February 29, 2024 in ARIZONA IRON SUPPLY, Blog, copper, Steel

Metal Characteristics You Should Know

If you work in the metal industry, you know that not all metal is created equally. Different kinds of metals contain different properties that can affect your final product. At Arizona Iron Supply, we want to make sure that when you choose from our selection of high-quality Phoenix metals, you’re getting exactly what you need. Because we know that the just-right metal selection can lead to a successful job completion, repeat customers, and a great reputation, our team of metal experts are always ready to help answer all your questions.

In the meantime, here are a few metal properties to explore:
  • Melting Point

    The melting point of various metals becomes important in welding projects, as well as with aerospace, oil, and gas industries. Knowing the heat capacity for the metals you’re working with can prevent metal deformation, metal breakdown, and underheating/inefficient welding. This knowledge can also guide you in the welding technique you use such as MIG (metal inert gas) or TIG (tungsten inert gas); both of which are suited for metals with different melting points. It’s also important to keep varying metal melting points in mind when using multiple metals in a project.

  • Malleability 

    Those who work in the metal industry value the malleability, or the ease of forming and shaping, of metals for various reasons. Metals with high malleability can allow workers to create complex and customized designs. Malleable metals are also valuable for fence fittings, pipe fittings, brackets, electrical fittings, hardware, cutlery, and more. Some of the most malleable metals include aluminum, lead, copper, and iron.

  • Strength

    Knowing how strong your metal is becomes very important when it’s needed for safety applications, when it must withstand loads or external stresses, or when it must resist fatigue or wear. Strong metals can also be used to create lightweight structures without compromising strength, which is a highly valued feature in transportation. Strong metals are also needed when the product will be exposed to extreme temperatures, corrosive elements, and other diverse conditions. The strongest metals include tungsten, steel, chromium, titanium, and iron.

  • Luster

    The reflective surface of a metal, or its luster, can improve or enhance the overall appearance of a product. A shiny surface can improve quality perception, as a lustrous surface is often associated with high-quality materials and craftmanship. Metals with a high luster property will have a high electrical conductivity. Some of the most lustrous metals include gold, silver, and aluminum. Lustrous metals become important in architecture when a specific shine is needed.

  • Ductility 

    The measure to which metal can be stretched before breaking is its ductility. If a metal can be stretched into wire, it’s considered to be highly ductile. To get a little “sciency,” ductility occurs because of metallic bonds which are formed by the sharing of electrons among positive metal ions. Examples of ductile metal are steel, copper, and nickel. High ductility is important when forming metal into cables, beams, and wires.

At the other end of the scale, the brittleness of a metal measures the degree to which a metal breaks without stretching. An example of a brittle metal is cast iron. Brittle properties are valued due to their high strain rate. 

Because there is so much more to metal choice and purchasing than meets the eye, it’s so important to conduct your metal business with experts in your area. At Arizona Iron Supply, we have a full team of experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy metal experts. Ready to help and always responsive, we’ll work hard to answer all your questions, and supply you with the exact metal you need.

For metal supply in Phoenix, Arizona Iron Supply is your best bet for all your metal needs; no matter the project, no matter the size.