatile and capable of bending various types of metal sections, including I-beams, channels, angles, and other profiles.
  • Operation: Can handle different profiles with varying cross-sections, providing flexibility in bending applications.
  • Bending Angle: Capable of achieving a broader range of bending angles, including larger curves and arcs.
  • Web Buckling: Can address concerns related to web buckling for larger bends, as it offers more control over the bending process.
  • Tolerances: Can achieve exacting tolerances, especially with specially designed section benders.

Cambering Machine vs Section Bending Machine Cold Bending the I Beam

Hard Way Bend I Beams/Rolling Beam with PBH Section Bending Machine

Cambering Machines:

  • Typical Operation: These machines, often incorporating one or two hydraulic rams, are specialized for inducing camber in steel sections, particularly beams.
  • Accuracy and Limitations: Cambers of ¾ in. or less are usually recommended due to the limitations of the cambering process. The precision may not be as exact for smaller cambers, and the cost of cambering might exceed potential concrete savings.
  • Web Buckling Concerns: For cambers beyond a certain size, such as 5 in., there may be concerns about beam web buckling.

Section Benders (Angle Rolls, Beam Benders):

  • Typical Operation: These machines, incorporating three or four rolls, are versatile and can induce a curve or camber in structural steel sections beyond typical cambers.
  • Web Buckling Considerations: Your point about roll-curving or bending beams to a significant mid-ordinate rise without web buckling highlights the capabilities of section benders. With the right machinery and processes, web buckling is not necessarily a limiting factor for larger cambers.
  • Exacting Tolerances: Section benders, especially those specially designed for the purpose, can achieve exacting tolerances in the bending process.


  • If the primary goal is to induce permanent camber in I-beams with smaller radii and the application is focused on architectural or structural requirements, a dedicated Cambering Machine might be suitable.
  • If there is a need for versatility, the ability to handle various profiles, and achieving larger bending angles with control over web buckling concerns, a Section Bending Machine is a more appropriate choice.


In conclusion, the decision between a Cambering Machine and a Section Bending Machine for cold bending I-beams rests on the specific project requirements and desired outcomes. Cambering Machines excel in inducing permanent camber for architectural structures, while Section Bending Machines offer versatility, handling various profiles with larger bending angles and control over web buckling concerns. Whether opting for precision in cambers or flexibility in bending applications, consulting with experts and considering project specifics will guide the choice, ensuring optimal results for your steel bending needs.