Fabricating steel is a useful process for many businesses. Structural Steel Fabrication Melbourne involves bending, cutting, and assembling steel to create different products. The steel fabricators take many pieces of steel and attach them together in the form of a predefined size and shape. Here are all the things you need to know about structural steel fabrication:
Structural Steel Fabricators
Fabricating steel requires skilled professionals who have experience in taking raw components and transforming them into various marketable products. There is no room for mistakes when fabricating structural steel products. For heavy industrial projects, fabricating steel is a must. It is a difficult task to fabricate steel and so even if you want to build a walkway, a small footbridge, or a staircase, you will have to take help from professional steel fabricators.
Steel Fabrication Process
The companies that provide structural steel fabrication, work in different projects from building fire escape routes to homes, tower legs, and door frames. The professional steel fabricators make use of machinery to weld and bend steel to transform it into different sizes and shapes. The structural steel fabrication process includes three main steps:
Cutting – this is done by shearing, sawing or chiseling with the use of tools such as laser cutters, plasma torches, or water jets
Bending – this is done by hammering that can either be done manually or can be machine powered
Assembling – means to assemble the molded parts to form complete structures, welding procedure is used. In this procedure, the structural steel fabricators apply heat slowly to the fabricated parts and join them together. There are other ways of assembling such as binding together with the help of adhesives or by riveting of threaded fasteners
Determining the Shape
After cutting, bending, and assembling steel, the fabricators should determine its shape. The major factors that play a role in determining the shape are the various tools and CNC and the available equipment. Most structural steel fabricators make use of the cutting-edge technology which helps keep track of the operation and maintain the proficiency of the task. Some fabricators use the laser steel-cutting devices to achieve a smooth edge.
After all this is done, the structural steel fabricators should determine its shape. To shape, fabricators make use of a software package and the equipment available in the machine shop. Most fabricators make use of the cutting-edge technology to keep a track of the operation and maintain the proficiency of the entire process. Laser-cutting devices give a smooth edge. Painting and sandblasting can also be used during structural steel fabrication.
Structural steel fabrication is a multifaceted process that requires specialized knowledge, skills, and resources to complete successfully. To create structural steel beams, components, or equipment, a good metal fabricator follows a specific process:
Step 1: Ideation
The ideation stage can be as creative or as standard as the client desires. When you partner with a fabricator who provides custom structural steel solutions, you have the freedom to order unique pieces specific to your project.
Step 2: Blueprint/Drawing Creation
During ideation, your vendor will listen to you and draw up blueprints using specialized engineering software. You can come prepared with your blueprints or drawings for this stage. Review your vendor’s blueprints to verify correct requirements, code compliance, and specifications.
Step 3: Convert Blueprints Into Shop Drawings
Your vendor will convert project blueprints into shop drawings for the completion of the order. The shop drawings and plans will adhere to the logistics of your project, such as deadlines and budget. Shop drawings are what the manufacturer uses to bring the blueprints to fruition.
Step 4: Cut and Drill Steel Beams
The vendor will have special tools, such as saws, shears, lasers, punches, notches, and plasmas, to cut and drill the steel beams according to project blueprints.
Step 5: Piece Etching
Your vendor will etch each piece with a unique part number and plate location. This makes final assembly on-site fast, easy, and accurate, eliminating costly mix-ups and project delays.
Step 6: Component Assembly
Once your vendor finishes cutting and forming the components of your project, the team will weld and assemble the pieces. At this stage, the fabrication team will check to make sure all pieces assemble correctly and match order specifications.
Step 7: Custom Part Machination
If you request any custom metal fabrication, your vendor will create custom parts at this stage. Custom parts are ideal when you need components to fit a specific structure or product. You may need custom part machination
Step 8: Complete Assembly
Your vendor will complete a full assembly of your project, if possible. In some cases, the partial assembly may apply. Complete assembly ensures all parts of the order are present and functioning. Changes at this stage are rare and only occur if there has been a mistake in a previous step.
Step 9: Shipping Preparation
After a successful complete assembly, the team will disassemble the project and prepare components for either finishing or direct shipment. Your vendor should do this quickly and efficiently, packing the components in a way that makes project erection at the site easy.
Step 10: Component Finishing
If you request special paint, powder coat, sandblasting, or another finish, your vendor, will apply this last. Industrial assemblies often require a certain finish to comply with federal regulations and compliance codes.
Step 11: Project Ships to Site
At this point, your project is complete! Your vendor will follow your previously agreed-upon shipping arrangement, sending your completed, disassembled components directly to your site location. Ask for tracking details to ensure your project arrives on time.
Step 12: Erection of Final Project
Once the components arrive, your build team erects the final project. Your vendor will have made assembly easy, with prefabricated components that fit together with minimal labour needed.
Structural steel fabrication has applications across various industrial sectors such as the aerospace industry, construction industry, manufacturing industry, mining industry, energy sector, transport, automotive, and shipbuilding. Following are some of the structural steel products used industry-wise.
Why do you use it?
To shape the structures, fabricators make use of software and cutting-edge equipment – a design or a BIM software also helps them to keep a track of the operation and maintain the proficiency of the entire process.
So now that we know the WHAT and HOW of structural steel fabrication, we go to the WHY of using steel for your structures.
Affordability – As compared to other metal elements, steel is cheaper and stronger and this makes it more affordable and much opted for homeowners. However, some firms sell at high prices to new homeowners. To avoid such exploitation it is important to do a thorough research of what is available in the market.
Prefabrication ability – Structural steel plans are usually pre-fabricated before they are brought to construction locations. Pre-fabrication lessens the amount of job that could be done during construction hence the building takes less time to complete. It is such an advantage that makes steel the best to use for your structural constructions.
Low Maintenance – Use of some materials other than steel, for example, wooden materials, provide needless nuisances during maintenance. Wooden material is prone to bug attacks and breaks easily when exposed to natural calamities. During repairs of such materials, it becomes a real hassle and most companies or individuals are forced to replace the structure altogether.
Steel, on the other hand, is easier to repair and last for a very long time comparatively.
Appearance – Besides being a sturdy and a reliable option, it also looks neat and elegant if designed creatively through the use of a design software before it is being prefabricated. Using steel is also environmentally friendly since they can be reused and recycled. Also, less energy is used during the production of steel thus carbon production is low or not present at all.
Structural steel fabrication is used in the construction of buildings, bridges, vehicle parts, and home appliances. Using structural steel fabrication in buildings and homes is great, as it offers great durability and strength.