From Kloeckner Steel to a Canal Boat – our Plates in Action!

At Kloeckner Metals UK we are extremely passionate about pushing our products and expertise to the limits. As the largest mill independent multi-metal stockholder and distributor in the UK, we are frequently briefed on bespoke pieces of work for our customers.

These bespoke projects rely on our value added services. These include profiling, de-coiling and slitting, shot blasting and painting, water jet cutting, fabrication, drilling, sawing and a plethora of others.

We spoke to Bronya Tubman, who joined Kloeckner as an Apprentice CAD Operator, about one of our recent bespoke projects – supplying the steel for a narrowboat to the Nottingham Boat Company.

Read on below…

What material was used for this job?

The material we used was EN10025 S275JR strip mill plate, processed from coil. The material was purchased specifically for this project. S275JR is a hot rolled, unalloyed low carbon mild steel grade, suitable for welding and with excellent machining properties.

There were 18 tonnes of material specified which is obviously a high amount!

How was the steel processed? 

We started with the CAD drawings, which were used in estimating the job. This is just part of the CAD drawing for this project:


From drawing to supplying the steel took approximately a month. During this time we worked with the customer on drawing changes, and selected the material sizes which would give the best yield from the plate, to maximise material usage.

We also received DXF files which we imported and sorted into the varying thicknesses. We then modified the geometry where needed to work in with our machines.

All of the plate used for the boat was profiled on our Esprit Hypertherm 260 HD Amp. To lift the plate onto the machine we were required to split it and then use a 10mm vacuum to pick up the plate and place it on the machine bed.



Due to the scale of the project, to fit the side panels of the boat onto the plate we needed to halve the profile for production. This was then re-connected by the customer at the assembly stage.

We worked to the spec EN10029 2010 edition for plate dimensions and thickness for 3mm above, and worked to the strip mill specifications for EN10051 2010 edition.

The entire team working on this project needed to be incredibly mindful of tolerances – paying specific attention to the scaled size of each individual part and triple checking at each stage to ensure everything was correct on site.

What other exciting projects have you worked on at Kloeckner?

During my apprenticeship, and since I became qualified as a CAD Operator, I’ve had the chance to work on a number of our bespoke projects. It’s amazing seeing our metal go from flat metal sheets to real products that are being put into use – like the boat.

We can fulfil almost any customer requirement from etching, to cutting shapes and full welding production. It’s a really exciting time as the volume of projects like this increases!

As well as the boat I have worked on projects as varied as making a laser-cut T-rex, a silhouette of a soldier to be used for Durham Remembrance Day, and a project for the university profiling an inspirational quote from a novel in stencil form from Cor-ten, to be installed permanently in a flower bed.

I am still studying for my Mechanical Engineering Foundation degree so it’s fantastic to be exposed to so many new experiences and techniques and put into action what I’m learning every day!

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