Understanding Structural Steel Fabrication Processes

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Understanding Structural Steel Fabrication Processes

understanding structural steel fabrication

There are several processes that are commonly utilized to bolster the qualities of steel or other metals across various industries, and one of the most well-known in the steel realm in particular is structural steel fabrication. Generally used for larger structures and construction projects, structural steel fabrication is a valuable process that’s often necessary for your job.

At Wasatch Steel, we’re here to offer the very best selection of steel products and steel services around Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, and fabrication needs are just some of those that we provide quality materials for. Here are some basics on what structural steel fabrication is and why it’s so commonly used, plus the key parts of the steel fabrication process and why they’re useful.

Defining Structural Steel Fabrication

For those just learning about steel fabrication, it’s important to first understand what this process entails. Structural steel fabrication is a process by which large pieces of metal – usually some form of steel – are cut, formed, and assembled into structural components like beams and girders for the purpose of building or reinforcing larger structures. It’s a key part of many construction projects in both commercial and industrial applications, and depending on the project, fabricated steel components may be used for anything from offices to bridges.

The Benefits of Steel Fabrication

The benefits associated with structural steel fabrication are vast. Not only is this process cost-effective due to its ability to mass produce large numbers of parts quickly and accurately, but it also allows for increased flexibility when it comes to design, as it is much easier to make changes and modifications after fabrication than with other construction processes.

Additionally, steel is also incredibly durable and safe – making it ideal for building structures that will last a long time in high-traffic areas or be exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Key Pieces of the Structural Steel Fabrication Process

There are several major parts of the structural steel fabrication process that need to be considered:

  • Shop drawings: In nearly every case, the first step in the steel fabrication process is for engineers to create shop drawings that provide detailed specifications and instructions of how the project should look and function when completed. These will include structure details, measurements, and other instructions that the fabricator must follow. They will also include other important details like building codes, budgetary constraints, and other requirements that need to be met.
  • Cutting: Once the shop drawings are complete, the next step is for the fabricator to cut and shape the steel components according to the specifications outlined in those drawings. This process involves using a variety of tools like saws, shears, drills and more in order to make sure that each piece is cut to the required size and shape.
  • Processing: There are also several other forms of processing that may be used to alter the formation of the steel. These may include bending, forming, and rolling, each of which can be used to create the desired shape and structure.
  • Welding: In some cases, the fabricator may need to weld pieces of steel together in order to create the desired structure. This can be done using various forms of welding including arc, MIG and TIG, depending on the requirements of the job.
  • Finishing: There are several different types of finishes that can be used to either protect the steel from corrosion or to give it a more aesthetically pleasing look. Common types of finishes include painting, powder coating, and galvanizing.
  • Transportation and delivery: Many also include transportation and delivery as part of the overall process, making sure that each piece is delivered to the job site in a timely and safe manner.

Understanding (And Estimating) Steel Fabrication Costs

If your project requires steel fabrication, it’s important to understand what the costs will be. This includes not only the cost of materials but also labor costs associated with each step of the process and any other related expenses such as transportation and delivery.

It’s also important to have a good idea of how long each part of the process will take in order to accurately estimate your overall project timeline and ensure that all deadlines are met.

At Wasatch Steel, our experienced team of professionals is here to help you find the perfect solution for your steel fabrication needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your project a success around Salt Lake City or any other part of Utah.