Sunday, October 24, 2021

How to Determine What Metal Shape and Size You Need


 Metals are not a one-size-fits-all material. They come in a variety of different types and different forms, such as bars, beams, plates, and rods. When it comes to finding the right metal shape and size for your design project, you need to make the right selection. After all, it can mean the difference between having a successful finished product - and a lousy one. 


Let’s take a look at the different shape options you may encounter, as well as sizes. 


The Different Metal Shapes


Metals can be manipulated into various shapes as they go through different processes. The finished metal will be the perfect fitting for your design projects. Here are a few ways these metal shapes take form: 


Joining and Assembly. Sometimes you may need pieces of metal to come together and connect to form a brand new shape. This is often done through processes such as welding, soldering, brazing, and more. 


Casting. Using molds, metal can be melted down and poured into the cavity to create any particular shape you need. 


Heat Treating. If you need to change the strength, hardness, or formability of a particular metal, you can do this through heat-treating which uses processes like annealing, quenching, and tempering. 


Material Removal. Sometimes you don’t need all the metal, but rather need to remove some to achieve the shape you need. Abrasive machining, lasers, and electron beams get this done. 


Finishing.  For those projects that require a specific texture or surface finish, there are finishing processes such as polishing, galvanizing, plating, and more. 


Understanding Metal Sizes


One you have your shape in order, it is time to talk about sizing. Metals don’t all come in the same size. But they are generally referred to by their thickness and their size using the imperial system of measurement, i.e. inches. 


The dimensions for your metal includes things such as overall thickness, gauge thickness, width or outer diameter, secondary width, overall length, and inner diameter. 


Gauge refers to a metal's thickness. As the gauge increases, the thickness of the metal decreases. Gauges can vary based on whether a metal is ferrous or non-ferrous - which means it is a good idea to speak to an expert before taking the next step. 


As far as sizes in inches, this one is fairly self-explanatory, coming in handy when ordering sheet metal and other similar metals. 


How To Determine What’s Right For Your Metal


To determine what metal shape and size is right for you, it is important that you have an engineered drawing of your finished product. This will state any details pertaining to the metals used and give you a good idea of what you are looking for. 


If you are unsure of which size or shape you will need, it is important to speak to the professionals who can help guide you in the right direction. 


Learn More About Finding the Right Metal at Atlas Bronze


When it comes to choosing the right metal for your project, you need to have an understanding of the right size and shape to get the job done right. 


If you would like to find out more about metals and alloys and how to purchase the right one, contact Atlas Bronze at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of your sales representatives about our selection. Our time of experts can answer any questions you may have.


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