Stainless steel has established itself as the best structural metal when it comes to architecture and constructions of buildings and other structures such as bridges. Steel is made by adding small amounts of carbon to molten iron. The added carbon is usually below 14% depending on the specifications of the steel to be produced. To get stainless steel, other alloys such as chrome are usually added during the production.
Stainless steel for constructions comes in different profiles. The profiles are named after the shape they form. Examples of common sections are universal column, universal beam, parallel flange channel, rectangular hollow sections, flat sections, rolled steel angle (both equal and unequal) and circular sections.
There are also special profiles. To get steel sections with special profiles, a constructor will usually have to order for them. The order must include the dimensions and the quantity needed. Most special sections are usually made from 3d laser fusion. This process can easily and cheaply make those complex profiles.
In construction, steel is used in lots of places. Universal columns are used as the central beams in skyscrapers. This is because they have high second moment of areas. The columns also have high tensile steel enabling them to withstand high tensile forces.
Their thick cross sections also mean greater resistance to buckling. Apart from high-rise buildings, you can use them to vertically support a structure or water tanks. Universal beams are used in horizontal support. Beams are made from think plates using laser fusion.
Angle plates are widely used in constructions of telecommunications masts and electricity pylons. They are also use to make window frames. Angle plates are formed from hot rolling process. Rectangular profiles come in various dimensions. The various dimensions have unique strengths and uses. These sections are commonly used to make roof trusses and they are made either by welding or laser fusion of simpler sections.
The hot rolling process
Generally, steel from a steel plant are in huge blocks. To convert these blocks into required profiles, various processes are used. Rolling produces the majority of sections. Hot rolling processing involves first heating the steel block to high temperatures before passing it through rollers that have the required final profile. When hot, steel is quite malleable.
Hot rolling process requires lesser energy. Cold rolling involves using a steel block that is within room temperatures. The shapes formed are simple because cold steel is easy to overwork.
The laser hybrid welding process
Laser hybrid welding is used to form steel profiles that cannot be formed from hot rolling. To come up with a given profile, the manufacture will decide which steel profiles when put together will easily give the final shape.
Sections such as circular sections involve bending a steel plate of the required width along its longitudinal axis and then welding along the two edges. Laser hybrid welding can also be used to fuse the two edges together.
Where complex special profiles are needed, 3d laser welding is used. This process is used when the edges to be joined are not regular or the edges are not in the same axis. The process is controlled by complex high tech equipment that use sophisticated software. Profiles made from 3d laser welding are expensive. The high price is because of the amount of materials and time needed to manufacture them.
Unlike other profiles, special profiles are usually designed by the contractor or the architect. They are used for special works and the designs have unique dimensions and shapes. The design is then sent to a manufacturer who has 3d laser welding equipment. The order must also include the quantity. The contractor and the manufacturer will then agree on price before the process of manufacturing the profiles can begin.