What Fabrication Techniques Are Used For Structural Steel?

Steel is a popular metal used to create structural supports for buildings of all sizes. Steel is extremely durable and is capable of resisting corrosion.

In order to be transformed into usable components, raw steel must go through a fabrication process. There are three primary techniques used when fabricating structural steel.

A working knowledge of these techniques will help you better utilize all the tools at your disposal when designing and using structural steel elements in the future.

1. Cutting

Cutting is a fabrication process that is used to trim larger pieces of structural steel into smaller components. It requires specialized tools to be able to cut through steel without causing any significant damage or creating a safety hazard.

Some fabricators use torches to weaken the integrity of the steel and separate sections from one another. Other fabricators utilize computer numerical control (CNC) machines to achieve precise cuts. Other cutting tools include pressurized water jets and lasers.

The exact tools used to make cuts are based on the end design of the steel component being fabricated.

2. Bending

Once raw steel has been cut down to size, fabricators can start to bend the steel into a shape that will meet their design needs. Just as cutting requires specialized tools, fabricators have a host of tools available when it comes to bending steel.

The most basic bending tool is a hammer used to manually manipulate the steel into shape. Mechanized hammers are also available for use.

Press brakes are quickly becoming the most popular method of bending in fabrication shops. A press brake can clamp a piece of steel between a set of dies that force the metal into the corresponding shape when pressure is applied.

3. Assembling

Cutting and bending are techniques to help shape individual components made from structural steel. The final step in the fabrication process is the assembling of these components.

A range of techniques are used when assembling structural steel. A fabricator can use a special crimping tool to create a seam that joins two steel components. Screws and other fasteners can be used to secure steel components to one another.

Welding is also a common assembling technique used when fabricating structural steel products.

An experienced fabricator will be able to evaluate the finished design to determine which assembling technique will achieve the greatest results.

Structural steel components must go through several different fabrication techniques before they can become a cohesive and reliable whole.

To learn more, contact a structural steel fabrication manufacturing facility in your area.