Common Obstacles During Structural Steel Fabrication Process

July 12, 2019 | 0 comments
Structural Steel Fabrication

When it comes to structural steel fabrication, there are always a number of issues to be concerned about. Some of those issues are caused by a human error like miscalculations or straying. And a lot of them take place due to other external factors. If you are planning to consider structural steel fabrication for your next project, you must know what your fabricators go through to provide valuable and efficient services to you.

External Damage to Materials

External damage, such as scratches and gouges on the surface of structural steel and other raw materials, is a cause for concern because these issues can lead to corrosion. Scratches can also be problematic when they compromise the aesthetics of the raw materials, and eventually the end result fabricated using these materials. There are many other surface contaminants which can lead to rusting and corrosion such as embedded iron and loose iron particles, residual adhesives from protective plastics, oil, grease, paint, grinding dust, weld spatter, etc. The high temperatures involved in welding can lead to surface defects. These should all be avoided in order to prevent any visual or efficiency problem that may surface later. The best way to avoid these issues that the structural steel fabricators must closely inspect raw materials before using them. A good design that includes the design of the fabricated object or component itself as well as the design of welded joints is required. The quality of workmanship and attention to detail are two ‘must-haves’ to avoid these issues.

Immediate Springback After Fabricating

Springback is that point where the structural steel (or any other metal) sheet or thin rod naturally tries to return back to its original shape (due to the metal’s elasticity) after the metal is released from the forces of the forming tool. We could list several math equations and show you bend allowance and bend deduction charts, talk about the K Factor, or angular proportions between punches, dies, and sheet metal bend radii; but the truth is, that information usually isn’t relevant or even interesting to those outside of the fabrication industry, just like you. The springback often results in deformation of the fabricated structure. When looking for ways to compensate for springback, it’s necessary to consider the angles of both the punch and die is used for the fabrication. Your steel fabricators will be able to accurately predict the amount of springback of structural steel and the degree of the bend radius. The larger the bend radius, the greater the springback. Because of the natural occurrence of springback, the sheet or rod must be over-bent by a few degrees or more. Your fabricators will calculate over-bending precisely to ensure that the final product meets all desired specifications and parameters.

Price Volatility of Raw Materials

The constantly fluctuating price of raw materials and weak steel prices have put significant pressure on structural steel margins. However, structural steel manufacturers, and even fabricators, have been working hard to become competitive in other ways. They have been taking several steps to gain more control of their raw material pricing, while cost-cutting has led to production cuts in some regions. Several steel manufacturers are also investing a considerable amount of money into R&D for differentiating their products from their competitors. Although there isn’t any way to overcome this obstacle, you can look for a company that provides quality services and results that fit within your budget. Don’t think too much about what happens in the backend. The prices of structural steel go up, you will naturally know that as your fabricator will quote more for your next structural steel fabrication project.

Unavailability of Steel Fabricators

Another obstacle that structural steel fabrication companies face is the unavailability of fabricators. Companies surely have a lot of permanent and specialized workers working with them on different projects. But when all or most of these fabricators are unavailable for a certain period, that’s when the actual problem arises. When there are fewer people to work on projects, the timelines are delayed and the commitments made are breached. Structural steel fabricators can be unavailable due to countless personal reasons such as falling sick or important personal commitments. This obstacle isn’t easy to overcome as hiring new fabricators on short notice is nearly impossible. Plus, the job of structural steel fabrication requires expertise and experience. Newly appointed fabricators may fail to provide quality services, and hence, it is difficult to keep up to the timelines.

Problems with Fabricating Equipment

Just as important as quality workmanship, the quality and efficiency of the equipment involved in the fabrication process are also crucial to expect high-quality fabrication work. Problems will occur if the machines and equipment aren’t firmly in place and vibrations occur during the structural steel fabrication. These issues will occur if the blades aren’t sharp enough or big enough to handle the cutting or if quality lubricants aren’t used. Advances in technology have brought sophisticated computer-controlled machinery into existence that makes the process simpler, precise, and less time-consuming. It’s essential to find a structural steel fabrication company, Like Northern Weldarc, that uses these state-of-the-art equipment which has advanced features and controls that minimize the opportunity for errors.

But when you hire experienced structural steel fabrication company, like Northern Weldarc, the professionals working there know how to overcome these or most of the other obstacles that arise throughout the process of fabrication. This way, you can expect quality and affordable structural steel fabrication services no matter what.

Look nowhere else when you need structural steel fabricators, and hire Northern Weldarc for your next project.

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