Famous for its strength, versatility, quality and value, steel is one of the most widely used materials in construction; however, it simply wouldn’t be possible to enjoy those many benefits of steel without the work of fabricators. Here we will take a brief look at what steel fabrication is; some of the processes involved, as well as a few of the products commonly produced.
What is steel fabrication? Any industry that deals with metal requires steel fabrication services. Apart from playing a vital role in both the residential and commercial construction industries, fabricators also work closely with shipbuilding, mining and auto manufacturing as well.
Masters of steel
Fabricators use a variety of techniques to transform basic sections of manufactured steel into predefined shapes that are ready to erect and install. Working from the highly detailed drawings of steel drafters and detailers, the fabricator’s job is essentially to bring those plans to life, which requires an extensive knowledge of the properties of steel and an extremely keen eye for detail. Not only do those materials need to be made with absolute precision so that they are ready to install, they also must arrive on site in the order that they are needed.
Steel fabrication services have come a long way over the years, thanks in large part to the evolution of high-tech computer software. For example, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems now monitor and control the movement of machines such as routers, welders and laser cutters, while 3D modelling has made it easy to visualise even the most complex components. The fabrication process itself involves a wide array of manipulation techniques, with the following being some of the most common.
Steel sections are blasted with shot in order to prepare them for fabrication. The main purpose of shot blasting is to provide a clean finish that will be easy to weld as well as a rough surface that will accept paint.
Steel sections are easier to work with when they are cut to length prior to fabrication and this can be done in a number of ways, such as by using circular saws, flame cutting or plasma cutting techniques.
Many modern structures incorporate beautifully curved steel elements that require the fabricator to utilise various rolling and bending techniques. For example, steel can be passed through a set of bending rolls numerous times until the right level of curve has been established, while press braking can be used for more straightforward bends involving lengths of steel up to 12 metres long.
Steel fabrication involves a whole lot of welding, for instance it is used to attach fixtures and fittings as well as to prepare connections for installation on site. Welding uses high heat to melt the parent material along with whatever is being attached to it, so that as the weld pool solidifies the two materials are fused together.
Coatings are applied to steel for both practical and aesthetic purposes and are most commonly applied towards the end of the fabrication process. High-tech coatings can protect the steel against corrosion as well as fire and they are also used to provide a custom look when requested by the architect.
Who needs steel fabrication services?
Any industry that deals with metal requires steel fabrication services. Apart from playing a vital role in both the residential and commercial construction industries, fabricators also work closely with shipbuilding, mining and auto manufacturing as well. The following are just some of the many items that are commonly fabricated.
- Universal beams
- Universal columns
- Bar joists
- Pipe racks
- Steel stairs
If you are in need of quality steel fabrication contact Steel Fabrication Services today.Our team of expert structural steel fabricators have the experience and knowledge to answer any of your questions and will ensure that you find the best solution to suit your needs. To contact us today, simply call, fax, email or drop by our Brookvale location.