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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Steel prices look to be creeping up in the near term

June 14, 2016

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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The differences between stiffness and strength in metal

December 1, 2015

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Many in the metals industry think that stiffness and strength are the same thing. That's not the case, especially when you are talking about metals used in automotive designs.

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The wide world of welding stainless steel

November 11, 2015

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Welding stainless steel is not much different from that required in welding standard carbon steel, with a few exceptions. First, you must exercise more care and control with regard to heating and cooling stainless steel. Second, it’s important to properly match filler metals with the material being welded.

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Lightweighting, downgauging bumpers without buckling

October 26, 2015

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The advantages of ultrahigh-strength steels are that they can absorb energy at thinner gauges than mild steels, so metal formers can reduce mass by up to 20 percent by using them. This article, converted from a presentation from the Great Designs in Steel 2015 conference, evaluates optimizing geometries for three different forming processes--hot-forming, hot-stamping, roll forming--to solve challenges to forming thin-gauge materials to achieve light-weighting.

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Sheet aluminum alloys for cans and cars

September 14, 2015

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Not all aluminum sheet is created equal. It pays to know your grades before selecting the type for your job.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Forming sheet stock

September 8, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis demonstrates the flexibility of forming tools in CAD modeling by working on the body of a not-ready-for-prime-time tricycle.

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Will this stainless steel weld rust?

September 3, 2015

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Is a stainless weld truly passivated, or will some unexpected rust emerge down the road? New testing technology, used in-house by fabricators, helps answer this question

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How to work with your industrial plating provider

August 10, 2015

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When it comes to working with your plating provider, good communication is key. The more your plater knows, the better the plating results will be.

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Part identication in manufacturing: A mark of improvement

August 4, 2015

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The industrial marker is so pervasive that it’s often taken for granted. But it’s really a tool just like any other on the shop floor, and one marker doesn’t work for every application.

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