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  • Ir Hisham Mohd Ghani

QUALITY CONTROL OF STRUCTURAL STEEL


Steel is at the heart of many civil, building, and industrial projects today, and the absolute last thing you want to be relying on for structural integrity is low quality or defective steel.

Problems and defects which arise at one or many of the phases of steel manufacturing can cause weakness and cause welds to fail.

Because of this, and because the 'stakes' on steel are so high, managing steel quality and fabrication properly - from supply to delivery is of utmost importance.

Quality control and quality inspections are the mechanisms for ensuring that the quality of steel (and all work and materials) is up to standards and project spec.

The wide variety of structural steels now available, the predominating and ever-increasing use of welded designs, and the rapid pace and the magnitude of today's construction activities have caused great changes in structural steel inspection, both in methods and in importance.

Responsibilities of the inspector of structural steel production, fabrication, and erection have greatly increased in the last decade.

An intimate knowledge of the properties and behavior of these modern steels, as well as of the production, fabrication, and erection facilities, is absolutely necessary for proper quality control.

Structural steel is inspected in three distinct phases:

(a) in the mill,

(b) in the fabricating shop, and

(c) at the construction site.

Customarily, mill inspection is the responsibility of the producer; shop inspection is carried out both by the fabricator and the owner or engineer; and field inspection is largely the responsibility of the owner or engineer.

Inspection by the manufacturer and fabricator is carried out through their own quality control forces, and by the owner and his engineer through inspection agencies specially employed for this purpose or by their own trained groups of inspectors.

It is imperative to develop steel quality control checklist forms as an integral part of this quality control and inspection procedure. It provides the framework for any steel quality inspection with:

‐ Delivery to site checklist section

‐ Structural steel section

‐ Material test

‐ Bolted connection

‐ Welding connection

‐ Erection work

‐ Painting and surface preparation checklist

The template and each of these sections can be made to suit your internal process of inspections and requirements.


Although steel is a durable and powerful material, only high standard processes during fabrication can ensure its sustainability. Even the smallest details have to be accounted for and everything must be checked twice to ensure the highest quality results.

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