Where is steel used? Steel is used in and out of our homes, in fact almost everywhere you look, and for good reason.
You may be familiar with some, if not all, of the below:
- Vehicles – cars, trucks, SUVs, motorhomes, buses, trains.
- Appliances – refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, dishwashers
- Utensils – forks, spoons, knives
- Medical – surgical stainless steel, implantable devices
- Construction – commercial and residential
- Agriculture – tractors, ploughs, combines, milking equipment
- Transportation – shipping, roads, buses, trains, container lorries
- Power generation – generators, wire, transmission lines
- Infrastructure – roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, grids
- National Defence – armaments, military vehicles, and ships
With all of this being made in steel, you can see why any industry that utilises the metal, will require the services of a steel fabricator.
So why is steel one of the most popular materials?
Thanks to the materials versatility, strength, quality and overall value, it is in use in so many industries like construction and manufacturing. Without fabricators there wouldn’t be an opportunity to enjoy these types of benefits.
What is the Steel fabrication process and what is it used for?
Steel fabrication services have become more and more efficient and reliable over the years. This is mainly since the introduction of high-tech 3D computer software with the latest and greatest technology. It allows monitoring and controlling of delicate pieces of equipment like hydefinition plasma cutters, laser cutters, routers and welders. 3D modelling has made it much easier to digitise and visualise the final product, and can help to avoid costly errors.
What are the most common fabrication processes?
A section of steel that has been cut prior to fabrication is much easier to work with compared to one that hasn’t. Steel cutting for fabrication can be done using a variety of techniques, including – flame cutting, circular saws and plasma cutting. It can be either a manual hand cut or using a CNC mechanised cutting table often referred to as a profile cutting table.
This technique is used a lot in the process of steel fabrication, when both attaching steel fittings and fixtures, as well as preparing connections that are going to be installed. This technique of fabrication melts the primary material, as well as what the material is being attached to with extremely high heat. Once this is achieved, the materials cool and solidify forming a solid join that can be utilised in a variety of applications.
Using a variety of bending and rolling techniques by the fabricator, beautifully curved elements are achieved, that can be seen on many every day steel constructions. 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.
Common job titles in steel fabrication
Welders, solderers, cutters, and brazers use equipment to cut and join metal parts. Most of these positions require some technical education through high school courses, vocational schools, community colleges, or similar programs. They also receive on-the-job training.
To be a welder fabricator you will require an eye for detail, the ability to operate equipment, and the ability to read blueprints and diagrams.
If you are a steel fabricator looking for equipment, we have a large stock of new and used welding and cutting machinery.
Use the search bar on our website to find your favourite brand like Hypertherm or ESAB – Miller or Lincoln to upgrade your fabrication shop.
Author: Claire Spillane – Director of Westermans International, Buyers and Sellers of Used welding and cutting equipment – Mum and Nana