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What Is Steel Fabrication?

Keith Koons
Keith Koons

Steel fabrication is the process of cutting, bending, and shaping steel alloy to create a product. Unlike various types of welding in which items are repaired or strengthened, steel fabrication takes many pieces of metal and attaches them together in the form of a predefined shape and size. This process requires a skilled technician who has experience in taking raw components and transforming them into marketable items, and there is often very little room for error. Industrial facilities use steel fabrication to create everything from vehicular parts to household appliances.

A machinist employed within the steel fabrication industry would first have to gauge the original shape of the raw material which might exist in the form of a flat plate, pre-shaped channels, pipes, or many other starting forms. Subsequently, the appropriate process of metal fabrication could then be completed using heat, pressure and electricity as applicable. While a large percentage of this hot and labor-intensive work is achieved through the raw material approach for steel cutting and welding, a small fraction of it occurs through the faster and more efficient method of Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Both processes share the common procedure of first melting down the metals by subjecting them to very high temperatures.

Steel I-beam.
Steel I-beam.

Once the steel has been processed, the next step to be taken by the steel fabricator entails determining its shape. There are two factors which govern this outcome, namely the software package and the equipment available in the machine shop. In this regard, most of the metal fabrication companies prefer using cutting-edge technology to keep track of the operation and maintain the proficiency of the process. Equally essential is the steel fabricator equipment, and most companies rely on laser steel-cutting devices for acquiring a smooth edge for superior accuracy. Processes such as galvanizing, sand blasting, and painting may also used during steel fabrication.

A galvanized steel bucket.
A galvanized steel bucket.

The outcome of the labor within a fabrication company is visible in the forms of sturdy steel frames, cutwork grills, and decorative motifs, all of which have numerous commercial and industrial applications. Steel fabricated beams are also used in hand-rails, ladders, pipe supports and many different types of stairways. Right from kitchen sinks to automobiles to bridges, it is steel fabrication which makes the world a more comfortable place by providing strong and durable material.

Discussion Comments


When ordering metal, most people specify a particular size and shape of the material, and the processes employed to ensure that the raw metal meets this specification are varied and broadly flexible.

For jobs which are too large or deal with, or for materials which are too robust to make manual metal cutting a practical proposition, machine cutting has to be applied in various different forms. It is essential to showcase this subject, which has been not talked about much. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

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    • Steel I-beam.
      Steel I-beam.
    • A galvanized steel bucket.
      A galvanized steel bucket.
    • A fabricator is responsible for connecting various parts together to form a strong structure.
      By: gmg9130
      A fabricator is responsible for connecting various parts together to form a strong structure.
    • Steel fabricated beams are used to manufacture ladders.
      By: Winai Tepsuttinun
      Steel fabricated beams are used to manufacture ladders.