Metal fabrication is an incredible process that takes raw materials and turns them into useful objects. However, some materials are better for certain kinds of jobs. Check out our tips for choosing the right metal for your fabrication project.
Types of Metal
There are several common metals that you can use to make fabricated projects. Each one has different properties, making it more suitable for certain jobs.
For Strength: Steel
Steel is by far the most common metal used in fabrication projects simply because of its extreme durability. However, there are two main types of steel that each perform a bit differently.
Carbon steel is very strong and can withstand very harsh weather conditions. This makes it an excellent choice for making projects that you intend to use outdoors.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is corrosion-resistant, making it a good choice for surgical implements, flatware, and knives. Since it has a beautiful finish, many people use stainless steel in appliances and other projects where a finished appearance is very important.
For Lightweight Jobs: Aluminum
Aluminum is a very flexible material that engineers tend to use in aircraft design, as well as metal containers. Since it’s so lightweight, it’s perfect for projects that need to move around.
The one thing to remember with aluminum is that it loses its strength at very high temperatures, even if you’re nowhere near its melting point.
For Conductivity: Copper
Copper is a versatile metal with many helpful properties. People use it in electrical wiring because of its conductivity, but it’s also malleable and corrosion-resistant. Some of the other industries that use copper are the military (especially the Marines) and ocean-based industries.
Sheet Metal Gauges
There are several different gauges of sheet metal, and you’ll need to choose the right one for your fabrication project. Typically, most metals come in one of the following three styles:
- Foil/leaf metal
- Sheet metal
- Plate metal
Foil and leaf metal are the thinnest gauges available, while plate metal is the thickest. Choose the right gauge along with the right type of metal in order to have the most success in your endeavors.
A Tool for Every Job
The other thing to consider when choosing the right metal for your fabrication project is what tools you have available. You may choose to use metals that you know work well with the machines you already have, or you can check out Kaka Industrial’s supply of sheet metal fabrication machines to find the right tool for the job. We have a wide array of machines for cutting, bending, and shaping all kinds of sheet metal that can help you be successful with your next project.