The steel industry
Image 01

In this section of my web site I will try to tell a story about my work in the steel industry for bridge work.

The heavy steel fabrication industry is a fascinating and intriguing line of work. Steel mills excavate iron ore and melt scrap iron to make steel products such as steel plates, beams, channels, pipes, rods...etc. Mixing chemicals with the molten iron at the milling process determines the grade or the quality of the final steel product.

Different grades of steel will exhibits different characteristics. Soft bendable steel will resist metal fatigue in bridge applications while hard steel similar to cast iron will be stronger but also brittle under high impact and susceptible to metal fatigue.

The methods used to cut and shape the steel depend on the application of the final product. Steel parts for structural buildings can be cut with plasma cutters while bridge girders must be cut with flame burners; unlike plasma cutting, using flames can control the hardness level of the cut-edges. Bridge girders need to flex and bend repeatedly and therefore, using softer flames will cause the cut-edge to be soft thus allowing the steel to bend within the allowed tolerances preset by engineers.

My work in the steel industry involved writing programs for CNC burners and plasma cutters. I also trained and used flame burners, plasma cutters and heavy duty drills.

Below are some images and videos where you see me using such equipment to produce steel parts, webs and flanges for bridge work.

Using steel plates as long as 40 meters and as thick as 80 millimeters and as wide as 3 meters, we fabricated massive steel girders including assembly parts. I used two huge overhead cranes rigged with spreaders and massive chains and hooks in order to move the steel plates, flanges and webs that I cut using primarily flame burner and as well plasma cutters.

The steel industry environment is generally dusty, dirty and rustic. Steel plants look like abandoned old places with ancient machinery. I will try to take you on a journey of what's it like to work in the steel industry especially in the heavy bridge work steel manufacturing. Enjoy your visit and let me know if you have any questions.

Images albums
My work
Flame burner
Craning 40 meters long steel plate
Craning steel plate from wheelabrator carts using chains method
Craning steel plate using clamps
The steel yard
locomotive train in the steel shop
Oxygen bottles
Gouging the burn table
Steel plant from outside
Cleaning plasma dust from the Gemini plasma cutter dust pan
Steel shop from inside
Its raining outside its raining inside
Plasma cutter and drill
Sum birds in the lot where I park
Overhead cranes
Craning completed girders
Winter is brutal
Ficep drill
The steel fabrication shop
Welding and gouging
Jerry the mouse
Lunch-room and office
Jerry the Mousii part 2
Paint shop
Shipping completed girder using special trailer
Safety posters
Craning small plate using plate hooks
Python precision plasma cutter
Python plasma cutter
Fork-lift and Zoom-boom
Craning a 40 meters cambered web using two overhead cranes
Steel cutting fail
Buggo portable flame burner for cutting steel
The steel team
Cutting rusted plate
Playing golf with the steel team
Lost cut
Welding and cutting steel fumes
Profile cut for parts
Burning wet plates while raining
Cutting flanges
End cut
Flange heating while cutting
burning webs close to edge
Wild life at work with Johnny
Andy cutting scrap
CNC cutting multiple profiles at once using 4 torches
Normal flange cut
Oxygen (OXI)
The steel shop (the crome pit)
CNC profile cut start
Playing golf with lots of beer
Jerry the mouse part 3
Me and Johnny
Operation mice
Wild life with baby chicks