Steel Fabrication

Welding is often done on structures in the position in which they are found. Techniques have been developed to allow welding in any position. Some welding processes have all-position capabilities, while others may be used in only one or two positions.

All welding can be classified according to the position of the workpiece or the position of the welded joint on the plates or sections being welded. There are four welding positions, which are illustrated below.Picture 1

Fillet Welding Positions – Fillet, groove and Surface welds may be made in all of the positions shown below.Picture 2

Flat Position Welding – In this position, the welding is performed from the upper side of the joint, and the face of the weld is approximately horizontal. Flat welding is the preferred term, but it is also referred to as a Down hand.

Horizontal Position Welding – The axis of a weld is a line through the length of the weld, perpendicular to the cross-section at its centre of gravity. Fillet Weld, Groove Weld, Horizontal Fixed Weld, and Horizontal Rolled Weld can all be done in this welding position.

Vertical Position Welding – In this position, the axis of the weld is approximately vertical. Vertical welding positions are shown in view C in the image above.

Overhead Position Welding – In this welding position, the welding is performed from the underside of a joint. Overhead position welds are illustrated in view D in the image above.

Pipe Welding Positions – Pipe welds are made under many different requirements and in different welding situations. The welding position is dictated by the job. In general, the position is fixed, but in some cases, it can be rolled for flat-position work.

Steel framing has many advantages over timber, it’s hard to believe why anyone would choose the latter in 2019. From its strength and durability to its environmental benefits, steel framing consistently proves to be the superior choice. Structural steel isn’t just for skyscrapers, large agriculture buildings, and garages. Steel is a versatile building material, which has led to its inclusion in nearly every stage of the construction process from framing and floor joists, to roofing materials.


Steel Framed Building | DorsetWhile timber is a cheaper building material than steel, steel can be lighter and easier to assemble. This means that steel can be more cost-effective during the building stage. When you consider all the benefits you get from steel compared to timber framing, steel is a better value for your money.

Stronger and Straighter

Steel will give your home a straighter finish, especially along rooflines, ceilings and walls, which, when built form timber, can visibly flex and warp over time. Steel provides stronger foundations preventing your home from sloping and sinking over time. Steel also resists damage from storms, wind, and lightning better than timber.

Fire Resistant

Timber-framed homes are vulnerable to fire, as we have seen with the various tragedies that have occurred across Victoria, Texas. Steel is non-combustible and will not bend or warp in fire. Steel framing can mean the difference between fixing your home or rebuilding it entirely.

Termite Proof

Termites are known as the ‘Silent Destroyer’, usually undetected, eating away at the depths of your home, until it’s too late. While treated timber can be termite resistant, treatment usually only lasts for about 25 years steel framing provides a lifetime guarantee against termites destroying your home, without the added chemicals and toxins.

10-Year Warranty

Here at Rowtec we offer a 10-year warranty as standard with all of our steel structures to give our clients peace of mind. In the 19 years Rowtec has been in business we have never had to repair or replace a steel structure we have fabricated and erected. Our warranty can be extended at the client’s request if need be, for more information please feel free to give us a call on 01202 882211. We also have photos of our work in our Gallery which can be accessed by clicking here.

Fillet Welds – A fillet weld joins two surfaces at an approximate right angle to each other. There are several types of fillet weld; a Full fillet weld where the size of the weld is the same thickness of the thinner object joining, a Staggered intermittent fillet weld refers to two lines of intermittent welding on a joint, and a Chain Intermittent fillet weld which refers to two lines on intermittent fillet welds in a lap joint or T where the welds are in one line.IMG_1582

Groove Welds – The second most popular type of weld, there are seven basic types of groove welds. The groove weld refers to beads that are deposited in a groove between two members to be joined. The type of weld used will determine the manner in which the seam, joint, or surface is prepared.

Seam Weld – A weld made by arc seam or resistance seam welding where the welding process is not specified. This term infers a resistance spot weld.

Surfacing Weld – These are welds composed of one or more strings or weave beads deposited on an unbroken surface to obtain desired properties or dimensions. This type of weld is used to build up surfaces or replace metal on worn surfaces. It is also used with square butt joints.

Plug Weld – Plug welds are circular welds made through one member of a lap or tee joint joining that member to the other. The weld may or may not be made through a hole in the first member; if a hole is used, the walls may or may not be parallel and the hole may be partially or completely filled with weld metal. Such welds are often used in place of rivets.

Slot Weld – This is a weld made in an elongated hole in one member of a lap or tee joint joining that member to the surface of the other member that is exposed through the hole. This hole may be open at one end or partially or completely filled with weld metal.

