23 Aug Basics of Steel Fabrication
Fabrication is “the action or process of inventing or manufacturing something”, as explain in the oxford dictionary.
Steel fabrication is a sensitive task because it needs skilled individuals who can handle the process well and work with care. It covers designing, detailing, drawing and constructing many steel structural members like deck, handrails, stairs and a lot more. Steel is used for constructing bridges, residential building, etc. Structural steel is useful for building complex and simple structures in a cost effective and time saving manner. A systematic well-designed steel fabrication process offers many benefits.
A good steel structural fabricator follows a specific process and the metal has to pass through many operations. A basic overview of the fabrication process steps are explained below:
- Firstly, structural sections may have to go through surface cleaning procedures so different cleaning methods need to be applied, such as, blast cleaning, flame cleaning, manual cleaning, etc.
- Once the surface is prepared cutting to the length is important and it can be done by implementing the most suitable process like, shearing or cropping, flame cutting or burning, cold sawing, punching or drilling and arc plasma cutting.
- After the above process, the steel may become distorted because of handling or transportation process. Thus, it needs to be bended, rolled or straightened.
- Now fitting and reaming will come into the picture. Minor defects will be corrected here.
- Now the use of fastening methods has to be proper as the strength of complete structure depends on it. The three fastening methods are riveting, bolting and welding. Now-a-days welding is the most common method, but sometimes the need of bolting and riveting may arise.
- Then comes finishing. Finishing will be done by sawing, milling or any other suitable means. For satisfactory finished cuts, a saw machine is used and for smoothening the steel surface other methods are used accordingly.
Lastly, the surface treatment is done with metal or paint coatings.