The skyscrapers that adorn city roads today owe their beginnings to the discovery of steel structures. Architects and civil engineers construed a construction process that was so strong that one could build countless floors upon it; this is the steel frame. Steel frames or steel structures are the skeletons of a building the rest of the materials like cement and bricks make the body. The steel frames consist of horizontal beams in the shape of an I. These beams are attached to vertical columns of steel to form a rectangular structure, capable of supporting immense weight. This steel used in the frames is called “mild steel”, and it is strong enough to hold even 20,000kg. These frames form an interlocking grid-like structure that supports the floors, walls, and roofs of a building.
STEEL FRAMES TYPES
A steel frame is a versatile structure. They have several uses in construction. The making of these steel frames is called steel fabrication. Steel fabrication is done mainly in three ways,
Light Gauge or Cold Steel Fabrication
This process is most common in residential or small-scale building projects. The steel sheets are bent into shape using machines and then used in the construction of walls. This process is different from other methods that fabricate the steel while it is molten hot.
Conventional Steel Fabrication
As the name suggests, this was the traditional method of steel fabrication. Steel rods or beams are brought to the construction site, and assimilated into structures based on the design. This process required more labour and machinery.
Bolted Steel Fabrication
Today, most construction contractors prefer this method as it is more efficient. The steel is prefabricated into structures or rudimentary frames in a workshop and then brought to the construction site. Making these structures in a workshop proved beneficial as the machines could do it themselves, and thus the entire process required lesser labour force. The machinery ensured that the steel frames fit the order, and customised trucks could ship them in bulk to the construction site. Here the frames are assembled into a structure, and this required far lesser people than conventional methods and was also cost-efficient.
ADVANTAGES OF STEEL FABRICATED STRUCTURES
Steel fabrication opened up the possibilities of construction. This process allowed for a variety of structural designs. Steel frames quickly gained popularity because of their advantages,
- Steel frames can support enormous amounts of weight. These structures are also flexible so that they can hold any material moulded onto them; this is what led to the glass-paned skyscrapers common today. They lend themselves to any design.
- With the bolted method of fabrication, the use of steel frames has sped up the construction process. Building any large or small structure can be done faster than before.
- The steel is malleable and bends into any shape. This feature too helps in expanding creative possibilities in architecture and civil engineering.
- Steel beams and rods have many joint types, which brings flexibility in the structure’s design itself. These joints can use bolts or rivets or weld in place.
OUTSOURCING STEEL FRAMES
Steel frames are a staple of any construction project today. Many companies now offer steel fabrication services solely so that construction contractors can streamline the process and meet deadlines easier. Every part of the construction process has outsourcing contractors, and so does steel fabrication. Steel fabricators offer the following services,
- Consultation for projects, including quotation, design and deadline details
- 3D modelling for better visualisation
- Prefabricated steel structures
- Integrating with other outsourced contractors
- Layouts of steel frames, samples and location fixing
- Use of latest technology like CNC Machinery
- Design and supply of brackets and joints or any other paraphernalia for a steel frame
Construction today is fast-paced, and outsourcing is the best way to ensure hassle-free completion of the project. When outsourcing steel fabrications, ensure that the contractor offers the highest grade of steel and the most cost-efficient of designs.
Author Bio – Maddison Brown is a freelance writer and a GOT fan. Apart from writing quality articles on various niches, she likes to read & write fiction. More than anything, she loves to spend her time with her family, explaining technologies to the elders.