Steel fabrication goes on in nearly every Australian city and large town nowadays. It is used for a wide variety of purposes, with anything from sets of railings to children's play equipment being made. Steel is, of course, a highly versatile metal that can be put to a huge number of uses, which is why it is so often chosen for fabrication projects. However, in order to shape it to its various purposes, a number of different forming techniques are needed. What are the most common ones used by steel fabricators today?
To make a section of steel the right size, it is essential to cut it to exact dimensions. These days, steel cutting means using some extremely high-tech equipment for a fine degree of accuracy. Laser-cutting machines are now often used by steel fabricators, for example, but there are other options. Steel is also often cut with conventional saws. High-pressure water jets are also sometimes used to cut surprisingly thick sections of steel today, as well.
Shearing is a form of cutting but it is very different from the sorts of technology outlined above. Steel fabrication often requires sections of the same size of sheet metal for certain projects. In such circumstances, shearing is often the most cost-effective option. It means passing two blades into the steel like a pair of scissors cutting a sheet of paper. Neat, continuous cuts are possible with this effective technique.
Machining means removing metal from a larger section of steel. For example, when a cutting blade is applied to a workpiece that is attached to a spinning lathe, it can be cut down to size and various shapes. In the past, steel machining was often conducted by hand by skilled fabricators. These days, automated CNC steel machining is more common.
Folding and bending means forming sections of steel into new shapes. Commonly, steel is folded by bending it under high force over a precisely placed roller. When a press brake is used, the steel is pinched into a die, meaning that a crease can be formed in it.
When fabricators need to join one section of steel to another, it is highly probable that welding will be the preferred method. Although it is possible to use other techniques - such as brazing, for example – welding is tried and tested. It can be conducted in a myriad of ways to form strong bonds, chosen according to the fabrication project concerned.
For more information, contact a steel fabrication company.