Considerations for Choosing Materials in Metal Fabrication

March 30, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

A metal fabrication company has to use different techniques and materials to produce quality, high-performing products for various applications and industries. Stamping, blanking, bending, cutting, roll forming, welding and hydroforming are some of the most common fabrication techniques. However, the best method to use depends on the application and the requirements and specifications of the end product. Aluminum, stainless steel, steel and other alloys are often used in this industry, each featuring unique benefits and properties for various applications. The good thing is that these metals are not only easily available but cost-effective as well. Here are the key factors to remember when choosing metals.

Metal Selection Process

Before choosing the right material, take your time to factor in the unique demands of application and any potential environmental challenge. Also, do not forget about safety measures, despite the material you choose. Some of the material properties to consider are listed below.


Weldability means how easy it is to solder metal. Ask yourself whether the metal will need preparation or advanced welding tools and techniques, which increases the overall cost of the project. For instance, a material like stainless steel has average weldability, while steel can be easily welded.


In terms of ductility, this means how flexible the material is. Can you form it into various shapes? Stainless steel comes with high ductility, whereas aluminum’s ductility is low.

Tensile Strength

This refers to the strength of the metal. Do you need to apply a lot of force before the metal can snap? While stainless steel is great at handling high tensions, aluminum is not.


Machinability is the ability to cut metals with a blade. Highly machinable materials can be cut at high speeds. For instance, stainless steel has hard machinability while steel has average machinability.

Corrosion Resistance

This is simply how well a material can resist oxidation damage or damage caused by other chemical reactions.

One also needs to consider the versatility and cost of metal. How expensive or affordable is the metal compared to others? Can it work just as well as any other metal for the project you have in mind? One also has to consider the shape.

Type of Metal Fabrication

When choosing the material, you also need to factor in the various types of fabrication processes. Sheet metal fabrication welding and metal fabrication are two different processes, even though they both fall under welding. A process like machining stainless steel needs one to use large tools to disperse heat and chip breakers for blocking debris. Such applications also need sharp cutting edges. On the other hand, stainless steel welding needs various things depending on the stainless steel used, whether martensitic, duplex, austenitic or ferritic.  

With these considerations in mind, you should have no issue choosing the right material for metal fabrication. If you are looking for a metal fabrication service, get in touch with NW Metal Fabricators, Inc. We have been serving customers for more than 100 years. Our metal fabricators and arc welders have experience in the custom production of gates, catwalks, conveyors, storage bins, handrails, storage tanks, sanitary piping, water heater tanks and steam piping. Give us a call today for a free estimate.

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