Last Updated 1st August 2016: Steel fabrication represents a major industry that splits off into more specialist areas. As you are going to discover, there are a number of elements to this larger subject that must be understood, in order to have a clear idea of the main subject. In other words, as you learn more about this subject, you are also going to want to learn more about things like structural steelwork and steel frame buildings. You will also want to learn more about the ways in which this type of work impacts projects like metal staircases and mezzanine floors.
To begin with, you are going to want to learn more about steel fabrication in broad terms.
Explaining Steel Fabrication
Steel is an alloy. Several metals make up the mixture that creates steel, and your two primary ingredients are iron and carbon. You can also find minor amounts of Sulphur, phosphorus, oxygen, and silicon. To qualify as steel, the mixture must include less than two percent carbon, in addition to one percent manganese. Henry Bessemer was the man who invented the first true process for properly smelting steel in 1856.
There are essentially two ways in which steel fabrication occurs. The raw material approach represents one possibility. This is also known as the integrated route, and more than sixty percent of steel fabrication occurs with this method. With the raw material approach, your materials go through a process of heating, melting, and then mixing into the steels.
There is also a second method, which is considerably easier and faster than the one outlined above. The Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) method involves melting down recycled steel in the furnace. When this process has been completed, the steel will then be mixed with some other materials.
Regardless of the specific approach, there is no question that this work is extremely hot and highly difficult. Interestingly enough, China consumes and produces the most steel on an annual basis.
Explaining Structural Steelwork
Structural steel refers to steel that is shaped for use in construction work. They are load bearing members of a structural frame. You will find a number of different examples of structural steel, including H-beams, I-beams, and T-beams. As a collective, it can be referred to as structurals.
Designers and owners alike love everything structural brings to the table. When structural is chosen as the framing system, there are a variety of benefits that come to the project. With structural, you are taking advantage of something that offers a rapid construction process. Using structural, you can count on the project to be completed on time.
Lower project costs and aesthetic appeal are two more benefits you can look forward to. Grace and strength are just two of the visual qualities that structural steel emphasizes. At the same time, you are also talking about something that can be five to seven percent cheaper than concrete. Ease of design and high strength are additional benefits that are worth keeping in mind. The range of tools and concepts that can be realized within this category makes structural a preferred option amongst many. To be sure, you are also going to love the fact that structural steel also gives you a sustainable option. This steel is the most recycled material on the earth.
Structural also gives you the ability to work with a profoundly innovative material. Furthermore, you will want to be impressed by the fact that buildings made in this fashion can be modified to meet future demands. Whether the owner of the building changes their mind about something, or if new loading conditions must be considered, structural can meet the challenge. Efficiency is another notable benefit, particularly in terms of optimizing the space of the building itself.
Best of all, structural steel is readily available.
Explaining Steel Frame Buildings
Steel frame buildings consist of skeleton frames, which includes both vertical steel columns and horizontal I-beams. Construction occurs in a rectangular grid, which is designed to provide support for the floors, the roof, and the walls. All of these things are going to be attached to the frame. Through the development of the techniques utilized in the creation of steel frame buildings, the construction of the skyscraper became possible.
Mild steel is the form of steel that is most commonly utilized in the construction of these buildings. With this extremely strong form of steel, you could hang approximately twenty tons from a circular bar of steel that is one-inch/twenty-five millimeters in diameter. As you can imagine, something this strong can be extremely useful in the creation of steel frame buildings.
A steel frame structure is a common sight. You can find these structures utilized in the creation of a high rise building, an industrial building, a warehouse building, a residential building, or even with many different types of temporary structures. All of these structures are going to feature considerable strength, low weight, and materials that allowed for rapid construction. As you can also see, all of these materials also give you the ability to work with a highly flexible concept. A steel frame building can be something that’s capable of standing the test of time, working to house a massive number of individuals. At the same time, you can also create steel frame buildings that can be set up and taken down with absolute ease.
There are several different types of steel building construction. Conventional steel fabrication involves cutting members of steel to the ideal lengths. At this point, the workers will then weld the cut members to create the ideal structure. Bolted steel construction works with steel fabricators who will create and finish painted steel components. These components will then be shipped out to the job site. At this point, the components will then be bolted into their proper place. A pre-engineered building is a good example of buildings that are created through bolted steel construction.
