What is steel fabrication?

Man of steel. Nerves of steel. Steel magnolias. What do these popular phrases have in common? They all highlight steel’s strength. It’s no secret steel is known for its durability and is an essential construction and engineering material. But just like Superman, steel sometimes has an air of mystery. But because steel is used in so many aspects of our everyday lives, let’s get to know this alloy hero and how it’s made and fabricated. 

Steel Fabrication 101

1. What is steel made of?

This powerhouse iron alloy is made of a winning formula of less than 1% of each of the following elements: carbon, manganese, sulfur, silicon, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, copper, vanadium, niobium, tin, and phosphorus. 

2. How is steel made?

Simply put, the raw materials get mixed and melted in an electric arc furnace then shaped into a billet (a solid block) which will later be re-heated and forced through a die (like a block or mold) to make its final shape. This must be done by skilled iron workers, who will use a variety of tactics to accomplish the primary process of creating steel. 

3. How is steel used?

The secondary process of steel production is steel fabrication. “Fabrication” means shaping steel into usable forms. It can be shaped by welding, machining, and cutting. Welding can do double duty and is used to combine and/or shape steel pieces. Machining shaves or reduces steel into a desired form via a machine like a lathe, mill, or drill. Finally, shaping can also be done by cutting with a saw, a water jet, plasma cutter, laser, and other specialized tools. 

Steel fabrication is a specialized process

The bottom line: no matter what processes are used to make and shape steel, they require precision. Steel fabrication leaves very little room for error, which is why it’s critical to only work with a company with experience in this field.

Metal Works is an AISC Certified Fabricator, which means our team has been trained and tested to provide the highest quality and consistency in our work. And with over 30 years in the industry, it’s one of the many reasons our clients rely on us for steel fabrication.

Because of the specialized training it requires, steel fabrication is a niche skill. And with residential, industrial, and commercial construction projects on the rise, steel is in demand. Steel is likewise used in other areas like the government, public works, wastewater treatment, private industries looking to build warehouses, fabrication, and manufacturing, and local DIY projects.

If you have a steel fabrication project, you can turn to Metal Works for all of your production and service needs. Contact us here for more information!

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