Sheet Metal Fabrication & Our Top 5 Favorite Metals

At Wilkins Manufacturing, you might say we have a passion for metal. It’s astounding how one can take a single sheet of metal and transform this material into a usable part or an entire product. Through sheet metal fabrication, you can create thousands of items, and we are busy doing just that day after day. There are many metals that can be used for sheet metal fabrication, and at our firm, we work primarily with the following:

1. Aluminum

Aluminum is the second most abundant metallic element on our planet, and it’s also the third most abundant element in general. Only oxygen and silicon are more abundant than aluminum. There are many reasons why are clients will select aluminum as a material for their projects. This metal is very lightweight, which is often a huge factor in selecting this material. Additionally, aluminum offers excellent corrosion resistance and it conducts heat and electricity. One of the best things about aluminum is that it is completely recyclable. You can recycle this metal again and again and its properties and qualities still remain intact.

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2. Magnesium

Magnesium is another metallic element that is found in abundance on our planet, and while it’s vital for the health of our bodies, we also can use it in many sheet metal fabrication projects. Magnesium is even lighter than aluminum and has an excellent strength to weight ratio. While the name might indicate that magnesium is magnetic, this is not the case, so it can be used for projects where a nonmagnetic material is required. This metal also is quite dent-resistant and has a high melting point, which is why this material has been used on items such as nuclear reactors.

3. Steel

Steel is an alloy, which means it is a mixture of several metals. Iron and carbon are the two primary elements found in steel, but there are several types of steel and each one will include a different mix of metals. Steel is extremely strong and ideal for a variety of construction projects, including skyscrapers, houses and bridges. We also can use it for a myriad of sheet metal fabrication projects. In addition to its notable strength, steel is abundant and a highly affordable option for many parts and products we create. Additionally, it is easy to recycle steel, which is another excellent reason to consider using steel.

4. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy, just like the steel we discussed above. However, this metal’s “ingredients” are primarily iron and chromium with other elements added as needed. One of the best aspects of stainless steel is that is it anti-corrosive, which means it is an excellent option when placed in a moist environment. Stainless steel tends to be more expensive than steel, as it is harder to produce and bit harder to machine. However, it can be a good option as it tends to have a longer life-cycle than “regular” steel alloys.

5. Titanium

There are many applications for titanium, and while we use it for sheet metal fabrication, this metal also is used to create everything from dental implants to pigments in paints. Titanium boasts many excellent properties. For instance, titanium is about half the weight of steel, but just as strong. It is heavier than aluminum, but it also is twice as strong as aluminum.

When we begin a sheet metal fabrication project, one of our first steps is to determine which of these five metals is the best option for your part or product. After all, each metal as its advantages, and we will take into consideration factors such as strength, weight and cost when selecting a material. In some, cases we might use more than one metal to complete a project.

In addition to sheet metal fabrication, we offer a wide range of services including laser cutting, CNC machining, CNC turning, turnkey manufacturing, AWS-Certified welding and more. We are a complete one-stop fab shop for all your manufacturing needs. We serve a wide variety of industries that range from the automotive and aerospace industries to creating computer chassis and enclosures and much more. Give us a call today, and we can begin working on your unique project.

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