Useful Phrases That Will Help You Order Your Metal From Metal Fabrication Plants

Steel and metal fabrication plants churn out sheets, posts, and beams of metal every day. The "recipes" they use to create each product may be commonly-used ones, or they may create specific products based on customer needs and demands. If you need custom metal products, then you also need the ability to describe these products to the company so that you get exactly what you want. The following phrases are quite useful in that they will help you communicate your needs to the metal fabrication company more effectively.

Tensile Strength

This phrase refers to the metal's ability to withstand forces exerted upon it. If you want a sheet of metal, but you want it to withstand pressure of several thousand pounds per square inch as the opposing ends of the sheet are pulled in opposite directions, then you are talking about tensile strength. It also helps to know how strong you need your metal sheets or products, since that affects the metals used to create your custom products.


An alloy is any metal that is a mixture of other metals. Brass, for example is an alloy made of copper and zinc. The more copper you have, the more yellow or orange its appearance and the easier it is to conduct electricity. The more zinc you have, the grayer and denser the brass. When you discuss metals with the metal fabrication company, almost everything they produce is an alloy. This is because alloys are typically stronger and have better properties than pure metals, and the features of the mixed metals in alloys gives you the properties you are seeking.

Specific Properties

Custom metal products are custom because the consumer wants very specific properties. When you call about a custom metal fabrication order, have a list of the specific properties you want and need from your metal products. 

This includes:

  • Electrical conductivity—need it or do not need it (copper alloys versus non-conductive metals)
  • Water-resistant, rust-resistant, and corrosion-resistant (usually some type of steel will fit this request)
  • Coated or painted with an electroplated powder coating
  • Stamped, cut, shaped, extruded, injected, and/or molded
  • Weight
  • Tensile strength

Using the above vocabulary and phrases will help you get your point across, and get the correct custom metal products the first time. The metal fabrication company may still request that you test the products after you receive them and let them know if they work for your needs, but that is just good business. For more information, contact local professionals like Moorhead Machinery & Boiler Co.