Steel fabrication, from cutting to welding, is a complex yet fascinating process that involves various machines and techniques. Take a look at how steel is made and how sheet metal is formed into useful and strong components for buildings, automobiles, and tools.
Steel production begins with the extraction of iron ore. Then, fabricators combine it with carbon to form a robust alloy. The many types of steel have distinct properties, making them suitable for different applications.
Structural steel, known for its strength and durability, is common in infrastructure construction projects. This metal is characterized by its resistance to corrosion and ease of sanitization. It has extensive use in cutlery, surgical instruments, and automotive components. Mild steel, on the other hand, is a low-carbon variant that is easy to shape and weld, making it a popular choice for making car parts.
Sheet Metal and Fabrication
After producing steel, it can become sheet metal. This process requires fabricators to heat and roll the steel until it reaches the desired thickness. This sheet then becomes the raw material for fabrication shops.
In metal fabrication shops, operators use machines like press brakes, laser cutters, and stamping machines to manipulate sheet metal into the desired shape. These machines let manufacturers roll, stamp, bend, or cut steel depending on the requirements of their project. Rolling involves passing the steel through a series of rollers to achieve the required curvature. Stamping is a process where a die creates patterns or shapes on the steel surface. Operators bend sheet metal with a machine press that creates precise angles in the steel by force.
Cutting steel requires specialized knowledge to create straight, curved, or angled cuts in sheets of steel for use in large-scale projects.
Steel Components Post Fabrication
After a metal fabricator bends or cuts steel components, they go to the construction, industrial, or manufacturing location that ordered them. For instance, the automotive industry uses steel to create car bodies, while the construction industry uses it for building bridges, railways, and skyscrapers.
The cutting and welding processes in steel fabrication are testaments to human ingenuity. Understanding the work that goes into fabricating steel components for buildings, bridges, cars, and medical supplies enhances our appreciation for these items. It underscores the importance of the metal fabrication industry.