American Society of Civil Engineers

Heat-Straightening of Steel: Fact and Fable

by R. Richard Avent, M.ASCE, (Prof. of Civ. Engrg., Louisiana State Univ. and Agric. and Mech. Coll., Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6405)

Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 115, No. 11, November 1989, pp. 2773-2793, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Although heat-straightening has been used for the repair of damaged steel structures for over 40 yr, the process is more of an art than a science. Since the effects of heat-straightening steel structures are not well understood by the engineering community, a number of undocumented opinions have appeared in the literature that are false or misleading. Presented here is a state-of-the-art review in the form of popular fables followed by the documented facts related to each one. Sixteen fables are listed in two categories: basic material properties and behavior of structural systems. The references cited form a comprehensive bibliography on the subject of heat-straightening effects on steel. The selection of facts and fables has been chosen to provide the reader with an understanding of the process, important factors influencing heat-straightening of rolled and built-up members, a working knowledge of its effect on the material properties of steel, and the sources for additional information. Heat-straightening has produced a good track record that illustrates the potential of the method for providing safe and economical repairs.

ASCE Subject Headings:
State-of-the-art reviews
Steel structures