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Stainless Steel Fabrication

What is stainless steel fabrication?

stainless steel fabricators

Stainless steel fabrication is the technique of manufacturing shapes and products from flat stainless steel sheet metal using techniques such as cutting, welding, forming and machining.

Fabrication processes used for manufacturing stainless steel components are determined by the physical and mechanical properties of the available steels and the type of finish required for the final product: grained, bead blasted, brushed, passivated and polished.

Fabrication with stainless steels provides long-term value, corrosion resistance, 100% recyclability and heat and fire resistance.

Because of its versatility, a wide range of stainless steel fabricating techniques can be employed in the manufacturing process.

Despite its relatively high strength stainless steel is malleable enough to be folded, machined, welded and finished in a wide variety of textures.

Modern fabrication technology allows stainless steel to be cut, welded and processed as quickly and efficiently as other non-ferrous metals.

But, to ensure high-quality stainless steel fabrication and avoid any cross-contamination, it is important that workshops maintain separate processing facilities for ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

Quality stainless steel fabricator must possess the technology, equipment and processes to fabricate the highest quality stainless steel products with ease.

Advantages of stainless steel fabrication

Stainless steels can be fabricated using conventional techniques and, despite a generally higher cost, the benefits make this dependable metal the only choice of sheet metal for many sheet metal fabrications.

The main advantages are:

  • 100% Recyclable: Stainless steel is fully recyclable and, as it is not coated with any toxic material, does not produce toxic run-off, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice.
  • Strength-to-Weight Benefit: High strength duplex grades provide added strength to thinner material, providing a competitive advantage over other grades.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Chromium in stainless steels adds resistance to corrosion, fire and heat, with different grades offering resistance in different environments.
  • Easy maintenance: Stainless-steel products require relatively little maintenance.

Industrial applications

Stainless steel fabrications are commonly used in food processing industries, the medical sector and for other hygiene-conscious products.
High chromium grades of stainless are also extremely valuable for use in catering equipment, heating and ventilation systems, and the manufacture of products such as boilers, heaters and heat exchangers.
Common stainless steel fabrication projects at KMF include outdoor forecourt and vending machinery and conveyor systems for the food processing and packaging industries.

Stainless steel finishes

In stainless steel fabrication, the finish is one of the most important processes. KMF has the expertise and equipment to achieve many types of stainless-steel finishes.

  • Bead blasted: Bead blasting is the process of removing deposits from the steel surface by the administration of fine glass beads at high pressure, resulting in a low-reflective matte surface. This finishing method removes any lines or grooves and is commonly used in food processing and medical equipment manufacturer for a clean, hygienic finish.
  • Brushed: A brushed stainless steel finish is achieved with deburring belts, of various grit levels to achieve different finishes. The distinctive finish maintains some brightness but loses any mirror reflection. The process may reduce corrosion resistance but offers strong decorative appeal.
  • Passivated: Passivation involves treating or coating sheet metal to minimise the chemical reactivity of its surface. With stainless steel fabrication, passivation uses an acid solution to eliminate surface contamination. Passivation is often used alongside CNC machining services.
  • Mirror: Mirror finishes are achieved by extensive polishing with finer abrasives followed by comprehensive buffing. The finish is highly reflective and removes all welding marks or surface damage. The process enhances the appearance of the metal and allows easy cleaning, so it is often used for commercial products.

Stainless steel fabrication at KMF

KMF Group delivers stainless steel fabrication services in grades 304 and 316. As expert stainless-steel fabricators, our customers benefit from separate processing of ferrous and non-ferrous materials through KMF Special Products, a purpose-built facility dedicated to stainless steel fabrication.

This ensures the metal fabrication process does not diminish the intrinsic properties of the metal and the surface of the fabricated product does not discolour.

Our stainless-steel facility houses its own laser cutting cell, a dedicated bending department, welding bays and a glass bead blasting cabinet.

By combining the accumulated experience of stainless steel fabrication with dedicated technology and constant innovation, we can design, fabricate and provide a range of stainless steel processing solutions that enhance product functionality, improve time-to-market and achieve cost efficiencies.

If you have a question or enquiry about our services as stainless steel fabricators, please get in touch.

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