Finally, light gauge steel construction is the third type of construction that you are going to want to consider. You can commonly find this construction type with small buildings and residential structures. You can find these buildings throughout North America, but you can also find them in Europe.
Explaining Metal Staircases
When it comes to steel fabrication, the creation of metal staircases is a great example of what we are talking about. As you can imagine, staircases must endure the constant traffic of varying weights and groups of people. It has to do this day after day. As you can imagine, you are going to want to have a staircase that can adhere to the strictest safety standards imaginable. This is where the fabrication process can prove to be enormously useful.
Through steel fabrication, you can have metal staircases that will have the ability to stand the test of time. Fabrication will result in a lightweight, endlessly strong product. Regardless of the number of people you may have on your metal stairs, you will know you are using load bearing materials.
Not only would a metal staircase along these lines prove to be strong, but it would also prove to have extraordinary durability. You can begin to see why fabrication is the process trusted by so many who need the best metal staircases to be found anywhere.
As you know at this point, fabrication also represents an extremely flexible concept. What this means is that when it comes to a metal staircase, there are a number of different products and possibilities that you can consider. Architectural stairs and rails is just one example of products you can find along these lines. Custom ornamental stairs/rails is another example, and you can also look to such products as custom metal stairs/rails, metal picket rails, and grating stairs. You can also keep in mind such options as a metal pipe rail, a metal safety guard, or a custom platform/support. All of these examples of metal staircases are worth keeping in mind.
Fabrication gives you the opportunity to create staircases that will suit your needs. Whether your staircase is going to deal with small amounts of traffic during specific times in the day, or if you need to have staircases that can handle a constant, heavy flow of human traffic, you can use fabrication to create the staircase you require.
Do you have a multi-floor structure? If so, then you may need to include metal pan stairs in your plans. This is a type of stairs that you can find in a variety of structures. They can be particularly prevalent in large industrial structures, or with the stairs that connect one floor of a parking garage to the next one. Once again, you will want to keep in mind that metal staircases need to meet a variety of safety standards. You will also need something that is suited to the type of building that you own. To that end, the fabrication process is going to give you the results you need. This is why you can so many examples of these staircases in so many different types of buildings.
Explaining Mezzanine Floors
Mezzanine floors are also intermediate floors. It is also a flooring solution that will give you the perfect ability to utilize something that is both lightweight and powerful against any and all possibilities related to fire. Think of a balcony that exists between two floors, and you can picture a mezzanine floor. It is a type of flooring that can prove to be highly essential in a variety of industrial situations. You can certainly find them in a variety of warehouses. If you need such flooring, then you are also going to need the process of steel fabrication. This process can be used to create the steel frame buildings and metal staircases that are so essential to so many. The same fabrication process can also be applied to the work involved in creating mezzanine floors.
Fabrication also allows for a considerable element of customization. This means that you can have the flooring (or whatever the case may be) customized to meet your particular buildings. Safety demands, in addition to the size of the building in question, are going to play keen roles in determining the type of flooring that you are going to need. It makes sense then to work with a metal that comes from such a flexible process. Fabricated steel can be used to create a wide variety of different conclusions. Any company you are going to work with in this arena must be able to work with your requirements, as well.
What are the requirements and uses of the flooring? When you can answer these questions accurately, you can begin to come up with an ideal plan for your flooring. You are then going to pass this on to a company that knows and appreciates the staggering potential of fabricated steel. The company will then work to create a product that is going to meet all of your highly specific needs. Steel fabrication can help with all of this, when it comes to getting the best in mezzanine flooring. You will have something that will not only meet your work requirements, but it will also meet any safety considerations that must be kept in mind, as well. Obviously, you want to make the best use of your space. You also understand that your space has unique considerations that should not be forgotten. When you work with a company that knows how to create highly specific, perfect mezzanine floors, you will be taking advantage of a solution that will have you covered on every possible front.
Mezzanine floors also come with a number of benefits that should be considered. For one thing, you are talking about one of the most straightforward construction processes to be found anywhere. Having a mezzanine floor added isn’t even really construction. It is more of an installation process. Working with a company that knows how to deliver the final product you are looking for ensures the installation process will go well. This cost-effective solution can make it possible to avoid going down the costly road of actually engaging a construction project.