Flash Weld – A weld made by flash welding. Flash welding is referred to as a resistance welding process where fusion is produced over the entire abutting surface. Heat is created by the resistance to the current flow between two surfaces and by the application of pressure after heating is mostly complete. Flashing is accompanied by the expulsion of metal from the joint.

Spot Weld – A spot weld is a weld made by arc spot or resistance spot welding where the welding process is not specified. This term infers a resistance spot weld.

Upset Weld – An upset weld is a resistance welding process where fusion occurs progressively along a joint of over the entire abutting surface. The application of pressure before heating is required and occurs during the heating period. Heat comes from the resistance to the flow of electric current in the area of contact between the surfaces.

From building and reinforcing, to internal, decorative safety features: metal, in one form or another, plays an important part in the construction and fitting out of commercial properties. Handrails and railings are a case in point. Where some years ago, spindles and banisters would have been manufactured almost exclusively from timber, today they are more likely to be fabricated from stainless steel, mild steel, galvanised steel, aluminium or brass. They can also be designed to include a mixture of these materials. So, what are the pros and gatescons of these five different metals?

  1. Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for strength with a modern, stylish finish, either internally or externally, stainless steel tube ticks all the boxes. Although more expensive than mild steel, long term maintenance costs are reduced due to its high corrosion resistance. Stainless steel can be manufactured into a wide range of designs and styles, and fitted to brickwork, blockwork, concrete, timber and other metals to produce the contemporary, modern style required.

  1. Mild Steel

Mild steel is the cheapest option when it comes to guard rails and hand rails. Material costs are low, and the ease with which it can be worked make the construction element very cost-effective, depending of course, on the complexity of the required design. Under heavy-use circumstances, many architects choose to stipulate carbon steel for its added strength and durability. Although mild steel rails, hand rails and guards are usually powder coated or spray painted prior to installation, they are prone to corrosion and need regular inspection and maintenance to keep them at their best, especially if it is exposed outdoors.

  1. Galvanised Steel

Inside or out, unprotected steels are at the mercy of moisture either internally from moisture laden air, or externally from the weather. While painting will help keep much of this moisture away, galvanising all interior and exterior steelwork, whether walkways, stairs or hand rails, will provide years of protection. Standard galvanised steel can be a silver colour through to grey. Although galvanised steel can be painted, it requires the use of etch primers prior to painting, pushing up the manufacturing cost of the finished product.

  1. Aluminium

The biggest pro of aluminium is its weight, or lack of. While this lack of weight makes aluminium easy to handle and use, it is also a much softer metal compared to others, and prone to dents and scratches. When being used for handrails and safety railings, greater bare

Carbon Steel– This is the most widely used kind of steel. Its carbon content is under 2% and is usually less than 1%. It often also contains a little manganese. Common uses for Carbon Steel are things like simple structural applications such as cold formed fasteners and bolts. It is often used in the case-hardened condition.

Stainless Steel– This is the most corrosion-resistant kind of steel. It normally contains at least 12% (and sometimes up to 30%) chromium, and it usually also contains nickel. A very popular stainless-steel formulation is 18-8, 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Stainless Steel and other corrosion resistant alloys are extensively used in the power generation industry to combat corrosion, particularly at elevated temperatures.

Alloy Steels– These contain a little carbon, and sometimes silicon, but they mainly contain added metals, such as manganese (hardness), nickel (strength), molybdenum (improved wear), tungsten (high-temperature strength), chromium (corrosion resistance), and vanadium (toughness). Alloy steels grade P91 are mainly used for the power industry.

Galvanized Steel– This steel is coated with zinc to protect against corrosion. You can read more about the galvanization process here.

Tool Steel– This is very hard steel made by tempering (heating to a very high temperature and then quickly cooling). This grade of tool steel is essentially plain high carbon steel. It is commonly used because of its low cost. Cold-work classes is a group of three tool steel’s: oil-hardening, air-hardening, and high carbon-chromium.

Damascus Steel– Quality ancient steel with a beautiful wavy surface pattern used in making sword blades. It seems to have come mainly from India. This is also known as ‘Damascened Steel and sometimes Watered Steel, now commonly refers to two types of steel used in custom knife and sword making, pattern-weld (giving the appearance of original Damascus steel) and Wootz.

Wootz Steel– This was actually a European mispronunciation of Ukku, the very fine steel made in ancient India that they called ‘Wook’. (It is probably the same material as Damascus Steel). The process to prepare Porous Iron involves hammering it while hot to release slag, breaking it up and sealing it with wood chips in a clay container, and heating it until the pieces of iron absorbed carbon from the wood and melted steel.

