Steel fabrication is the process of building steel into different shapes so as to fit into buildings, or making structures out of it. Proper shaping of steel can help reduce extra load on the material during construction, thus ensuring longevity of the building. This procedure applies to a wide variety of metal categories such as stainless, low carbon and alloy steels.
Typically, the steel fabricator should have comprehensive knowledge on the types of cutting and shaping techniques suitable for these materials. A wide range of tools can be used for this purpose such as welding machines, and even the computer for designing 3D shapes of the steel.
Welding is actually a form of fabrication whereby different parts of the metal are joined together using fusion, which is different from other lower temperature techniques of metal-joining such as soldering and brazing, these do not affect the base metal in any way by melting it.
One of the most common forms of welding is known as Shielded Metal Arc (SMA) fabrication, in this technique an electrode with flux around it is used to shield the weld puddle. Simultaneously, an electrode holder directs the electrode point as it steadily melts away steel parts. Slag will protect the weld puddle from environmental contamination during shaping. Sometimes, pressure may also be used together with heat, or on its own, for steel fabrication. Additionally, fabrication usually involves bending of metal which can be done through hammering, or even press brakes. Fabricators may employ these press brakes to shape or twist steel sheets into form.
Unlike other metals, steel can be made into various shapes due to its malleable nature. This material is often used in various aspects of construction such as structural framing, staircase guarding, bar joist and handrails amongst others. Steel fabrication is a common practice in most commercial building projects, it’s often used to meet the complex design requirements of construction.