Fabrication, also construction, is a term used to describe the method of operating on structural steel and converting it into something useful and aesthetic. Structural steel is a vital material used to construct several buildings in Australia plus minute parts of large structures mainly because of its stout and vigorous nature. Due to the spectacular features of structural steel, it’s one of the most valuable assets to many builders and sought after by them. Fabrication also enables the builder use structural steel for linear, angled and curved designs.
Structural Steel is mostly fabricated by cutting, bending and assembling processes. Fabrication of steel is not just another process of using steel as a material, it plays a huge role in the success of the manufacturing industry, particularly that of construction. In the world of architecture, the greatest buildings existing today are there because of the use of structural steel. Like the Sydney Opera House, one of the most iconic creations of a man in Australia was brought to life with the use of structural steel in construction. The place where you work right now is standing and existing just because someone decided to try using structural steel in their design. Also, some gadgets you operate like your laptops, refrigerator, television, and others are products of structural steel, sometimes they are not visibly seen, but act in the background as the backbone of that device. The processes top suppliers of structural steel go through in the production of well fabricated steel plates are listed and explained briefly below:
Cutting and Burning Method
This is considered as one of the oldest methods of fabricating structural steel in the manufacturing industry. Initially, “Saw” was one of the first instruments used in cutting metal, but as time evolved new ideas produced more advanced tools like plasma, water jet, laser and many more. Here, the steel is cut into the required shape and size before assembled together for its purpose. Here are brief details of 3 ways structural steel undergo cutting method;
- Plasma Cutting: This process is done by the use of electrically conductive material through an accelerated jet of hot plasma applied on the structural steel. Plasma cutting is frequently used in the fabrication of automotive repair and restoration outlets, industrial constructions, and salvage operations. Due to its high speed and accurate cuts combined with low cost, plasma cutting is a widely used method by steel suppliers in the production of structural steel
- Laser Cutting: This process involves a technology that uses a laser to cut through the structural steel and is generally used for fabricating industrial works. It is also used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. According to Wikipedia, the laser optics and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated. The laser beam is focused on the structural steel and cuts through as you move it by either melting, burning or vaporizing the unwanted parts thereby leaving the cut area with a good surface finish.
- Water Jet Cutter: This process is usually used on structural steel materials susceptible to excess heat or high temperature generated by other methods of cutting. It involves using a mixture of water and abrasive substance flowing through a water jet, and it is usually used for shaping and trimming edges of steel.
Bending or Folding Method
Folding is also a way of fabricating steel. This method was invented by Charles Lewton-Brian in 1980, he usually used it to make jewelry at the time before applying the technique on metals. The brake press is mostly used to create curves or bend parts of structural steel. The dies of the brake press help form the creases in metal by merely pinching it. This method is used mainly for structures that require some parts of structural steel in a particular shape or form.
Machining is the manipulation of metal by its removal from existing material. This is done by using machining tools like drill, boring tools or a lathe machine. This process involves utmost attention and care when handling machines to achieve the required design, shape or size. It is handled by well experienced professionals in the industry.
The process of steel fabrication has gone through various changes over the years in Australia. With the right tools, machinery, and skills you can fabricate structural steel and achieve your desired design.