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Selecting the Right Steel Material for Your Custom Industrial Fabrications

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If you are planning on commissioning the fabrication of custom industrial tools, equipment or products, you should consider using steel as your manufacturing material. Steel has exceptional performance properties, including high structural strength, excellent machinability and prolonged service life. Moreover, the material is not unreasonably priced for mass production. On the other hand, the exact performance and cost will depend on the grade selected for the fabrication. If you are uncertain about the right material for your project, here is a short discussion on the standard classifications of steel to help you during selection. 

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a popular material choice for industrial fabrication because the cost of purchase is small. The low price can be attributed to the simplicity of the constitution. In simple terms, this standard type of metal is made by combining carbon and steel. This alloy is valuable for general applications because it is robust and long-lasting. However, you should note that carbon steel is susceptible to rusting.

If you do decide to use this metal, you should ensure that the surface is galvanised or coated with a protectant to prevent degradation after exposure to air and oxygen. When choosing your carbon steel, you should compare the carbon content before purchase. High carbon steels are strong while mild alternatives are extremely machinable.

Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel is expensive because of the additional alloying element. Typically, this type of metal consists of carbon steel, which is then combined with chromium. The chromium content in the material promotes corrosion resistance, eliminating the main shortcoming of standard steel. You should consider using this material if your custom products must be invulnerable to rusting. For instance, this option is ideal if the industrial items will be used in corrosive conditions or the metal surfaces have to be exposed. When selecting stainless steel, you should compare the performance properties of different grades. For example, austenitic stainless steel is non-magnetic, while martensitic alternatives are magnetic but heat treatable.

Tool Steel

If you require high-performance custom steel products for your industrial application, you should choose tool steel as your manufacturing material. This metal is made by combining carbon steel with multiple alloying elements, such as tungsten, vanadium, molybdenum and cobalt. These additional constituents improve different properties of the steel, including hardenability, machinability and corrosion resistance. This type of steel is suitable for high-demand products such as machine parts, automotive components and piping assemblies.

For ideal selection, you should discuss your performance requirements with local steel merchants