Even though all steelwork suppliers promise to deliver reliable services, not every company is a true expert in what they are doing. There are surprising things you might not know about them that can help you choose a supplier that offers services at par with the latest standards and specifications.
1) CE ("Conformité Européene" Which Literally Means "European Conformity") Marking
In July 2014, steelwork manufacturers were introduced to a new regulation that meant every structural steel fabricator has to have an accreditation that allows them to CE mark their products. It covers every product that is sold for structural properties.
However, companies in the UK have been very slow to implement this regulation and many seemed to hope to continue working without it. From over 9,000 fabricators in the country, only 5% has the CE Marking accreditation, so be sure to always check if the one that you are going to hire is accredited.
2) Construction Products Regulation
The CPR is another European regulation that covers work in the UK. This regulation aims at improving the reliability of information, which is of interest to consumers, contractors, and public authorities. The CPR has been developed according to the European Product Standards and Technical Assessments and uses unified assessment methods.
Any company that works with steel, such as structural engineers, component manufacturers, and structural steelwork suppliers should be aware of this regulation. As a customer, you should always do a compliance check.
3) Corrosion Protection
Rust is an iron red oxide that is formed over time by the oxidation reaction of oxygen and iron. It rapidly appears in the presence of air, moisture, and water. Without quality corrosion protection, steel will rust due to these conditions. The amount of rust depends on the severity of environmental factors.
There are different protective methods, such as plastic or paint coating but they are old-fashioned and have drawbacks. For example, when a section of steel gets damaged, the coating will fall away and this section will become rusty. It happens quite often, which makes these types of protection unreliable.
A hot zinc spray treatment ensures that steel, which is exposed to damage isn't compromised by rust. Choose a supplier that uses the latest corrosion protection techniques in order to benefit from lower maintenance and repair costs.
4) Local Companies
Choosing to work with the local supplier in East Anglia instead of a huge chain has many benefits and some may even surprise you. For example, even though many companies offer good service, they can't do any better than a local owner can with a personal touch.
Local suppliers can offer products that are suitable for your area, your business, and local requirements. This is when you can actually find what you want rather than what a huge chain wants to sell you. It's also worth mentioning that local suppliers develop their services based on local customers rather than fashionable trends.
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