Steel fabrication is the building of steel structures by cutting, bending, and assembling. Steel cutting is done by sawing, shearing, chiselling, torching (such as oxy-fuel torches or plasma torches) and CNC cutters. Steel bending can be done by hammering, press brakes and similar tools. Modern steel fabricators utilize press brakes to bend steel into form. Assembling of steel fabrications is normally done by welding, binding with adhesives, riveting or threaded fasteners. Structural steel and sheet metal are the usual starting materials for fabrication and structural work. Structural steelwork fabricators and engineers offer a comprehensive service which will normally include the design, supply, fabrication, and erection of all types of steel framed structures.
Reputable structural steelwork fabricators and engineers are members of the Steel Construction Institute, The British Constructional Steelwork Association and The Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors. The associations are responsible for high standards of business ethics and safety in the UK steel industry, helping customers to find premium products and service, with no compromise where safety is concerned. When using the free quote finding service on MyJobQuote always remember to check if the tradesman or company belong to a reputable trade association, plus ask for references and check with previous customers to find out if they were satisfied with the work.
This is particularly important if using steel as a supporting or load bearing structure in your home as the potential problems using a dodgy tradesman are not just costly, they could be potentially fatal! When choosing a specialist for structural steelwork, be aware that many companies specialise in particular types of project, so try, wherever possible, to work with a company which had constructed similar projects to yours in the past
Welding is a process of joining 2 metal parts by melting the adjoining surfaces and adding a filler. Welds play a crucial part in almost every steel structure, often they carry the entire load so there is no room for error and every single weld needs to be done correctly. All welds need to be inspected to ensure proper weld bead and achieving this join the result of correct welding machine settings, preparing the welded surfaces and the skills and experience of the welder. Welding is the main focus of steel fabrication, most formed and machined parts are assembled and tack welded into place then a skilled welder completes welding per the engineering drawings.
Special precautions may be needed to prevent warping due to heat, such as using less weld, welding in a staggered fashion, using a stout fixture, covering in sand during cooling, plus various straightening procedures after welding. Straightening is normally done with an Oxy-acetylene torch and heat is selectively applied in a slow, linear sweep. Highly skilled welder can remove significant warping using this technique.
Steel is an oxidising material that will, eventually, without fail, rust. Rust is caused when iron and oxygen react together in the presence of moisture. Rusting is highly detrimental to the strength of steel, so it is essential to prevent rust from forming. Structural steel fabricators will offer priming and galvanising services to prevent premature rusting. In addition they can improve the fire resistance of steel structures using fire resistant paint which can extend the time it takes to melt steelwork.
Typical complete costs for structural steel projects such as a single skin steel garage with steel cladding and anti-condensation coating along with rainwater goods will be around £2500 for a 5m x 2.5m building with a single rollershutter door. A double steel garage 6m x 6m with two rollershutter doors will cost around £4000 whereas a triple garage or storage unit with three rollershutter doors will cost around £12,000.