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What Is Steel Fabrication? A Look at Kelly Steel’s Craft

Steel fabrication is Kelly Steel’s trade. It’s what we do every day. But what exactly is steel fabrication? In this blog we’ll provide a detailed definition.

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At Kelly Steel, we use our skills, experience and expertise for steel fabrication projects. However, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a clue what we do.

Steel fabrication is a term that’s used frequently but is rarely understood. While you probably encounter the results of our work every day, you probably don’t understand the process and dedication behind it.

Hopefully, today, that’s all about to change. We’re going to pull back the curtain and give you an inside look at what steel fabrication involves and why it’s such a vital part of modern construction and manufacturing.

A definition of steel fabrication 

Steel fabrication is essentially the process of transforming raw steel into a product or structure that can be used in construction, manufacturing or any other industrial, commercial or residential application. 

The steel fabrication process involves cutting, folding, welding, machining, punching, casting, assembling, installation and other processes to create everything from small components to large structural frameworks.

At Kelly Steel, this includes everything from large buildings and bridges, to architectural bespoke tasks. 

A more in-depth look at the major parts of the steel fabrication process

Design and planning

Every fabrication project starts with a design. 

It might begin life on a napkin or a scrap piece of paper, before ending up as a detailed architectural plan. Either way, the entire design phase is critical. 

Our engineers and designers work closely with clients to understand their vision and requirements. Using sophisticated software, we create detailed blueprints and 3D models to ensure accuracy and efficiency in the fabrication process.

Cutting

Once the design is finalised, the next step is cutting the steel to the required shapes and sizes. 

At Kelly Steel, we use a variety of cutting methods, including sawing, shearing and more advanced techniques like laser cutting and plasma cutting. These methods allow us to achieve precise cuts, which are crucial for the next stages of fabrication.

Bending and shaping

After cutting, the steel pieces need to be bent and shaped to fit the design specifications. 

This is where our skilled fabricators use techniques like press braking, rolling and stamping. These processes require a keen eye for detail and a steady hand, as even a slight misalignment can affect the final product.

Bending and shaping

Assembly and welding

The shaped pieces are then assembled and welded together. 

Welding is a critical skill in steel fabrication, requiring both precision and expertise. At Kelly Steel, our welders are trained to work with various types of steel and welding techniques, ensuring strong, durable joints that can withstand the test of time.

Finishing

Once the assembly is complete, the next step is finishing. 

This can include sandblasting, painting, galvanising or applying protective coatings to prevent rust and corrosion. The finishing touches not only enhance the appearance of the steel but also improve its durability and lifespan.

Everyday encounters with steel fabrication

As we highlighted in the introduction, while you might not realise it, you come across steel fabrication every day. 

The buildings you work in, the bridges you drive over and even the stadium where you watch your favourite team are likely to be a product of steel fabrication. 

Here are a few common examples:

  • Buildings and infrastructure include skyscrapers, bridges, large commercial premises and stadiums. These are made possible through steel fabrication. The steel frames that support these massive structures are meticulously designed and assembled to ensure safety and stability.
  • Automotive industry includes the cars and trucks we drive in, built using fabricated steel components. From the chassis to the engine parts, steel fabrication plays a crucial role in vehicle manufacturing.
  • Household items can include kitchen appliances, furniture and tools, which can all be products of steel fabrication. These everyday items are designed and built to be functional and, in some cases, aesthetically pleasing.

Why steel fabrication matters

Steel fabrication is more than just cutting and welding metal; it’s about creating the backbone of modern infrastructure and technology. 

The work we do at Kelly Steel supports industries and communities by providing the materials needed for sectors such as construction, transportation and manufacturing. 

Without steel fabrication, many of the structures and tools we rely on daily would not exist.

Why steel fabrication matters

It’s more than just steel fabrication

While steel fabrication involves cutting, folding, welding, machining, punching, casting, assembling and installation, this doesn’t quite describe what Kelly Steel does. 

Yes, words like quality, expertise and professionalism are also important. Our team of skilled fabricators, engineers, and designers work tirelessly to ensure every project meets the highest standards. However, steel fabrication is more than this too.

For Kelly Steel, steel fabrication is about passion. The passion we have for working with steel and transforming it into functional, durable and beautiful products that serve a wide range of purposes. It’s also about the relationships we build with everyone we work with.

So, next time you drive over a bridge, walk into a large building or drive your car, remember the intricate work that went into making it possible. And if you ever need expert steel fabrication services, you know where to find us!

Will structural steel produced today still be around in 100 years

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