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Recommendations for use for work on steel

Successfully working on steel depends on many factors. We have briefly summarized the most important points for you in the following.

What do you have to note when working on steel?

When working on construction steels, the joining process is particularly important. In the majority of cases, this involves welding, which requires thorough preparation and post-processing of the material.

Before welding

The edges and areas to be welded are prepared before the process. This includes the following:

  • Deburring to remove unwanted projections on the workpiece and to avoid any injuries from being cut
  • Creating chamfers to prepare for the weld seam, e.g. by creating V-joints (ISO 9692)
  • Processing the areas to be joined to ensure that the edges and areas are bare metal, e.g. because of rust, scale or following flame cutting.

These preparations ensure that the parts can be welded together correctly.

After welding

Following welding, the weld seams are post-processed. This includes the following:

  • Removing scale/silicates and heat discolouration
  • Rectifying welding defects such as undercuts or weld spatter
  • Smoothing the welding bead or
  • Completely levelling the weld seam so that the joint is not visible.

Preparation for final corrosion protection

The following steps are carried out as preparation for the final corrosion protection:

  • Any contamination which reduces adhesion or causes corrosion should be removed from the surfaces. The surface should have a surface quality that promotes adhesion and any
  • sharp edges should be deburred, blunted, and ideally rounded to a radius of ≥ 2 mm. Read more about working on edges using burrs.

Finally, the steel surface of the finished component is protected against corrosion by paint, powder coating or metallic coatings (e.g. galvanizing).

How can you avoid corrosion when working on steel

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Corrosion protection, i.e. preventing or minimizing corrosion, is required to keep the damage caused by rust to a minimum. Alongside design-based measures such as avoiding water pooling or protection against the rain, corrosion protection processes are often used in the form of coating systems. These corrosion protection measures are particularly powerful and are versatile in use:

  • Coating the steel surface with liquid or powder coating materials, such as painting
  • Applying metallic coatings (zinc, aluminium or zinc/aluminium alloys, too) using hot-dip electroplating processes, e.g. hot-dip galvanizing or thermal spraying
  • Combining metallic coatings with coating processes (duplex systems)

Coating systems with liquid or powder coating materials also mean you have varied options when it comes to the colour, in addition to protecting the steel.

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