Most industrial manufacturing units need to perform steel fabrication on a regular basis, either to convert their raw materials into new structural parts or to repair existing pieces of steel. Rather than hiring a welding team or investing in welding equipment, you might decide to opt to send the structural steel out to a fabrication shop so the work can be carried out on your behalf. Below is a guide to some common questions people have about the steel fabrication process.

What are the different ways of welding structural steel?

There are two main ways of welding structural steel. These are metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten arc welding (TAW). MIG welding involves feeding a wire electrode past an electrical arc, which melts and joins the metal wire to the surface of the steel to form a seal. TAW welding uses a tungsten electrode which is protected by an inert gas such as helium or argon. TAW welding is generally more precise than MIG welding.

Why is steel bathed in a chromium or zinc bath?

Steel fabrications are often bathed in a bath of chromium or zinc. This bath is designed to protect exposed areas of the fabrication, such as those parts which surround screws or rivets from rust. The welding and fabrication of structural metal may compromise the surface of the steel, leaving it more vulnerable to scratching. If the structural steel is going to be exposed within the interior of a building, this can pose a problem. The chromium or zinc bath helps to add strength to the metal, which protects it against damage, as well as oxidation. 

Is laser cutting an option for fabricated steel?

Some contractors have misconceptions about the impact of laser cutting. Once common misconception is that lasers can bend or damage the surface of steel during cutting; however, the kind of lasers which can melt steel are really only ever seen in Hollywood films. Modern laser cutting techniques which are used as part of the steel fabrication process do not produce enough heat to weaken steel. The benefits of laser cutting are that it cuts steel without leave jagged or rough edges, and it is very precise.

If you have any other questions about structural steel fabrication, you should contact a professional steel fabrication company. They will be happy to answer your questions to provide the best steel fabrication solution for you and your business.