Metals/Materials Articles

The metals/materials technology area has information on the most commonly used materials in metal fabrication ̶ carbon steels; stainless steels; high-strength, low-alloy steels (HSLAs); and the 6000 series aluminum ̶ and those that aren't as common, such as the red metals, refractory metals, titanium, and magnesium.

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A short study on sheet steel specification syntax, Part I

March 7, 2017 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Do you know how to order sheet steel? A good rule of thumb is to order as restrictive as you need for manufacturing success, but as general as you can to lower your purchasing costs. Knowing the proper terminology is key.

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Next-gen biobased lubricants, materials offer performance advantages over petro-based

November 18, 2016

While biobased solutions earned past skepticism, the next generation can offer high value in specialty chemicals, biopolymers, and advanced materials, according to Lux Research.

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Flat-rolled steel spot prices keep falling

September 27, 2016 | By John Packard

After peaking in June, steel prices continue to decrease. Metal fabricators should keep an eye out for price increases from the mills. When they are announced, service centers will begin increasing their own prices.

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Grade designations for sheet metals

September 12, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

If you are involved in the metal fabricating or forming business, you need sheet metal to get the job done. Do you know the specifics related to what the sheet metal is called? This guide helps fabricators to understand just what they are working with.

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The art and science of metals purchasing

August 31, 2016 | By Alan Bear, CPPM, CPP

Materials purchasing is both an art and a science. You need the knowledge and strategy to negotiate with intelligence. You need the art of relationship-building, including good ethics and solid integrity.

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Mastering fundamentals opens opportunities for advancement

August 15, 2016 | By Bill Frahm

If a person in metal forming or fabricating understands the basics of metal properties and how that metal is formed to meet quality expectations, he or she shouldn’t have a problem keeping up with the rapid advancements in material development and machine tool technology.

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Projection welding of fasteners to hot-stamped boron steel

August 8, 2016 | By Allen M. Agin, Bob Kollins

Only 10 years ago, the use of boron steel was in its infancy. Today it’s found in a large number of automotive applications. That’s led to new research about the material. One area of focus has been in the projection welding of fasteners to this type of material.

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A review of steel microstructures

August 1, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

This primer provides metal fabricators and formers with a quick lesson on how one type of steel differs from another. As “impurities” are added to the element in its natural state, the atomic structure grows more complicated and gains more strength.

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Steel prices look to be creeping up in the near term

June 14, 2016 | By John Packard

The U.S. has placed duties on several types of steel imports, and the domestic steel companies have idled plants. That means supply sources are slowly tightening. Increased demand by the domestic industrial base could push steel prices higher.

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Manufacturer uses servo press to hasten safety part production safely

May 25, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

Ultraform Industries sought ways to increase output of the safety seat belt and air bag assemblies the company manufactures, but speed could not come at the expense of quality. The company installed a servo press to slow the stroke before the draw, perform restrikes.

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Getting to know more about the metal you are forming

May 25, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

An estimated 3,500 different grades of steel currently exist, with about 75 percent of them developed in the past 20 years. And more than 500 sheet aluminum alloys are registered with the Aluminum Association. Each of these materials grades has a different chemistry and different tensile properties...

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Troubleshooting sheet metal defects: Part II

March 8, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Part II of this series about sheet metal defects focuses on the common problems that can be caused during various stages of the material's production.

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Troubleshooting sheet metal defects: Part I

January 20, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Before a manufacturer can figure out what’s wrong with metal that keeps splitting during a forming process, it needs to understand just why one batch of sheet metal differs from another. The first step is learning the lingo associated with metal creation.

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Metallurgy Matters: Thermal cycles, the HAZ, and the strength of martensite

January 18, 2016 | By Bob Capudean

Last time we looked at how welding heat influences the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of metals strengthened by three typical hardening processes: solid-solution hardening, cold working, and precipitation hardening. That leaves one critical strengthening process to consider: transformation (martensite)...

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The solid state of metal powders in metal fabrication

December 3, 2015 | By Dale Harper, Gary Tydings

Metal powders are used in various areas of manufacturing including powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing. But in the welding and metal fabrication arena, weld overlays and thermal spray are by far the most popular applications for metal powders.

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