Customer Focused Structural Steel Fabrication: Load Out Conveyor Support Frame

At Southeast Fabricators, quality steel fabrication is what we do, but empowering our customers to achieve their goals is who we are. Being able to manage all aspects of a project from detail drawings, material purchasing, metal fabrication, welding, and painting to quality assurance and quality control means that when a project requires something out of the ordinary, or a customer makes a special request, we can accommodate those requirements.

A recent example of this was a customer request to bolt up some of the frame members during a project along the Mississippi River. The job requirement was for steel fabrication of a load out conveyor and the accompanying support structure. Normally, most of the pieces for a project are fabricated, labelled, and shipped loose to the job site where the parts are assembled by the erection crew in the field.  For this project, the customer requested that some of the frames be completely assembled for trial fit in the shop prior to shipping to the site.

Pictured below are the vertical and horizontal members that will provide the support to the load out conveyor in the field. The vertical support frame (in the foreground) was built with 27 inch beams and braced with a 10 inch schedule 40 pipe. The pipe brace presented its own challenge: we had to build three sides of frame, put the pipe inside that, and then put the last beam into place. The pipe was left loose until the inside of the frame was welded then the pipe was moved into place in the center of the web of the 27-inch beam and then welded in place. The blue arrow in the picture below points to the full penetration welds that were required on the top and bottom of the frames. In all, there were eight total welds for each brace.

Once the welds were ultrasonically tested, the vertical frames received two coats of paint for added corrosion resistance. Each individual piece was pre-blasted through our blast machine, which has four wheels that sling metal shot onto the material inside a cabinet that will clean up any rust, slag etc., from the beam/pipe surface. After fabrication and welding was completed we moved these frames to our blasting yard. We blasted the frames with blasting abrasives to insure that the frames were completely clean of all impurities. Next we applied the first coat of paint. This material is an epoxy coating that required seven to 10 mils dry film thickness when completed. The second coat of paint was a mastic type of paint that required 12 to 15 mils of dry film thickness when completed.

structural steel fabricated frame bolted up

The horizontal frame (shown along the floor in the background of the image) is part of the support that the actual conveyor will sit on. That frame is 11 feet wide and 30 feet long. That frame along with its matching partner and the beams and bracing that tie it all together will be hot dipped galvanized.

Although this is only a small example of how we can accommodate customer requests, we welcome inquiries about how we can work with you to succeed in your project.



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