Forming Sectional Helices

There are two important steps in the operation of forming a Sectional Helix: The first is to cut a flat disk (a "blank") of required material thickness from a sheet of metal. Helices stretch when forming, so it is of critical importance to have accurate blanks cut from flat plate. When formed into a 3D Helix it must meet the finished product specification. Helix Flight’s ‘Blank Cut Design Manager’ (BCDM) software predicts the precise blank size in seconds by entering the required finished Helix specifications.

Cutting blanks is usually completed by either a laser, a plasma or a water-jet profile-cutting machine. The important aspect of this operation is to calculate the size of the blank, which when formed into a Sectional Helix must have an accurate finished size and pitch.

There are many variables that may affect how a helix stretches while forming. These complex variables include D,d,P,T and G, and also the Pitch to Inner Diameter (ID) ratio, Flange to Diameter ratio as another example. Our BCDM software predicts blanks accurately from 50mm in Diameter, and 25mm in pitch; to - 4,000mm in diameter and 4,800mm in pitch, and up to 50mm in plate thickness.

Once generated, the profiles of the blanks can be downloaded in a simplified .dxf format to send to the profile-cutting machines for nesting and subsequent profile-cutting to the required quantities. Our BCDM software has many auxiliary features to accommodate more specialist Helix blank designs with special features such as tapered perimeters, cone shafts, notches, legs, teeth positions, cant angles and many more options.

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