The Steel Supply Company provides steel wedges to Steel Fabricators, Concrete and Masonry Contractors and the general construction trades. Often the customers' requirements can be met with stock sizes as shown in our catalog.
When the application is more specific the customer will request the wedges be made to order. Starting with steel billet almost any shape and dimensions can be made to order. Some details require attention.
The first is shape. Length is important in that it should contact the entire surface being supported, as is the case with underpinning wedges. Slope is also very important in that it controls lifting power by multiplying the force delivered to the wedge. When designing a wedge always shape the slope so it
can easily exert the required lifting force, i.e. it is better to design a narrower than steeper slope.
One of the less obvious decisions is the angle of the corners at the wide end. In the image above both wedge have a right angle corner. The alternative is a steel wedge with two equal sides at the base. The difference is in how they present themselves to the striking force or impact. Figure 2.
In Fig. 2 above, it shows that when wedges are used opposition-ally the right angle wedge presents a flat square surface to the striking force. If a wedge will be used individually the Equal Angle Wedge is preferable.
Hardness is an additional factor when designing steel wedges. Stock Wedges will typically have a harder surface while still remaining malleable in the core. This has two advantages; 1) The harder surface is more durable. The butt end will be more resistant to peening and the slopes will also resist indentations, etc. 2) The malleable core helps the wedge from becoming too brittle. This is especially important for safety purposes. If the steel it too hard small pieces can break away with each strike and do harm the operator or anyone nearby.
Conversely, made to order wedges are usually machined from Grade A-36, Grade 50 or some other Multi-grade steel. These softer metals are ideal for easier machining, with the trade off being their surfaces will wear easier.