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Q. How is steel made?


Steel is made from iron ore, a combination of iron, oxygen and other minerals.

Q. Where does steel come from?


Steel is made from iron ore, a combination of iron, oxygen and other minerals. The iron is mined and then turned into steel using one of two processes - blast furnaces and, more recently, electric arc furnaces. The iron ore is heated and melted in furnaces where the impurities are removed and other elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium, carbon and vanadium are later added to produce different grades of steel.

Q. Who invented steel?


While the production of iron started in around 2000 BC in Asia, Englishman Henry Bessemer is credited with creating modern steel in the mid 1850s. Bessemer devised a way of producing steel by blowing air through molten iron to oxidize the material and separate impurities.

Q. What is the difference between a blast furnace and an electric arc furnace?


Blast Furnaces have traditionally been the way to make steel. The basic idea of a blast furnace dates back more than 2,000 years to China and although the technology has been updated the principle remains the same. Firstly, iron ore is melted using coke (orignally charcoal) as fuel. The iron is converted into steel by blowing oxygen through it. Most of the world's steel is made by this method. Blast furnaces also require a large amount of space and due to the way steel is made, it produces a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Electric Arc Furnaces, as the name suggests, use electricity as the main source of energy. Electricity is passed through giant electrodes in the roof of an oven, creating an arc in which the temperature reaches 3,000 degrees celsius. Electric Arc Furnaces also use scrap metal rather than iron ore as the main fuel plus they use a lot less energy than blast furnaces and can be quickly stopped and restarted.

Q. What are the main types of steel?


There are four main types of steel commonly available. The first is carbon steel. It looks dull, matte-like, and is exceptionally strong. It is also the most common type of steel used accounting for around 90% of steel production. Carbon steel is broken into three main sub categories, low carbon steel (also known as mild steel), medium carbon steel, and high carbon steel.The second is alloy steel, which is made by combining steel with additional alloying elements such as nickel, copper, chromium and/or aluminum. This process improves the strength, ductility, corrosion resistance and machinability of the steel. The third is stainless steel, which is easily identified by it’s sheen. It is commonly used in the food, medical and architectural sectors. The fourth and final type of steel is tool steel. This is commonly used for cutting and drilling equipment due to the higher heat resistance and hardness they get from the alloys they have in them.

Q. How is steel fabricated?


Steel fabrication is the process of converting steel into steel structures that can eventually be used in construction or assembly. The main forms of steel fabrication include cutting, forming, machining or welding. Additional processes such as finishing and heat treatment are also available. The fabrication process is completed by highly trained specialist steel fabricators and welders. For more information click here.

Q. What are steel frames?


A steel frame is a building technique with a "skeleton frame" of vertical steel columns and horizontal  steel beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame. The steel beams are connected to the columns using bolts and threaded fasteners. These types of buildings have become an increasingly popular choice on many construction projects as they provide strength and durability as well as flexibility.

Q. What are steel sections?


Steel sections offer structural support to a range of infrastructure projects. There are five main types of steel sections widely available, each with their own specific uses. The first are angle sections, sometimes known as L-shaped sections. These are best known by their equal or unequal sizes, with both types featuring right angles. These sections are highly effective in resisting  tension under point loads and are used in braces, connecting members for built-up sections. The second are I-Beams and H-Beams, which are heavily used steel sections in the construction sector. These sections feature an I or H shape and provide strength and support for various load combinations. They are widely used as beams, girders, and columns on buildings, bridges, and other structures. The third are channels, sometimes known as C-beams or U-beams. These are popular thanks to their combination of strength of cost-effectiveness, making them ideal supports in various smaller projects. The fourth are hollow structural sections. These come available as circular, rectangular and square. They are often used in load-bearing columns, welded steel frames, and industrial equipment. Their hollow design provides efficient strength-to-weight ratios, making them suitable for multi-axis loading applications. The fifth, and last, are steel plates. These are highly popular because they can be produced in different shapes and sizes. The plates are commonly used to reinforce structures or attached to other steel sections.

Q. What are the different execution classes?


The execution class is determined by the potential risk to the public if the component or structure fails. There are four types of execution classes in order of complexity - 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Q. What is the difference between Execution Class 1 and 2?


Execution class 1 consists of structural components made of steel up to strength class S275 and structural components made of aluminium alloys while execution class 2 consists of structures made of steel up to strength class S700 and structural components made of aluminium alloys. Adey SteelShop is accredited to both execution classes 1 and 2.

Q. What is the difference between Execution Class 2 and 3?


Execution class 2 consists of structures made of steel up to strength class S700 and structural components made of aluminium alloys while execution class 3 covers supporting structures made of steel up to strength class S700 and structural components made of aluminium alloys. Adey SteelShop is accredited to both execution classes 2 and 3.

Q. What is a Juliet balcony?


Made famous by Shakespeare, the Juliet balcony is essentially a balcony consisting of a balustrade connection to the building facade without a deck to walk on. It provides a cost-effective way to create an open, outdoor feel to an indoor space in an apartment, for example. Relatively easy to install, Juliet Balconies are well suited to a variety of property styles. For more information on the manufacture, supply and install of a Juliet balcony railing from Adey SteelShop click here.

Q. What are walk on balconies?


A walk on balcony is an elevated platform, typically attached to the upper floor of a building, providing the user with a dedicated outdoor space. Structural steel walk on balconies are not just safe and secure but provide the home owner with space to relax and take in the outdoors.  Available in many sizes, shapes and styles, they are designed to withstand the elements with both galvanising and powder coating options available to ensure their longevity.

Q. Where is Adey SteelShop located?


Adey SteelShop is a family-owned-and-managed business located on the Falcon Industrial Park in Loughborough. For directions to Adey SteelShop click here.

