I-Beam - Fabrication - South Africa

I-Beam Processing

The traditional way of cutting and processing I-Beams, Channels and angle iron for the Steel Construction Industry is by either cutting the I-Beams with a cutting torch or a band saw to length and then use either mag base drills or CNC drilling lines to drill the holes into the sections.

MicroStep  have developed the ProfileCut  that has the ability to perform the following processes all on one machine via Plasma cutting technology:

  • Cutting to length and at any angle also with bevels.
  • Cutting slots and holes
  • Plasma etch marking of numbers as well as weld position
  • Castellation
  • Coping of the Flanges
I-Beam Cutting - Fabrication - South Africa

What Are Beams Used For?

Beams are used in the building construction industry. Specifically for bridges, column constructions and any other structures carrying vertical loads. Beams are horizontal structures which are used to resist a horizontal load, vertical load, and shear load.

There are different types of beams

  • Depending upon the which support they need to supply they are classified as either a fixed beam, over hanging beam or cantilever beam.
  • Cross-section beams are classified as either I beams and T beams.
  • Depending upon the geometry there can be straight beams, curved beams and tapper beams.

What is the difference between I-Beams and H-Beams?

Both H and I-Beams are used in the construction sector but both serve a different purpose.

The H beam has a thicker centre web which means that it is much stronger than I beam and because it is heavier the H-beam can also handle much more force than the I-Beam.

H beams are used with spans reaching up to 100 m where I beam is used for spans up to 10 to 30m.

The general difference between both H-beams and I-beams is the flange by web ratio. I – Beams are lighter then H-Beams and therefore both I-Beam and H-Beams serve their distinct purpose.

What are I-Beams used for?

I-Beams have a very high moment of inertia for the same volume of the given material. The two horizontal parts (called flanges) of the I-Beam can bear high bending and shearing stress, meaning that they do not get twisted and tilted easily. This is why they are used in girders, and as rails on the railway tracks.

3D Metal Cutting and Fabrication

MicroStep’s automated cutting machines for 3D structural steel jobs

In addition to the normal flatbed machines, MicroStep offers an exceptional variety of solutions for 3D Cutting of rotary objects and structural steel sections of various shapes. The rotary objects include differently sized circular, square and rectangular hollow sections, conical pipes, tori-spherical or elliptical dished ends and elbows.

MicroStep’s machines standard setup for sheet and pipe cutting consist of a cutting table for sheets and a channel for pipe positioning that is placed along the longitudinal side of the table. The pipes are clamped in a rotary pipe cutting device located at the one end of the channel.

The cutting process involves a combination of movements: the gantry with tool stations – straight or bevel – and the pipe cutting device are synchronized for a precise positioning of the pipe towards the cutting tool.

Polygonal profiles or elbows can be attached with a clamp to the pipe cutting device. For cutting of dished ends, a dished ends cutting area can be located behind or in front of the cutting table. A single cutting tool is used to process all different shapes of material.

For applications in the structural steel industry MicroStep has developed a product line of specialized machines for cutting of structural steel as well as systems for automated cutting and drilling of flanged parts.

These machines can be supplied depending on types and sizes of processed material or the requirements for automated material input and/or part output. All of these systems can be connected to a production line in the customer´s facility.

For cutting of hollow structures of circular and rectangular cross-sections we supply cutting machines PipeCut  and CPCut. Both systems are configured for the special requirements of the customer’s production. PipeCut machines can have a working length of 3 m, 6 m or 12 m and can process pipes with diameter ranges of Ø 50 mm up to Ø 800 mm. The maximum wall thickness is 50 mm for plasma cutting and up to 100 mm for oxyfuel.

The CPCut machines can also process large-sized pipes with diameters of up to Ø 3,000 mm.

For cutting of open sections, such as I, H, U or L profiles, MicroStep introduced a concept with a 3D kinematic system that is positions the cutting torch above the surface of a steady profile – this machine is the ProfileCut  .

During the cutting process, the cut profile is motionless while a specialized 3D cutting head with tilting ability of 120° moves around the profile both in the longitudinal and transverse directions. The ProfileCut options can be enhanced by adding a drilling/tapping/countersinking tool station with automatic tool exchange for drilling of up to Ø 40 mm or by various marking tool stations. The precision of cutting and positioning of the tool above the actual profile is achieved by advanced 3D scanning of a profile shape with a laser line scanner. This is followed with the automatic adjustment of the cutting program as well as adjustment of machine movements according to the true shape of the material.

In addition to 3D Cutting of open profiles, ProfileCut machines can be equipped with other cutting options. e.g. for processing of hollow profiles (cutting by means of a pipe positioner like on a PipeCut machine) or a cutting table for sheet cutting like on a standard flat-bed machine. All of this made possible with the same gantry and tool stations. This is what makes the ProfileCut one of the most versatile cutting solutions for steel constructions on the market, and we are very proud of its capabilities.

For automation of the cutting process MicroStep offers enhanced versions of its machines for any application. We have our own specially developed software that makes this possible.

ProfileCut - MicroStep - South Africa - Metal Cutting Machine

ProfileCut – The Wonder Machine that does it all for you:

This is the machine for you if you are looking to cut I-Beams:

The ProfileCut is a variable machine dedicated for the production of steel structures. Besides optional pipe-, rectangular profile- and sheet cutting zones it has a dedicated zone for cutting of structural profiles such as I, U or L. To enable precise division as well as cut-outs in required spots on the beam, the machine is equipped with a laser scanner for measuring of the exact shape of profile in the place of cutting which allows the control system to adjust the movement of tool according to the true shape of profile. In addition, the machine offers drilling and marking operations on beams.

For more information on the machine

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    Main Office: Unit B2B Isando Business Park, 10 Hulley Road, Isando 1600
    Office: 011 397 6356
    Ludwig Oellermann: +27 (0) 83 463 0999
    Email: info@microstepsa.co.za