Steel is all around us, both in our homes and in the outside world. In fact it’s one of the most widely used materials in construction. Walk around any city and you’re sure to see some pretty incredible steel buildings. The reason for steel’s popularity is it’s versatility, strength, quality, and value. However, without fabricators there wouldn’t be an opportunity to enjoy these many benefits. So, that said, what is steel fabrication and what’s it used for.
In essence any industry which utilises metal will require the services of a steel fabricator. As well as residential and commercial construction industries, steel fabrication is also used in the automobile industry, ship building, and mining.
All things steel
Steel fabricators work with basic sheets or sections of manufactured steel and use a variety of techniques to transform it into specific shapes or components which are necessary for a particular project. Often working from detailed drawings, their role is to bring these drawings to life. Not only does a fabricator need to know all there is to know about steel, but they also need a good eye for detail. The parts they are making must be precise and, more importantly, arrive on site as and when they’re needed.
Thanks to the introduction of high tech 3D computer software, steel fabrication services have become more efficient over recent years with computer systems monitoring and controlling the movement of machines such as lasers cutters, routers, and welders while 3D modelling has made it that much easier to visualise the end product. The following are some of the most common fabrication processes.
- Cutting – It’s easier to work with a section of steel if it’s cut prior to fabrication and this can be done using a variety of techniques such as flame cutting, circular saws, and plasma cutting.
- Shot blasting – Before any type of fabrication takes place, it’s necessary to give the steel section a clean finish by using shot to blast it. This makes it easier to weld and also roughens the surface so that paint adheres better.
- Welding – This process is used a lot in fabrication both for attaching fittings and fixtures as well as preparing connections that are to be installed on site. The fabricator melts the parent material as well as what’s being attached to it with high heat, so that when it cools down and solidifies, both parts are securely joined.
- Bending – You’ve all seen the beautifully curved elements on many steel constructions and this is achieved by the fabricator using a variety of bending and rolling techniques. For example, press braking may be used for more straightforward bends where steel lengths can be as long as 3 metres. On the other hand steel may have to be passed through a series of bending rolls several times, until the exact level of curve has been achieved.
- Coatings – Typically these are applied towards the end of the fabrication process to protect against such things as fire and corrosion, and/or for aesthetic purposes.
What items are commonly fabricated?
- Universal columns and beams
- Pipe racks
- Bar joists
- Steel stairs
If you’re in need of top notch steel fabrication then contact Metro Steel today. Our team f experts have the combined knowledge and skill to answer all of your questions and determine the best solution for your needs. Call us today on 03 3204 1000 or drop by our premises at Kabi Circuit Deception Bay.