Electroplated Steel– This steel has a coating of another metal, usually tin, applied by the use of an electric current. Tin-plated steel is widely used for making cans and other containers. Electroplated Steel is primarily used to change the surface properties of an object (such as abrasion and wear resistance, corrosion protection, lubricity, aesthetic qualities), but may also be used to build up thickness on undersized parts or to form objects by electroforming.

Workshop WeldingRecyclability & Renewable Energy

  1. Almost 69 percent of steel is recycled in North America each year, which is more than paper, aluminium, plastic, and glass combined.
  2. More than 80 million tons of steel are recycled in North America every year.
  3. Steel is roughly 1,000 times stronger than iron in its purest form, and it can be recycled without loss of strength.
  4. Steel is the main material used in delivering renewable energy like solar, hydro, and wind power.
  5. Since world war II, the north American steel industry has reduced its energy use by 60 percent, which has contributed to a significant reduction in carbon dioxide generation.

Global Involvement

  1. In developing countries, steel companies are the most involved trade with the provision of healthcare services and community-wide education.
  2. The steel industry has an estimated £900 billion turnover, making it the second largest industry in the world after oil and gas.
  3. Steel is used in almost every industry, including energy, construction and housing (the largest consumer of steel), automotive and transportation, infrastructure, packing, and machinery.
  4. The top 10 leading producers of steel to date are as follows, China, Japan, India, USA, Russia, South Korea, Germany, Turkey, Brazil and Ukraine.
  5. The steel industry directly employs more than 2 million people worldwide and continues to grow each year.

Steel Projects

  1. Steel roofs last more than 50 years while traditional roofs last about 17 years.
  2. 75% of all major appliances are comprised of steel.
  3. The average computer is about 25% steel.
  4. Steel was first used for skyscrapers in 1884 with the Home Insurance Building in Chicago. Modern steel buildings, like The Empire State Building (1930) in New York and the U.S. Steel Tower (1971) in Pittsburgh, are designed to easily assemble and disassemble.
  5. Because steel and iron expand when heated, the Eiffel Tower (1887), is about 6 inches taller in the summer than the winter.
  6. The first steel-made automobile was produced in 1918. Since then, steel seatbelts are required due to their consistent ability to withstand high-impact crashes.
  7. Steel bridges are 4-8 times lighter than those built from concrete. The Golden Gate Bridge (1937) required 83,000 tons of steel whereas half of that amount would be required today.
  8. Two-thirds of all canned goods packaging are made out of steel.
  9. More than 600 steel cans are recycled every second in the United States.
  10. Recycling a single steel can saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for almost 4 years.

There are many more facts that can be said about steel, I find that when working in the fabrication industry, no matter how much experienc you have you still learn new things everyday!

Welding and cutting operations present a variety of hazards, not only to those carrying out the operation but in many instances to others in the vicinity.

In the workshop there are a number of hazards specific to welding or cutting. In addition, there may be other hazards of a more general nature present in the fabrication environment. All potential hazards need to be identified, measured and assessed. Remedial measures must be put in place wherever necessary.

Although Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should not be issued as the primary method of reducing a hazard, it should be issued to all personnel if beneficial. Employers and employees should be made fully aware of the dangers that can arise and take all reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of all. Here are some hazards that you may encounter when working in the metal fabrication industry:

Chromium in Fume

Chromium is an element present in the consumables and parent material of stainless steel, heat-resisting steels, some creep-resisting steels, some high nickel alloys and armour plate. It may also be present in some consumables used for hard-facing.

Chromium is also used as a coating for other materials (such as chrome plating) to give corrosion protection to steel or to give a pleasing aesthetic appearance. Welding or cutting materials containing chromium are likely to give chromium compounds in any particulate fume generated by the process. Whether it presents a significant hazard to health depends on the concentration and the duration of exposure.

Heat Stressmaxresdefault

Working in an excessively hot environment can cause the body to overheat; this is called ‘heat stress’.

If fluids are not taken to replace those lost by sweating, heat exhaustion can occur. Extreme cases of this condition can be fatal. Precautions should be taken, and work regimes adjusted to ensure that every workers core body temperature is maintained within its required operating range.

Metal Fume Fever

Welding certain materials can give rise to fume containing freshly-formed metal oxide fume. If inhaled in sufficient concentration it can produce a reaction similar to a bout of flu. This is why it is most commonly known as ‘Metal Fume Fever’.

