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What is steel fabrication?

Posted on February 13, 2018

Steel is an incredibly versatile material which is readily used when constructing a huge number of structures and parts. From steel frames used to form the skeleton of a building to tiny working parts in machinery, steel can be found in a multitude of places. Steel fabrication makes all of this possible and, in this article, we’ll be looking at what this process entails.

What is steel fabrication?

Steel fabrication is the process whereby raw steel is worked into useful parts and structures. This exceptionally useful, strong and cost-effective metal can undergo a variety of processes to make it into the necessary final products.

Fabricators will start with precise drawings and measurements for the item needed, and it is their job to craft this from plain steel. This requires an in depth knowledge of the characteristics of steel itself and the ability to carry out detailed, precision work. Fabricators can often develop specialities for specific fabricating techniques and types of product created.

Fabrication processes

Fabrication encompasses many processes through which steel can be manipulated and shaped into its final, useful form. To create a finished piece, many different processes can be used on the same piece of steel. Some of the most commonly used are:

  • Cutting: steel will be cut down to make it easier to work with. Methods of cutting include by saw, plasma torch, laser cutting and water jet cutting.
  • Folding: when steel needs to be bent or curved, different pieces of equipment can be used according to the severity of angling needed. Press brakes are often used for folds and bending rolls can be used for creating softer curves.
  • Machining: this process is where excess metal is removed, refining your cut down steel into the desired shape. This can be achieved using a lathe – where the metal is moved against the cutting tool – or other similar equipment where the cutting tool is moved across the piece of metal.
  • Punching: when holes or other shapes are needed in the steel, a punch and die are used to cut out the necessary shapes.
  • Shearing: this is another method of cutting, generally carried out on sheet metal, where long, straight cuts are made.
  • Stamping: this process and the die equipment used bears similarity to punching, except the metal is not cut. Instead, stamping creates raised sections and patterns.
  • Welding: steel fabrication often involves welding, and this process is where two or more pieces of metal are fused together whilst applying a high heat. There are many different welding techniques, appropriate for different products and projects.


Here at Wildon UK, we offer bespoke steel fabrication services and specialise in creating parts which are hard to source or long out of general production. We can manufacture parts for a variety of machinery and equipment, with particular experience in those found in sewage works and wastewater treatments. Get in touch with our skilled team today to discuss your requirements and we will do our best to meet your needs. We operate throughout Staffordshire and further afield across the UK.

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