Metal is an ideal material for various projects, but you must use the appropriate metal for the job to ensure optimum functionality. The decision is not easy. Simply put, evaluating the strengths and drawbacks of all the metal and alloy options available today is time-consuming.
You can navigate through the metal selection process by carefully considering your project’s needs and comparing them against the properties of each metal.
Five key properties that you need to consider are:
Tensile Strength – Tensile strength is the amount of force a metal can withstand without snapping. Having a high tensile strength is important for projects where the metal will have to bear significant pressure.
Weldability – Some metals can be much easily welded as compared to others. Metals that are hard to weld negatively impact the manufacturing process as they require additional time and expertise, affecting the budget and timeline.
Machinability – Machinability is the ease with which a metal can be cut using a blade. A less machinable metal will require specialty tools, which affect the project cost and lead time.
Ductility and Formability – Ductility and formability determine the ease with which a metal can take on a shape. A less formable metal cannot be bent without it snapping, and metal with lower ductility cannot easily be shaped into a wire.
Another factor that you need to consider when choosing a metal for your project is cost. The cost of raw material is always essential when planning a metalworking project and often the final deciding factor; there are other factors that you also need to look into.
Below is a list of some metal options that you will find in the market.
- Cold Rolled Steel
- Stainless steel
- Hy-Mu 80
- Cupronickel 715
- Nickel Silver Alloy 2
- Haynes 242
- 17-7 PH
Steel is the most popularly used metal for retainers, punches, buttons, dies, fixtures, and other similar products. The reason for this is the low cost and versatility of the metal, which makes it an ideal choice. However, this doesn’t mean that steel is free of all cons. It is susceptible to corrosion and rust.
Therefore, it all comes down to only one thing – the properties of which metal best suits your projects’ requirements. Once you find the right metal, do not hesitate. As for cost, take quotes from various suppliers to identify who is offering a more reasonable price.
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