Common Materials Used In Steel Fabrication

October 25, 2016 | 3 comments

Steel manufacturers have numerous raw materials to make use of in the fabrication processes. The quality and durability of the end product depends largely on the materials used in steel fabrication. What is steel fabrication? It is the creation of steel parts, machinery, or components through cutting, forming, and other similar processes.

Common fabrication techniques include lathing, welding, grinding, broaching, honing and milling. Here are some of the most common and readily available raw materials used in fabrication:

  • Plate metal

  • Castings

  • Fittings

  • Hardware

  • Formed and expanded metal

  • Flat metal

  • Sectional metal

  • Welding wire

Casting raw materials

Casting is a fabrication process which involves forcing liquid metal into a mold and allowing it to cool down and harden in the desired shape. This process is a great choice for applications that need complex geometries. Steel and stainless steel are the metals that are commonly used in casting processes. Some of the raw materials used in the process are:

  • Molten metal

  • Epoxies

  • Concrete

  • Clay

Formed and expanded steel raw materials

Expanded steel gets its name from the process by which it is created. Stock steel sheeting is sheared in a press to create holes surrounded by interlinked strands of steel. This shearing expands or stretches steel to its final size. The expanded steel is ideal for outdoor furniture, screen doors, fencing, and other architectural details. It can also be used as a shield against any hot surface. Expanded steel raw materials are available in a variety of grating sizes and standard thicknesses.

Types of hardware raw materials

In terms of steel fabrication, hardware is defined as various standardized fittings or parts used for making the product stronger, more functional, and more easy to fabricate. There are various categories of steel fabrication hardware. They include basic raw materials such as:

  • Handles

  • Keys

  • Locks

  • Corners

  • Latches

  • Wires

  • Chains

The usefulness of standardized raw materials for structural steel fabrication and any other metal fabrication process is fairly apparent. Having uniform sizes and shapes of raw materials reduces the amount of steel fabrication required to create a product and also reduces the production time. The advantage is that a lower cost per piece is fabricated.

However, different steel manufacturers are required to use raw materials that are standardized across a narrow spectrum to create uniformity and compatibility throughout the industry. Also, it ensures quality and structural integrity in the steel fabrication processes.


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