Custom Steel Fabrication

Steel fabrication is a highly in-demand industry and the level of skill required in producing fabricated products means that working in this field can command high wages. The fabrication of steel is seen all around us in everyday life; everything from small 20mm screws to large suspension bridges rely on fabricated steel to produce the finished article.

Custom steel fabrication is an area that requires a lot of skill and expertise; it is used by numerous clients to get the exact results they need on a particular individual project. Not all companies can offer the services of custom fabrication but those that do, will often provide a full service that begins at initial concept and ends with final installation.

What is involved with custom steel fabrication?

The process of custom steel fabrication differs to general fabrication in which the same products are produced on a regular basis. The custom side of things is popular in the construction industry with uniquely designed buildings and bridges becoming more and more apparent in cities and towns across the UK. Artwork and ornamental work is also popular in customisation, with unique one off pieces used for various purposes.

The process of a custom project will begin with the design and drawing of the project, this is often done by a draughtsman from a fabrication company working alongside a client to capture their ideas. The drawings will be done in 2D and 3D versions and once finalised for go ahead they are passed on to the fabricators.

The fabricators job is to work from these engineered drawing to produce a steel design based on the specifications provided. They do this by cutting, forming and welding the steel.

The cutting process will create the right sized pieces of steel needed for the project, this is done in different ways including shearing, notching or punching. A modern method of cutting that is being implemented by more and more steel fabrication companies is that of laser cutting. This involves the use of a high energy plasma torch combined with electricity and inert gas to produce a high powered pressure of stream which can cut through various types of steel.

The forming process will help to shape the metal to the requirements of the client’s drawings. Forming involves the use of hydraulic press brakes, rolling machines and specially shaped dies to achieve the desired shape.

Welding is the part where the design on the drawing begins to take shape in real metal. Welding is done to attach the cut and formed pieces of metal together. The most common methods of welding include:

  • Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding
  • Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding
  • Arc welding

Each method involves the use of electricity to create shocks to melt the steel; the inert gas which is used will then protect the weld puddle.

The final part of custom steel fabrication is the assembly of the steel. Depending on the size of the project this can be done in the fabrication shop or on-site where trained assemblers will fasten the steel pieces in place.

 

 

 

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