Steel fabrication is the process of converting pieces of steel into usable shapes and structures, typically through the process of machining, cutting, brushing, guillotining, rolling, etc. Most steel fabrication companies in Gauteng utilise the same processes. These will be further discussed below. First, let’s look at why steel fabrication is important and who utilises the products that the steel fabrication companies in Gauteng manufacture.

We may not realise it at first glance, but majority of the structures around us are either made entirely from steel or have been manufactured using these materials. If not for steel fabrication companies, we would not be living the lives we currently live. For example, steel fabrication is the reason we have access to vehicles, grills, certain stairs, balconies, railings, etc. Steel fabrication plays a vital role in the development of the industrial, commercial and residential sectors.

There are several different industries that rely on steel fabrication companies to produce the products they require. Some of these industries include the automobile industry, construction, shipbuilding, mining, civil infrastructure, etc. Common products manufactured by said steel fabrication companies are flanges, bars and pipes, cylinders, steel sheets and various channels.

Now that you understand what steel fabrication is, as well as why it is vital for the success of various industries, let’s look at the actual processes that steel fabrication companies utilise to create the different steel products.

Cutting

Steel fabrication companies use a variety of tools to cut the steel, the most common one’s being laser cutting or hi-definition plasma cutting. These two different machines assist the fabricators by either allowing for longer plates to be cut, or by providing top-quality cut steel with few tapered edges. Another means of cutting is by guillotining. If steel fabrication companies have guillotining facilities, they can slit steel plates up to 12mm thick and 3m wide.

Rolling and Bending

Many modern architects have started incorporating curved steel designs in their structures. Therefore, rolling and bending techniques are used to create different shapes without having to add or remove any of the material. The force alone is able to change the shape of the plate according to the client’s request.

Machining

Steel fabrication companies have highly experienced and skilled fabricators that ensure all drilling, tapping and machining is done to the best of the company’s ability, according to their quality standards. Machining typically includes the removal of material to create a desired shape or product. Gears, bolts and screws are manufactured using the machining process.

Chamfering

This process is often used by steel fabrication companies to prepare the steel for welding. However, it can also be used to create a groove or bevel in the steel.

Brushing

Once a steel section has been completed, fabrication companies polish the finished product with a coating to protect it from any scratches or damage that may be caused during handling, as well as to provide a custom look or aesthetic. The coating used would depend on the requirements of the client or architect.