We all know that iron and steel industries are the backbone of any process of industrialization. Steel and iron are the primary ingredients in any industry. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon as well some other elements like sulphur, phosphorus and silicon, oxygen and manganese in smaller quantities. Carbon when mixed with iron acts like a hardening agent making steel harder and more durable. However, only 2% carbon is added to iron in order to make steel for greater the amount of carbon more brittle will steel become. Steel is created by removing oxygen from iron ore and carbon is used to link oxygen. Iron is heated at 910 degrees Celsius, then water or oil is used for quenching and finally oxygen is removed. During removal of oxygen carbon fuses with iron to create the final product, which is steel.
Steel industry is the indicator of economic development and progress of any nation. In the last two hundred years since Henry Bessemer invented the proper smelting method of steel in 1856, steel has emerged as the basic building material in any industrially developed nation. The cars we drive are made of steel, the kitchen sink we wash our dishes happens to be of steel and even the building we live and work in have steel frameworks. It is used to make power line towers, gas pipelines, heavy machinery used in factories, weapons, ever day kitchen utensils, electric tools and appliances and more; basically the list goes on and on. Thus we can say that steel machines and structures surround us.
Now, the process of cutting, bending or melding and assembling steel parts to create different structures like pipes, plates, sheets, joists, handrails and so on may be termed as fabrication. Steel fabrication is the process by which fabricators manipulate steel to give different shapes or patterns to create different steel structures or components. Steel fabricators follows designs, drawings and blue print provided to them by structural engineers. Main responsibility of steel fabricators is to transform the design from a blueprint into a usable end product by cutting, bending to reshape and assembling steel. There are actually two separate methods of fabrication. The first method is called the integrated route or raw material approach and more than 60% steel fabrication is done in this way. Here, all raw materials are melted by heating them at high temperatures and then they are mixed with steel. The second method known as electric arc furnace or EAF is really easier and quicker. Here recycled steel is melted at high temperature in furnace and then mixed with other elements to make the final product. Steel fabricators not only produce or create usable products they are also responsible for maintenance and repair jobs.