Although it normally lasts no more than a day, it is possible to get an attack of fume fever more than once. There is no evidence to suggest that repeated bouts cause cumulative damage. The metal oxides usually associated with metal fume fever are those of zinc and copper, although others can have the same effects. In welding and cutting, copper alloys, galvanised and some painted components are most likely to cause this problem.

A flash burn is a painful inflammation of the cornea, which is the clear tissue that covers the front of the eye. A flash burn occurs when you are exposed to bright ultraviolet (UV) light. It can be caused by all types of UV light, but welding torches are the most common source. That’s why it sometimes has the nickname of ‘Welders Flash’ or ‘Arc Eye’. Other causes can be such things like direct sunlight, reflection of the sun off water or snow, sunlamp in a tanning salon, some types of lamps, such as halogen or a photographer’s flood lamp.

Flash burns are like sunburn in the eye and can affect both your eyes. Your cornea can repair itself in one to two days, and usually heals without leaving a scar. However, if the flash burn is not treated, an infection may start. This can be serious and may lead to some loss of vision.

WeldingSymptoms of Flash Burn

The symptoms of flash burn include:

  • Pain that may be mild to very severe, usually starting a few hours after the incident.
  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Blurred Vision.
  • The feeling of having something in your eye.

Treatment for Flash Burn

Treatments for flash burn may include:

  • Dilating drops – these are sometimes used to relax the eye muscles, which in turn eases the pain and allows your eyes to rest and heal. Your pupils will look bigger than normal and this effect lasts up to several hours or a few days.
  • Dressing – your eyes may be covered with a padded dressing to rest them and allow them to heal.
  • Antibiotics – you may be advised to use antibiotic drops or ointment at home to stop infection. You may also be given a mild steroid-based anti-inflammatory drop.

Prevention is best, some suggestions for preventing flash burn include wearing coated safety glasses/goggles to protect the cornea from UV light, wearing a welder’s mask when welding, is wearing sunglasses to protect from flash burn, they should protect against both UVA and UVB radiation, this should be stated on the label of the product.

In recent years the state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has confirmed an increase in the number of destructive tropical cyclones. There was a total of 14 destructive tropical cyclones in the Philippines in 2013 including super Typhoon Haiyan, considered to be the strongest and most destructive Steel Frametyphoon to make landfall in the world in recent history.

Another destructive force of nature is the violent tremors of earthquakes. The fear these provoke is often heightened by the unexpected occurrence coupled with intensity and duration. Such was the case in 2013 when a quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale was recorded in Bohol and Cebu.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, and a resurgence for reminders about the forthcoming ‘Big One’ predicted to come from the West Valley Fault reverberated in mass media.

These alarming Occurrences have given rise to Project Noah and the 2004 Metro Manila Earthquake impact reduction study (MMEIRS). The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS) provides that latest bulletins and advisories on the earthquakes and their recorded intensities locally and around the globe. It also gives updates on the status of the active volcanoes that it constantly monitors.

Prevention is better than cure. 

Material selection is a decisive factor for the durability of infrastructural buildings and installations, particularly for those underground. These may pass under water or through mountains where they are rarely seen or monitored once installed. Which is why Stell is the most common option, galvanised steel is practically indistrucable! It wont rust, morph or collapsed during such natural disasters as earthquakes, tsunami’s or hurricanes.

The steel must be able to meet the criteria in an environment that has aggressive atmospheric conditions and is subject to strong vibrations. In Tokyo, for instance, they have managed to survive strong earthquakes for the past three decades. The elasticity and ductility of the steel absorbs shocks without breaking or cracking. Due to this foresight, even in catastrophic situations, drinking water continues to be available.

WorkshopTechnology certainly has an incredible impact on any industry, the metal fabrication industry is the same and technology can definitely benefit.

Even when using the latest and greatest in steel technology, here at Rowtec we take great pride in our craftsmanship and quality. We back that claim in the undercurrent of both our company mission and vision statement. Our mission, in short, is the never-ending pursuit toward improvement. Our vision, summarized, is about being the absolute best company in our industry.

We believe that using great technology allows us to provide competitive and efficient fabrication for steel, aluminium, stainless steel and other materials but craftsmanship and quality make our work stand above others in the industry.

We take great pride and care in every project we undertake. Customer satisfaction plays a big role when planning and creating our client’s visions and we take the client through every step of the process.

Rowtec has been up and running for 19 years but we never stop learning in this industry and are always looking for new ways to achieve the desired outcome. We make sure that we perfect every job to the highest of standards and give our client’s our word to provide that every time. Because of this expectation, we still have client’s today that have worked with Rowtec since the beginning!