The 3 Most Common Steel Fabrication Processes

Posted on: 13 July 2022


Steel is an incredibly useful and diverse metal. A lot of the products that are manufactured for the consumer market today feature steel components.

Specialized fabrication processes must be completed to transform raw steel into the correct size, thickness, and shape for a given assembly.

Manufacturers currently use three major processes to help fabricate their steel resources into components that customers can use.

1. Machining 

Machining can be a great process to use when fabricating steel. Machining is a broad term that refers to the use of machinery to shave away portions of a streel specimen in order to achieve the desired dimensions.

The machines that are used for machining steel include lathes, mills, and drills.

Most manufacturers find that machining is a viable fabrication solution when a high volume of steel components needs to be completed within a short period of time.

2. Cutting

It's important that you don't get cutting confused with machining. Both processes remove excess steel to create the desired dimensions, but different tools are used to accomplish this task.

Machining relies on industrial machinery, while cutting relies on a water jet cutter to trim steel specimens to size.

Cutting is the fabrication process of choice when the quality of the finished product really matters.

A computer software program guides the water jet cutter through the steel. This precision process allows for tighter design tolerances and reduced potential for material warping during fabrication.

3. Welding

Perhaps the most common type of steel fabrication process is welding.

Welding requires the use of filler material to create a tight bond between two pieces of steel. The strength of a weld depends on the quality and skill of the welder. If you intend to use welding as a steel fabrication process, there are some basic things you want to know.

First, you want to know that the steel components and the metal in your filler rod are compatible. This will facilitate the adhesion process and protect your goods against possible corrosion or failure in the future. Welding can help you protect your raw steel by preventing heat distortion and other manufacturing flaws that can develop during the fabrication process.

Since steel is so sought after as raw material, it can be very beneficial to know that you can customize your approach to metal fabrication when you are working with steel. Having the option to choose between welding, cutting, and machining gives you the power to better control your steel fabrication.