The Most Common Materials Used in Metal Fabrication

When it comes to the various materials used for metal fabrication, you need to be aware of what they are. Listed below are the most common materials: Carbon steel, Stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. Each material has its benefits and disadvantages. Here, we will discuss the various metals and their uses in metal fabrication. Listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of each. To learn more, you can check out our article on the main benefits of metal fabrication.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel is a metal alloy consisting of iron, carbon, and other elements used by companies like steel company Tulsa, OK. It is usually composed of iron ore, limestone, and coal. It is the most common material used for metal fabrication, and its list of uses is seemingly endless. Carbon steel is fabricated to several different hardness levels, with the higher the carbon content, the stronger the material is. However, its strength can also be diminished by reducing the amount of carbon.

There are two types of carbon steel. Low-carbon steels contain about 1.25% carbon by weight, and high-carbon steels contain up to 2.1% carbon by weight. Low-carbon steel is primarily used for non-industrial applications. The high-carbon steels are created through a process called powder metallurgy. The iron-carbon phase diagram illustrates the temperature ranges of different steels for different types of heat treatments.


The use of aluminum in metal fabrication is widespread. Its versatility and light weight make it an excellent choice for many applications. Unlike steel, which is brittle, aluminum is flexible and easy to shape. Additionally, it is stronger than steel and can be bent or rolled precisely. This property makes aluminum an excellent choice for industrial and commercial projects. This metal is used in everything from automobiles to airplanes.

There are several primary alloys of aluminum. Aluminum 6063 is the most popular, as it combines the best of both aluminum and silicon. This aluminum alloy is machinable and has a high weldability index. It is often used for aircraft fittings and pistons. Aluminum 6061 is the most flexible and malleable heat-treated aluminum alloy and provides good corrosion resistance and excellent weldability.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most common metals used in fabrication. It is a high-strength material that must undergo specific processes before it is ready to be used. First, the material is further shaped using extrusion, forging, and roll forming methods. Then, after shipment, further machining and heat treatment may be required. Here are a few of the most common stainless steel fabrication processes.

Stainless steel is an iron-containing alloy composed of chromium, aluminum, and carbon steel. It is highly corrosion and stain-resistant, making it popular in laboratory settings. While chromium and nickel are the primary components of stainless steel, some manufacturers also use molybdenum in their production to further enhance the metal’s properties. On the other hand, copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and is a great material for outdoor applications.


Among the most common materials used in metal fabrication, copper is a vital part of the human diet. Copper is essential for the normal growth of fetuses, infants, and children. Copper also plays a significant role in the synthesis of life-sustaining proteins. Among these, copper is involved in producing enzymes that control blood clotting and nerve transmission. Copper also boosts the immune system.

Because of its unique characteristics, copper is used in many different types of metal fabrication. For example, copper can be used to roof an Olympic training center and gutters and downspouts. Moreover, the Copper Development Association donates rolls and sheeting to various Olympic events so that those who cannot afford copper can make use of it in such a way that it helps the United States meet its global commitment to the Olympics. Copper also comes in various forms, including sheet, pre-plated, and brushed metal.


There are several types of brass available, but there are many similarities among the various alloys. For example, alpha and beta brasses have similar compositions but are significantly harder and stronger than alpha brass. However, beta brasses are less ductile and are only suitable for casting and hot working. Because of these differences, it is vital to know the properties of each type of brass before selecting the right one for your project.

The primary properties of brass are its formability, strength, and corrosion resistance. However, when the material is exposed to oxygen and water, it will oxidize and cause rust. Brass contains trace amounts of aluminum, which acts as a barrier, protecting the trace iron from oxidation and subsequent corrosion to combat this. Moreover, brass is recyclable, and it can be melted down and reused in other applications.