Q. Where can I get more information about jobs at Adey SteelShop?


Adey SteelShop is always looking to expand its team to support its growth as a company, ensuring customers receive the highest quality service possible at all times. To find out more about the latest vacancies at Adey SteelShop click here.


Q. What is structural steel fabrication?


Structural steel fabrication is the process of manufacturing steel components that can then be used in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures. The process involves cutting, shaping, and assembling  steel components to create a final product that can then be used for construction. For more information on structural steel fabricators click here.

Q. What is the difference beteen galvanising and powder coating steel?


When fabricating steel products, it’s also important to consider the finish that needs to be applied to the product. The two most common steel finishes are galvanising and powder coating. Galvanising is the process whereby the steel is submerged is dipped into a bath of molten zinc. The zinc creates a thick layer around the steel, helping to guard against corrosion. Powder coating is a dry process which requires an electrostatic charge in the metal to allow the powder to bind to the surface of the metal. The metal then undergoes a baking process; the heat enables the powder to complete the binding process, forming a protective layer against the elements. While galvanising and powder coating are two very distinct processes, they are both equally good at protecting the structural steel beams and columns from corrosion.

Q. How is structural steel fabricated?


Fabricating structural steel involves a number of steps such as cutting, shaping, and assembling steel components. The fabrication process typically begins with the creation of detailed plans and drawings, which are used to guide the fabrication process. The steel components are then cut and shaped using saws, plasma cutters, and bending machines. Once the fabricated steel components have been cut and shaped, they are assembled using welding or bolting methods. For more information on structural steel fabricators in Loughborough click here.

Q. What are the main welding processes?


Welding is the process of joining two or more pieces of metal together. This technique has been used for centuries and has become integral to modern methods of construction (MMC).  There are currently over 30 welding types which can be divided into four main welding processes – Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), Metal Active Gas (MAG) Welding (also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Manual Arc Welding (MMA) and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding (or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).

Q. What are the most common welding joints?


There are five common welding joints used during the fabrication process. These are the butt joint, corner joint, edge joint, lap joint and tee joint.


Q. What accreditations does Adey SteelShop hold?


Loughborough structural steel specialist Adey SteelShop has a wide range of industry leading accreditations including CHAS, Cyber Essentials, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 and SMAS Worksafe Contractor. For the full list of our accreditations click here.


Q. Does Adey SteelShop have a carbon reduction plan?


Adey SteelShop was the first specialist steel fabricator to launch a Carbon Reduction Plan. The detailed plan provides a roadmap to net zero by 2050 for the award-winning structural steel specialist. The first step in reducing energy consumption was the introduction of ETL-certified LED lighting to replace inefficient fluorescent tubes. This included bulkhead, highbay, linear and recessed fittings throughout the business. Adey SteelShop is now exploring the time scales for installing replacement windows across the site as well as the move to electric boilers to further boost energy efficiency. For more information click here.

Q. Can steel be recycled?


Steel is 100% recyclable. Steel is the world’s most recycled construction material and 40% of all steel production is based on recycled scrap. To put that in context, over 500 million tonnes of steel are recycled worldwide each year. In the UK, 87% of constructional steel is recycled; 10% is reused and only 3% goes to landfill according to the Galvanizers Association. The versatility of steel means that it can be easily recycled or reused.

Q. Can steel be reused?


Unlike recycling, reusing steel requires little or no reprocessing. It also a greater environmental advantage than recycling since the environmental impact of reprocessing is minimal as it doesn't require remelting and then rolling. The most popular steel products to reuse include piles, hollow sections and purlins.

Design and Detailing

Q. What is steel detailing?


Steel detailing is the production of detailed plans and drawings for use  by steel fabricators and erectors. The specialist CAD drawings help the fabricators and welders understand the exact requirements for fabricating each individual piece of steel.  The drawings also help  the steel erectors to know how to erect the fabricated steel. The detailer creates the drawings using Tekla software so that the exact detailing requirements for fabrication are provided. This includes material specifications plus dimensions, welding, bolting, and other necessary information. For more information click here.

Q. What is Business Information Modelling?


Business Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project throughout its life cycle. As part of this process, a coordinated digital description of every aspect of the asset is developed through the use of appropriate technology such as Tekkla. For more information on Adey Steelshop's BIM capabilities click here.

Steel Processing

Q. How do you fold steel?


Metal folding (or forming as it is sometimes known) is the process of applying one or more bends to a sheet of metal by securing the sheet at a certain point and applying enough pressure to fold the metal. A machine is used to bend or fold the metal in order for it to reach the intended form. There are a number of different folding techniques including air bending, bottoming, coining and folding. To learn more about metal folding click here.

Q. Does Adey SteelShop cut steel?


Adey SteelShop can provide customers with a range of steel cutting services. Our teams of experts are able to  cut universal beams and columns to a variety of lengths and thicknesses of steel without compromising on quality. If you would like more information click here.

Quality Control

Q. What is NDT testing?


NDT stands for Non-Destructive Testing. It is a testing and analysis technique used across many industries to evaluate the properties of a material, component, structure or system for characteristic differences or welding defects and discontinuities without damaging or altering the original part. For more information on NDT testing speak to a member of the Adey SteelShop team on 01509 663366 or email [email protected].


Q. Does Adey SteelShop deliver steel?


Adey Steel has a dedicated fleet of delivery vehicles to ensure prompt delivery of orders to site throughout the UK, including the option of next working day on more time critical projects. We can also provide HIAB crane delivery vehicles to minimise the need for site material handling equipment and all of our drivers are fully qualified in the loading and offloading of fabricated steel. To speak to a member of the Adey SteelShop team about delivering steel to site click here.

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Our Accreditations

Adey SteelShop is proud to hold the following accreditations