The Essential Art of Steel Detailing

Long before fabrication begins, before the men and machines are hauled in to form chunks of metal into precisely crafted pieces of a building puzzle, the process of steel detailing needs to be completed. 

What exactly is steel detailing?

Steel detailing is the process of producing shop drawings for steel fabricators to create exactly what is needed in a building or other project. In most instances, the steel detailer will include layout instructions to assist with the correct installation and erection of the framework produced.

A steel detailer will come into the process once the architect and the engineer have determined what is needed and how it all works together. 

The architect offers simple drawings of the design, ensuring that the look and feel are correct. The engineer will work alongside the architect to ensure that the structure is both safe and strong. The steel detailer will make use of both of these drawings to provide very detailed plans of what the fabricators need to produce, including the precise dimensions of the parts; each truss, beam and column, and how they fit together. 

Furthermore, they will add information on welding as well as painting and other surface requirements. 

Understandably, a steel detailer will need to be familiar with local building and safety regulations in order to translate the requirements from the architect and the engineer into actual working parts. 

It’s clear that steel detailing is a critical link in the design and fabrication chain, and its importance cannot be overstated. While a steel detailer may not be either an engineer or an architect, they have sufficient knowledge and experience to marry up the information from these two professionals to ensure that the results which roll off the fabrication floor are exactly what is required for a successful build.