At its most basic level, bevelling is the process used to prepare metals, including stainless steel, for a welded seam. This is done by cutting an angled slope on the edge of the metal, and forms an integral part of building pretty much everything! From simple stainless steel cabinets to complicated bridgework, bevelling is a technique with almost limitless applications.
Bevelled stainless steel edges produce a stronger, sturdier weld than straight edges, making them the preferred choice for heavy-duty equipment in the agricultural, mining, construction, oil and gas and shipbuilding industries.
It’s common for fabricators to use plasma cutters and abrasives to create bevelled edges, but other methods, such as peeling and shearing, milling and routing, and punch and nibbling are also popular for certain applications. It’s important to remember that the surface being prepared for welding may not always be flat and straight, so the bevel may sometimes need to be on a curve, or an inside diametre. This is an important and influential consideration when deciding which bevelling method to use, in order to ensure a successful finished result.
Other factors, such as speed, ergonomics and noise may also influence which method you use. If speed is a factor, it’s important to find out the amount of bevel that can successfully be achieved in one pass. Sometimes, a method may appear slower, but actually achieves more bevelling in a single pass than another method, meaning the final result is more quickly achieved.
Bevelled edges are not just required in cases where structural integrity is crucial. Sometimes they are created purely for aesthetic appeal. But regardless of the reason or the industry, or how simple or complex the cut, bevelling needs three key things to ensure predictable and consistent success – competent hardware, sophisticated software, and knowledgeable, trained people.
You’ll find all three – and much more – at Steelmor, South Africa’s leading manufacturer and supplier of stainless steel products. Contact us to find out more about our bevelling machines and how we can help you get the best results for your next project.