In This Section
When is SteelDay?
SteelDay 2022 is October 21st, with events taking place throughout the entire week.
Where is SteelDay?
It's everywhere! Find an event near you.
What is SteelDay?
SteelDay is an annual event that connects the steel industry with AEC professionals around the country. Learn more here!
What if my boss won't let me leave the office on SteelDay?
Each year, we host a free webinar where you can receive PDH credits.
What if my question isn't answered here?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to figure it out!
What to expect on Facility Tours:
Structural Steel Fabricators
It is the fabricators who typically have the closest relationships with the design and contracting community and who will receive the steel contract from the general contractor. They then orchestrate the supply chain to fulfill the contract. There are around 2,500 fabricators in the U.S., serving every corner of the nation.
The fabricator works to a predetermined schedule developed in consultation with the project team. This schedule controls everything, from how the detailers release information, to when material is sent to the shop, to the order of trucks shipping fabricated steel to the job site.
One of the major advantages of building with structural steel is the quality of the fabrication process. Off-site fabrication allows for a quality controlled environment unaffected by climate and weather changes, or by adverse site conditions. The nature of the material allows it to be fabricated to very close tolerances and at every stage of fabrication the steel is inspected to help guarantee a quality product and eliminate mistakes and costly site work.
Fabrication itself consists of tasks such as cutting, drilling, punching, shearing, welding, piece assembly and assembly of complex geometry and trusses. Fabricators have invested in advanced computer-controlled (CNC) machinery and material-handling equipment to perform the more common tasks such as cutting to length, drilling and shape burning. The CNC machines are extremely fast and efficient and are fed automatically from the BIM systems used by the detailers.
Witness the beginning (and end) of the structural steel supply chain by visiting a steel mill and seeing the awesome capability of these huge scrap metal recycling and steel production facilities. Experience the quality control procedures throughout the process and develop an understanding of rolling schedules and steel availability.
Steel mills directly produce wide-flange beams, channels, angles and plate. Over 8 million tons of hot-rolled structural steel was produced in the U.S. in 2007, nearly 6 million of which was wide-flange sections. Every piece of steel is produced to conform to precise ASTM standards. Material strengths and dimensions are checked and verified several times before the material leaves the mill. This ensures a reliable, predictable product that structural engineers can design more easily and be guaranteed of its strength and characteristics.
Today’s modern steel production mills can be thought of as huge scrap metal recycling facilities – scrap metal now being the primary component in the manufacture of structural steel. Steel is North America’s No. 1 recycled product. The recycled content of structural steel beams and columns produced in the U.S. averages over 93%, with wide-flange beam production often having recycled content of over 98%, making structural steel the model of sustainable material production.
Manufacturers of hollow structural sections (HSS) produce square, rectangular and circular hollow structural sections out of flat steel plate using some of the most sophisticated, automated machinery in the industry.
See the incredible machinery and processes used to manufacture top quality hollow structural sections (HSS). Learn about the differences between HSS and TS or HSS and pipe and know how to call them out appropriately. Experience the quality control procedures throughout the process and develop an understanding of manufacturing schedules and HSS shape availability
Steel plate is received from the mill as a coil and these coils are fed through a series of incredible machines and processes to continuously produce the required section.
In North America, HSS sections conform to the ASTM Specification A500 and Canadian Specification CAN/CSA-G40.20-04/G40.21-04. The use of HSS is growing with popularity all around the world in the building industry. While less than 15% of the U.S. structural steel market, in Europe and Japan HSS members account for approximately 30% of the market. Popular uses include architecturally exposed structural steel, staggered truss and conventional truss structures, and basic column or vertical bracing elements.
Curved steel doesn’t just happen. Precision instruments and expert benders are responsible for these popular architectural and structural elements. Learn about the various methods of bending and rolling steel shapes and develop an understanding of these specialty sub-contractors and how they fit into the structural steel supply chain.
Bender-Roller companies are specialty sub-contractors who focus on bending (or rolling) steel shapes according to the job specification. Bending steel is a specialized and skilled process and fabricators do not normally have the capability to do it themselves. Benders receive the steel from the fabricator and then ship the curved steel back to the fabricator. Typical fabrication is still carried out through the main project fabricator who organizes the steel package from procurement through delivery to the site for erection.
Visit a hot-dip galvanizing facility and watch as fabricated steel is staged, cleaned, prepped and finally dipped into a kettle full of molten zinc to complete the galvanizing process.
Hot-dip galvanizing, is the process whereby fabricated steel, structural steel, castings, or small parts, including fasteners, are immersed in a kettle or vat of molten zinc, resulting in a metallurgical bonded alloy coating that protects the steel from corrosion.
Steel is galvanized post-fabrication and generally en-route to the project site. The galvanizing process consists of moving the steel through various baths. The first bath ensures the steel is free of grease, dirt and oil and following this it is neutralized, then dipped in an acid bath to remove any oxidation. To prevent further oxidation and prepare the steel for actual galvanizing, the steel goes through another chemical mixture before arriving at the zinc kettle.
The zinc kettle contains 99% pure molten zinc, heated between 815 ºF and 850 ºF. Once the steel is dipped into the kettle the chemical reaction occurs naturally and once the base metal reaches the same temperature as the molten zinc it is complete. There is no cure time needed although each batch is typically then dipped into a vat of water for cooling.