Exploring 7 common methods used to Fabricate Steel
Are you aware that steel can be manipulated into anything from wafer-thin plates to mega structures used for support? Do you think steel fabrication is an easy job? Well, it is not! Contrary to popular belief, it requires a highly skilled team with the finesse to achieve precision to the last millimetre in dimensions. Steel, when used in construction, helps to reduce the environmental impact, because it is easily manufactured and fabricated, durable, available abundantly and lasts a long time.
In the construction and manufacturing business, customers seek top quality, reliability, superior design and customisation. Clients require highly qualified, skilled industry professionals, who have complete understanding and expertise in the field of Steel Fabrication and General Machining. Wainwright Engineering services are steel fabricators in Melbourne, who started their business operations with an expert team of engineers. With 60 years of experience, they are known for their exemplary standards, eye for detail, efficient and friendly services, along with delivering unique products to meet any type of engineering manufacturing requirements.
Extensive Range of Techniques used in Steel Fabrication
With increasing industry needs, there is a tendency to lean rapidly towards employing automated processes. To assist these processes, it is critical to choose modern material handling technologies. In such cases – the transport, storage and control of goods require installation of durable metals conveyors like a roller conveyor. Conveyor Systems using roller conveyors employ procedures like welding, rolling and forming, and other such processes to shape and fit the parts. Let us explore some of these techniques in detail:
- Cutting: It is done using specialised tools like oxy-fuel, computer numeral cutters (CNC machining) like lasers, flame cleaning using plasma torches, saws, and blast cleaning with jets of water. Some of these machines can cost over a million dollars. Plasma torches can achieve very high degrees of temperature, and is very effective in cutting metal. It is believed that using a plasma torch is very dangerous, but with special precautions and employing adequate safety standards, the risk is negligible. Using computer programming, the dimensions of the metal to be cut can be obtained by using manual or automated tools.
- Folding: Some metal parts require bending. So, manual or power hammers with press brakes are commonly used. Press Brake has two C- frames that connect to a table underneath, and above is a beam that is mobile. This is not always used unless specified. You can coin or air-bend metal sheets into the desired shape. This offers a cleaner and better bend. It has several types of dies.
- Machining: It is where you remove the material from the metal workpiece. The metal undergoes procedures like drilling, cutting, shaping, forming using automated saws, mills and lathe. Because it involves removing something, it is a subtractive process. You are trying to get a predetermined shape. Remember, when we spoke about fabrication? Fabrication adds value. Machining subtracts it.
- Welding: It is done to join two or three pieces of steel together. There are several types of welding processes that can be used on steel, for a range of applications.
- Shearing: Fabricating a long cut on the metal body is called shearing. It is performed on metal sheets. Metal pieces are cut sans the use of melting or burning; metal pieces are cut without the formation of chips. It is also termed as die cutting.
- Punching: What do you do when you try to make a hole in something? You use a punch, right? So, similarly, to make a hole in steel, you use a punch and die. The difference being, the punch and die have to be harder than the material in which you are making that hole. Get it?
- Finishing: In this process, the completed surface of the metal is altered to achieve the desired property such as appearance, adhesion, vulnerability, wear resistance, electrical conductivity, blemish removal and surface friction control.
These are some of the basic fabrication methods used commonly, which are important in forming the desired end product. Usage of standard raw material will ensure top quality and structural integrity. You can now gauge the complex level of work involved. If someone tells you it’s easy, you know now why it’s not!