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Understanding the Structural Steel Fabrication Process: From Design to Installation

May 23, 2024
Understanding the Structural Steel Fabrication Process: From Design to Installation

Structural steel fabrication is vital to the construction industry. Structural steel framing serves as a solid base for most commercial, residential and industrial buildings thanks to its unmatched strength, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, speed of construction, environmental sustainability, and durability. When it comes to structural steel fabrication, the process is quite complex, involving a lot of steps. In this blog, we will review each step in more detail.


Steps Involved In Structural Steel Fabrication



Every structural steel fabrication process must start with the preparation of the initial design of the structure. This is the step where the drawings and specifications of the future structure are prepared. This is also the step where the use of specialized software is required. Input from structural steel fabricators is required here as they can provide their professional opinion of the feasibility of the design. 


Material Selection

It is important to use the material that is best suited for the purpose. Certain standards are in place regulating the selection of materials for projects involving structural steel. Another crucial aspect of this step is the inspection of the supplied materials. Often, structural steel fabricators have to inspect the materials before further using them in structural steel fabrication.


Steel Cutting, Drilling & Shaping

At this stage of the steel fabrication process, steel is cut to the necessary lengths and size and then drilled (if necessary) to create the necessary holes, or shaped to the required specifications. Correct drawings and specifications are essential here, as structural steel fabricators get only one chance to do the right cutting and drilling.


Bending & Welding

Bending and welding are essential steps in the steel fabrication process. Bending is done to achieve the desired shape. The process usually involves section bending, roll bending, plate bending, or tube bending. Apart from bending, steel parts are often welded together to create an assembly. Welding in steel fabrication can be performed either on the job site or in the steel fabrication shop.


Quality Check

A crucial aspect of every structural steel fabrication process is quality checks. Quality checks are necessary to ensure the structural integrity of a steel structure. This process often includes mechanical tests, non-destructive testing and, of course, visual inspections. Quality control tests help detect defects and cracks hidden in the steel structure.


Surface treatment

During the surface treatment stage, structural steel is cleaned to remove rust and other impurities. Cleaning is done using methods such as sandblasting or chemical cleaning. After cleaning, the surface is galvanized or treated with protective coatings to prevent corrosion and improve the steel’s durability.


Delivery, Assembly & Installation

Delivery of structural steel components requires special logistics arrangements and careful planning due to the components’ heavy weight and size. Assembly, installation and welding of the steel structure is usually done on-site per the project’s requirements. 


As you can see, the structural steel fabrication process is quite complex with several stages involved before the final structure can be assembled and installed on the work site. With so many aspects involved in structural steel fabrication, it is important to hire a reliable structural steel fabrication contractor for your project. 


We at Weld Rish & Steel Inc. offer a complete range of metal fabrication and structural welding services for clients in Toronto and the GTA area. We boast an in-house team of experienced consultants, designers, engineers, welders and structural steel fabricators in Toronto who are experts in their field. Call us today at 416.835.5363 to discuss your project and get a free estimate!