In the world of structural steel, camber denotes a curve in the vertical plane; sweep ...


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In the world of structural steelcamber denotes a curve in the vertical plane; sweep denotes a curve in the horizontal plane. Steel members produced in a steelmill have at least some camber and some sweep.

There are occasions, however, when camber and sweep are required in a structural steel application.  For example, cambered beams may offer superior support in a building by reducing any sag from the weight of a concrete floor.  A canopy may be supported by a beam with sweep that creates an edge curved the “easy way,” i.e. against the weak axis.

Camber can be induced in a structural member in several ways.  Probably the most common is cambering on what is called a “cambering machine,” a device that holds a steel section at two points and then applies pressure through one or two hydraulic cylinders to a point between the two points.

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Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
camber (verb)
intransitive verb
transitive verb
to curve upward in the middle
to arch slightly
to impart camber to
camber (noun)
a slight convexity, arching, or curvature (as of a beam, deck, or road)
the convexity of the curve of an airfoil from the leading edge to the trailing edge
a setting of the wheels of an automotive vehicle closer together at the bottom than at the top
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