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Your Position: Home - Minerals & Metallurgy - How to Choose the Right Metal

How to Choose the Right Metal

Author: Liang

Feb. 04, 2024

So you’re starting a new metal project and you need help choosing the right metal for your job – and back pocket.  Usually, choosing a readily available metal with a good range of properties is the best place to start.

Thankfully, Clickmetal offers a cut-to-size service for a some of the most popular metal choices, including aluminium, brass, and steel. But which type of metal is right – and what shape should you choose? In this guide we explain metal properties and shapes to help you decide.

 

 

How to choose the right metal shape for your project

Not sure which metal shape is right for your project? Here’s some information on the different shapes:

Flat bars 

Flat bars are easy to bend into specific curves and they can also easily bend around other axis. With the right drilling equipment, it’s easy to bolt flat bars to each other and other objects.

Angle Iron

If you’re looking to create a rim or a collar off a flat metal plate – a wheel rim is a good example – angle iron is the best shaped metal for the job.

C-channel

Some c-channel bars can come with holes already installed making them super-convenient for bolting. They also help with the structural strength of the piece of metal you’re bolting it to.

Metal tubes

Thanks to their four sides, metal tubes are the strongest metal structures going, making them the best choice if your project requires rigid structural integrity.

 

Choosing the right metal shape for your project is integral to its success. At Clickmetal, we stock specific angles, tubes, tee sections, and bars, so you can order the right metal shape for your project. 

How to choose a metal with the right properties

There are four ways to define metal properties. These are:

  • Formability – how easy it is to form the metal into different shapes
  • Weldability – how easy the metal is to weld
  • Machinability – how easy it is to cut the metal with a blade
  • Tensile strength – how easy it is to snap the metal

At Clickmetal, we stock aluminium, brass, and stainless steel but which one has the right properties for your project?

 

Aluminium

Stainless steel

Brass

Formability

Low

High

High

Weldability

Hard

Medium

Medium

Machinability

Easy

Hard

Easy

Tensile strength

Low

High

High

 

What are the pros and cons of aluminium, stainless steel and brass?

 

 

Pros

Cons

Aluminium

Practical and lightweight

Rust resistant

Easy to machine

Ready available

 

Requires skill to weld

Not as cost effective as steel

Stainless steel

Won’t rust unless exposed to acid from chrome or nickel

Easy to recycle

Extremely durable

Aesthetically shiny and clean

 

Heavy

Not particularly easy to manipulate

Not easy to weld – warps if correct techniques aren’t used

Brass

Rust resistant

Has antibacterial properties

Easy to machine

Tarnishes easily

Not particularly malleable

 

 

 

Clickmetal is the go-to for cut-to-size metal

Whether you choose aluminium, steel or brass, you can rely on Clickmetal for all of your metal needs. Browse our online catalogue to find the right metal for you, the click through to order. 

Agree with pretty much everything said already. Basically anything you can buy is going to be more than enough for what you want to build given the design is halfway decent. That being said, most beginners will have the easiest time starting with something in the 11g - 1/8" realm You start getting into lighter gauges and you're going to get frustrated quickly. You need tight fitups along with a decent skill set to not just make a mess of the whole thing. You most likely don't need a ton of material, so it would be wise to spend a little more money, buy some 11g and get started.

If you decide to go thinner, definitely use .023 wire.

 

How to Choose the Right Metal

Help me choose the correct metal thickness

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