Heavy Steel Fabrication vs Light Steel Fabrication

Heavy Steel Fabrication

Metal fabrication employs a variety of manufacturing processes used to cut, bend, join, and assemble raw materials into finished products.

At Trade Tech, our wide range of capabilities enables us to provide heavy steel fabrication services to a variety of industries. Depending on the required specifications, we use a number of advanced fabrication methods including,

  • 5 axis abrasive waterjet cutting
  • Horizontal and Vertical sawing
  • Weld Preparation and Beveling.
  • Machining

…and we can outsource locally for large capacity

  • Bending
  • Rolling
  • Plate Processing

Heavy Steel Fabrication vs. Light Steel Fabrication​

While there is no formal definition for heavy steel fabrication or light steel fabrication, heavy steel fabrications tend to be big, heavy, and massive in nature. Welds are larger often including Complete Joint Penetration (CJP) welds in materials in excess of one inch and requiring multiple pass welds, and generally higher pre-heat and maintenance requirements associated with these thicker materials.  Structural elements, industrial tanks, large-scale agricultural machines and equipment, nuclear containers, as well as walkways, are all examples of heavy steel fabrications.  In contrast, light steel fabrications are typically smaller and more manageable in sizes such as brackets, display cases, toolboxes, and smaller architectural items.

A major consideration is the ability to position these large weldments for efficient welding either utilizing large or multiple cranes.  Trade Tech’s high bays allow us to pick and position weldments with 25 Ton single pick and 50 Ton multiple pick lifting capacity.  Additionally, Trade Tech utilizes Electric and Hydraulic Weld positioners to precisely position individual joints for efficient welding.  

Best Materials for Heavy Steel Fabrication

At Trade Tech, our heavy fabrication team is capable of manufacturing components from several materials to meet your needed specifications.

Ferrous metal

Ferrous metals are composed of a considerable amount of iron. Ferrous metals have varying characteristics based on the alloys found in the composition of the metal, but all of them are typically very hard metals that offer high strength and durability.

Non-Ferrous metal

Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Nickel offer advantages including lightweight, corrosion resistance, and differences in responses to magnetism and friction. 

Steel plate, Structural steel 

Steel plate material is used in the construction and fabrication of products and structures that must withstand severe operating and environmental conditions. Because of their strength and durability, steel plates are often used in marine, military, and pressure vessel applications.

Structural steel is a metal characterized by high strength and ductility. Structural steel is used for making building and construction materials in a variety of shapes, many times in the form of an elongated beam with a profile of a specific cross-section, such as I-beams, Z-shapes, and rods. Steel and Structural Steel are welded under AWS D1.1

Stainless steel

High in Chromium and Nickel, Stainless Steel for Structures is welded under AWS D1.6.  


A superalloy, also known as exotic metal, are alloys that exhibit excellent mechanical strength, resistance to thermal deformation, creep resistance, good surface stability, and resistance to corrosion or oxidation. Examples of superalloys include titanium, Inconel, Hastelloy®, and other alloys, including high chromium and nickel stainless steel.

Industries That Benefit From Heavy Steel Fabrication

Heavy steel fabrication is a process critical to the operation of many industries. At Trade Tech, we offer a wide range of steel fabrication services that enable us to provide the highest quality components available. Our team has performed heavy steel fabrications for a variety of industries including:

  • Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Defense and military
  • Engineering
  • Expander tools
  • Forestry
  • Forging plants
  • Industrial
  • Marine
  • Mining
  • Mold and die casting
  • Nuclear
  • Oil and gas
  • Rock crushing
  • Spin tools
  • Tanneries
  • Wind energy generation

Contact Trade Tech for Your Heavy Steel Fabrication Services Needs Today!

Heavy steel fabrication requires the right equipment and the appropriate level of skill and expertise to ensure that components are fabricated to meet the specifications of the application. At Trade Tech, our highly experienced team utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide industries with the highest quality precision components available. To learn more about the heavy steel fabrication services we offer at Trade Tech, contact us today.