The Complete Guide to Steel Fabrication

  • 22.07.22
  • Steel Fabrication

Discover the definition of steel fabrication, the different types of products, structures, and methods, and how to estimate steel fabrication costs.

As the forefather of steel production and fabrication during the Industrial Revolution, the UK gave birth to new metal manufacturing techniques, propelling the steel industry worldwide.

Even to this day, the UK still proudly produces steel products on a global scale, with Turkey alone importing approximately £614 million in products in 2020.

So, what is it that makes the UK such a popular manufacturing hub? Read on to discover the role of steel fabrication and how you can use it to enhance your next project.

The fabrication of steel remains a core UK industry for import and exportation. Learn the various steel fabrication types, methods, products, and costs.

A142 reinforcing mesh - Hickman & LOve

What Is Steel Fabrication?

We define steel fabrication as the process of transforming primary steel products through secondary techniques, such as cutting, bending, or joining.

However, to understand the fabrication of steel, we must indulge in both primary and secondary forms of steel manufacturing processes.

Primary Manufacturing Process

Firstly, primary manufacturing creates steel products in foundries and steel mills through forging, casting, extrusion, sintering, rolling and wire drawing.

This initial stage requires transforming raw metal pieces such as billets or ingots into metal products such as plates, sheets, tubes, and bars. These products are then ready for secondary manufacturing processes.

Secondary Manufacturing Process (Fabrication)

Secondly, the primary manufacturing products are taken as semi-finished products and reshaped or joined for end-use in machine shops or project sites.

Fabricated steel is achieved when primary manufacturing processes of raw metal materials transform into end-use products through the fabrication process. It’s an essential trade that supplies practically every industrial sector, including:

– Construction
– Transport
– Automotive
– Consumer products
– Military and defence
– Agriculture
– Energy
– Manufacturing

There are numerous methods and types of steel fabrication to create finished steel products, with new techniques continuing to develop.

Steel fabrication is essential for construction and structural industries, such as steel reinforcement mesh and rebar products that ensure concrete structures remain durable.

The Different Types of Steel Fabrication

By covering such a vast range of industry sectors and products, the fabrication of steel encompasses multiple techniques to serve varying purposes. Steel fabrication has three basic techniques:


Metal plates or other primary manufacturing processes are taken by the fabricator and cut to divide the piece into smaller portions. Steel fabrication cutting can involve three techniques, including:

– Laser cutting
– Plasma cutting
– Water-jet cutting
– Flame cutting (oxy-fuel cutting)

Each cutting technique has its advantages and disadvantages with many fabricators opting for CNC (Computer Numerical Control) cutters to save time and optimise the production process.


After a metal plate, sheet, or shape is ready, it may require bending into shape. You can apply heavy-duty machinery to clamp the steel with press brakes allowing you to shape the material effectively.
While this technique can be done by hand, press brakes now have automated capabilities like CNC cutters to increase efficiency.


Assembling is the next stage, often occurring after the steel is cut or bent. Typically, this is the final stage of fabrication and can involve welding or applying fasteners to attach the metal to its intended structure. Other types of steel fabrication techniques can include:

– Bonding
– Casting
– CNC machining
– Drawing
– Extrusion
– Forging
– Forming
– Stamping (press braking)
– Shearing
– Tooling
– Welding

As a historic tradition stretching back over 200 years, steel fabrication continues to develop with new forms to improve the efficiency and quality of steel products trying to emerge.

What are the Different Types of Fabricated Steel Products?

Steel fabrication products can come in various structural sizes and purposes. By using the following techniques, we can manipulate steel to serve a host of structural purposes across the commercial, industrial, and structural industries.

The manufacture of fabricated metal products in the UK continues to grow with an estimated revenue of $52.31 billion and an annual growth rate of 5.6% expected between 2022-2027. A variety of types of steel fabrication structures created as products include:

Pre-fabricated steel cages
– Steel trusses
– Storage tanks
– Automotive parts
– Ship hulls
– Steel enclosures
– Hand tools
– Bolts, nuts, screws, etc.
– Cans
– Cutlery
– Equipment attaches
– Mental windows and doors
– Pipes and pipe fittings

As you can see from this list, steel fabrication has an extensive repertoire of products and purposes across multiple industries.

How to Estimate Steel Fabrication Cost

To get an accurate estimate of steel fabrication pricing, we recommend you speak to a trusted supplier. The average cost for steel frame building can range between £250-400 per meter squared.

While the average cost for steel fabrication can range anywhere from £300-£1,500, depending on the size and supplier you choose. To get a free quote, speak to one of our steel fabrication specialists today.

Speak to a Steel Fabrication Expert

Hickman & Love is a proud family-owned company that has provided quality steel fabrication products to the UK and Ireland since 1948. As reputable steel stocklists, we ensure the quality of our steel fabrication solutions serves all types of industry sectors and projects. From small domestic DIY jobs to large-scale concrete reinforcement structures, we supply a versatile range of steel fabrication solutions to serve our variety of clients.

So, if you’re on the market for steel fabrication solutions, please call +44 (0)121-557-2191 or email enquiries@hickmanandlove.co.uk. Or like us on Facebook to keep up to date with projects and news.


“We have large selection of products for your construction project, call 0121-557-2191 to order today.”