Selecting the Right Alloy for Your Custom Metal Fabrication Project
Choosing the right metal alloy starts with knowing your application well. Pure metals are useful, but alloys allow us to consider our anticipated uses and mix the perfect combination of metals and chemical components that will change the material’s resistance, reactivity, conductivity, strength, durability and more. The perfect material for one function, like a car engine, might be completely wrong for another like a butter knife.
The capability to mix alloys, which humankind has enjoyed for centuries, gives us the versatility to create the mix to get any job done right.
What to Consider While Choosing Alloys of Metal
When you’re deciding whether you need an alloy and which kind will be best, think about the job you have in mind for the finished product and then consider the following features:
- Resistance to heat and corrosion: Is your material going to be outside in the elements on a regular basis? If so, you’ll want to pay special attention to rust and whether the metals you mix can withstand consistent exposure to water. Extreme heat and cold can damage certain alloys as well, so thinking about the extremes will help you make a final decision.
- Strength: Steel, aluminum and magnesium and many other alloys are much stronger than their pure metal counterparts.
- Plasticity: You might need your metal to be hammered into a sheet, which would require high malleability. Maybe, instead, you need a fabricator to stretch your alloy into wires, which means you’re looking for high ductility. Think about your final product before deciding, because every alloy has a different plasticity value.
- Conductivity: Copper alloys are just one mixture that safely and efficiently conduct thermal heat and electricity, which makes them essential for electrical components in appliances like heaters. Does your alloy need to be conductive or do you specifically need to avoid that feature?
- Weight: Is mass a factor for your final project? If so, you might want to choose titanium, aluminum or magnesium alloys. They’re extremely lightweight without sacrificing strength, so you can cut down on the bulk of your build without choosing a weak metal.
- Fabrication and form requirements: The alloy you choose will affect the time it takes for fabrication. Welding, machining and other processes take more time with certain mixtures. Each alloy has a different form and dimension capacity, as well. You’ll need to select the right alloy as well as a good custom metal fabricator to get what you need.
- Suitability for welding: Some alloys do not successfully undergo welding, which means you won’t be able to create large homogenous sheets from smaller pieces unless you choose accordingly.
- Cost: You’ll want an alloy that fits in your budget, but don’t automatically go for the cheapest. Selecting quality materials from experienced fabricators will reduce environmental damage, repair requirements and maintenance costs over the long run.
Marco Specialty Steel: Your Experts for Custom Metal Fabrication
Whether you’re trying to choose the right metal alloy for industrial, architectural, construction, computer technology, military or another use, it helps to have custom metal fabricators you can trust. At Marco Specialty Steel, we employ only the most highly trained technicians to make sure the job gets done right and within an agreeable timeframe.
Contact us for a custom quote right away.