Fabrication Process of Structural Steel

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Matt Pierini

Principal - Steel Expert

Structural steel is a popular material used in construction projects because of its strength and durability. It’s often used in high-rise buildings, bridges, and other large structures. Fabrication of structural steel is a complex process that requires skilled professionals and specialized equipment. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the fabrication process of structural steel.

1. Design and Planning

The first step in the fabrication process is to design and plan the structure. This involves creating detailed drawings and specifications that outline the dimensions and specifications of the steel components. Engineers use specialized software to create detailed 3D models of the structure, which are then used to guide the fabrication process.

2. Material Preparation

Once the design is finalized, the next step is to prepare the materials. Structural steel typically comes in long, flat pieces called plates, which are then cut and shaped according to the design specifications. Steel plates are typically cut using a plasma or laser cutting machine, which can make precise cuts quickly and efficiently.

3. Assembly

The next step is to assemble the steel components. This involves welding or bolting the steel plates together to form the desired shape. Skilled welders use specialized welding techniques to ensure the strength and durability of the welded joints. The assembled components are then checked for accuracy and quality before moving on to the next step.

PIW Group Union Worker Welding Beam for Installation - Belmont Village IL

4. Surface Treatment

Once the components are assembled, the next step is to treat the surface of the steel. This involves cleaning and preparing the surface to ensure proper adhesion of the protective coating. The surface is typically cleaned using abrasive blasting, which removes any contaminants and creates a rough surface that promotes adhesion. The protective coating is then applied using a variety of methods, including spraying, brushing, and dipping.
Parking Garage Bollars in warehouse before being taken for installation for the project at the Rush Hospital in Chicago
Parking Garage Bollars, (After Photo) Project has been finalized at Rush Hospital in Chicago

5. Quality Control

Throughout the fabrication process, quality control is essential to ensure that the finished product meets the required specifications. Skilled inspectors use specialized equipment to check the dimensions, strength, and quality of the components at various stages of the fabrication process. Any issues or defects are addressed promptly to ensure that the finished product is of the highest quality.
Transportation and Erection
Once the steel components are fabricated and treated, they are transported to the construction site for erection. This involves lifting and positioning the components into place using cranes and other specialized equipment. PIW Group’s skilled union ironworkers then bolt or weld the components together to form the final structure.

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