How often do you think about metal?
Not the musical genre, but the everyday materials that go into your everyday items. The fork you use to eat, the circuit board in your computer, the wiring in your child’s braces — metals are the foundation of modern society and we just wouldn’t be living the same without them. Companies propelling themselves into the future are constantly asking questions about all the ways they can provide these everyday products while still supporting the environment and cutting back on costs, both of which are going to be even more necessary with our current economic outlook.
Quality over quantity? There’s no reason you can’t have both. Let’s take a look.
All metals bring something new to the table. Some are easier to weld than others. Certain kinds are fantastic for electronic devices and ill-suited for anything that requires a lot of pressure or wear. At the end of the day? They need to last. Nickel (as well as nickel-containing materials) are some of the most prevalent metals in our daily lives. It’s estimated nickel usage is growing at 4% every year, with nickel-containing stainless steel growing at around 6%. Depending on the industry and the intended function you can see some metals used frequently and others sparingly.
The construction industry, for example, uses copious amounts of carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum and copper. Alloy steels are further divided into four different classes — you have your structural steels (think buildings or foundations), tool and die steels, magnetic alloys and the heat-resisting steels. The latter is especially important for anything that needs to be welded or just exposed to extreme weather patterns. Monel 400 can still retain its shape and strength after being exposed to a whopping 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to quality products with people’s safety on the line, you can’t afford to go halfway.
What else do we see stainless steel used for? Stainless steel 316, specifically, sees frequent usage in laboratory equipment, jet engine parts, food processing equipment, chemical containers and boat accessories. As of today stainless steel 304 is the number one most common grade and can be found in just about all sorts of mundane products. Aluminum bronze alloys (contrary to their name) are made up of around 9% to 12% aluminum, with additional compositions of iron and nickel added for durability. Aluminum bronze properties are one of the best heat treatable products on the market.
Monel recycling has risen to the forefront as the go-to option for companies that want to save money and keep themselves in a positive cycle of supply and demand. The majority of commercial metals are able to be easily reused, though some have a much better rate of retention than others. Aluminum and stainless steel are two of the most recycled products on the planet and are popular for their ability to retain quality despite repeated usage. In fact, if we don’t start going green soon we could be exposing ourselves to a number of depressing outlooks concerning available materials, higher prices and dissatisfied customers.
Reaching out to a competitive metal manufacturing plant means keeping your eye on the prize. Metal suppliers are keen on making sure everyone up and down the ladder is satisfied, from the companies that need to meet their figures to customers who want their products to last. With recycling and higher quality stainless steel products becoming more commonplace, you’ll have a lot to look forward to in the coming years.