Production of Metal Structures
Metal structures are not only one of the principal construction types used for construction of industrial facilities but also the structural basis of most industrial equipment used in various industries, varying in energy performance and functional characteristics. Due to this, metal structures make use of a variety of materials and technologies of fabrication and installation. Here, you can find out more about production of metal structures.
Metal structures are known to have a number of advantages over other types of constructions, being durable, rigid yet light at the same dimensions, resistant to corrosion and adaptable to production, installation and dismanting. It is mainly due to the fact that raw material used for metal constructions includes a large variety of rolled metal products, both steel and light-alloy (mainly aluminium): pipes, channels, double-Ts, L-bars etc., sheet metal and corrugated sheets, cold-bent sections and many others. Besides, manufacturability of the constructions relies on multiple options of connection between elements, including both undismountable connections, such as welding and rivets, and dismountable connections, such as screw joints that use tight-fitting and high-strength bolting.
The choice of the connection type depends on the practicability of regular dismantling and installation of the structure , as well as the nature of the connected metals and the type of load. Screw joints are indispensible in case of frequent assembling and disassembling and installation of block structures and technological equipment. Welding, on the other hand, is better suited for production of monolithic structures for long-term use, in particular, to save the space for dimensions of connection nodes. Riveted connection is used marginally, but can be used in long span structures subjected to periodic load to avoid propagation of fatigue cracks as well to connect hard-to-weld materials, although they have been in decline for some time now.
Regardless of the structure type and material used, production of metal structures begins with production of individual elements, using a variety of metal-working machinery: thermal cutting, lathe, drilling, cutoff and other machines, bending devices etc. Most contemporary machinery is equipped with programmed control and can work in robot control mode.
Production of Metal Structures: Optimization
Production optimization is attained through well-coordinated work of the departments and harmonization of the products at least within one project. Taking into account the fact that the step of construction projects is often standardized, numerous elements in most projects can be harmonized at the stage of project development.
Most metal structure elements are assembled at the manufacturing facility using automatic or semiautomatic welding (dismountable elements/blocks/components are attached with screw joints). Exceptions are made if elements and assembled components exceed acceptable dimensions for rail or highway transportation and, in some cases, for inland and marine transport. When it is impossible or impractical to assemble the metal structure at the manufacturing plant or when the installed equipment comes in completed blocks, the structure is assembled on site from pre-assembled units/components by welding or screw joints. The type of welding used for assembly is usually manual arc or semiautomatic, with automatic welding reserved mostly for special or unique work, such as construction of main pipelines.
It should be noted that installation following the production of metal structures with unique characteristics often takes place on site, taking into account specific conditions and peculiarities that can factor into the production process. Production of this nature is one of the most complex processes, as it requires high-class skills of the personnel involved in the assembly. Most processes in assembly of metal structures are manual or power-driven, but not automated; thus, the quality of the end product is highly dependent on both the knowledge, abilities and skills of the personnel and the modern mounting equipment they use.
Which makes us all the more proud of the fact that OLAND group has a vast positive experience of metal structure production on site, including the projects commissioned by PAO Rossieti, successfully implemented in various regions in Russia.
Metal structures produced on site can be installed in the design position after their complete assembly or in separate units, which usually depends on the mass-geometric characteristics of the structure and the capacity of lifting equipment used for installation.