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x2 Metal Selection for Custom Projects

Metal Selection for Custom Projects

Metal selection for custom projects is about as endless as wood species options, can work from rebar through sheets to complete projects for our customers.

Although the options are endless, we’ll just focus on two that we use the most, anodized aluminium and stainless steel… and a popular alternative that we use quite a bit, polycarbonate plastic which is used for bullet proof glass.

Before we jump into the deep end, give this a watch to show you the durability of each of these options.

Metal Selection for Custom Projects: Anodized Aluminium

Anodized aluminium provides a really nice COLORFUL (when black and grey aren’t chosen as base color) to raw aluminium which both gives it great esthetics AND durability.

Unlike highly reflective or matte stainless steel, you actually want to cover-up the surface of the aluminium as its not very durable in the elements.

The other advantage of anodized aluminium is that it can be stamped and cut to just about any shape and it’s pretty light weight when compared to other metal options.

Regardless of the size or shape of the anodized aluminium blank, can produce a variety of engravings at incredible resolution in any color as long as it’s off-white.

That’s why a lot of our custom machine plates that manufacturers and fabricators have us make on their behalf are anodized aluminium, it’s comparatively cheaper with better contrast and color compared to stainless steel alternatives.

Additionally, at their end, it’s also easy to grind down or make additional holes into their plate if they need to get something to fit another piece of equipment that’s slightly off spec.

Another application we use anodized aluminium for is custom business cards, I’m willing to bet you don’t see too many of these but that’s the point, they stand-out for customer meetings and a lot of our customers really love to use them to break the ice.

They are expensive, but you don’t give them to everybody, just peopleĀ  you are trying to impress but they do work, I use them myself to advertise

As you saw in the durability video I made, which is wicked overkill by the way, anodized aluminium is incredibly durable in just about any other circumstance, has wonderful color options and is easy to work with providing fantastic contrast.

Metal Selection for Custom Projects: Stainless Steel

The other popular choice we offer our customers if they need something a bit tougher and with a different kind of esthetic compared to anodized aluminium is stainless steel, generally 304SS.

Stainless steel does have some draw backs, it’s a far tougher material, costs more, weighs more and annealing much less deep etching takes a very long time compared to anodized aluminium.

But as you saw from the durability video, nothing really beats it durability wise, if you have an application needing something bullet proof, this is really your best choice.

The engraving, etching or annealing is very sharp, again, we can go up to a thousand DPI and everything is clearly legible but keep in mind that annealing is just on the upper surface of the stainless steel, it’s the etching that’s done with any depth.

The deeper the metal etching, the longer production time and the higher the cost so there are a number of factors to keep in mind when it comes to choosing etching for your machine tags.

A major advantage to stainless steel is that it can be welded too, though with our welding tags, we provide riveting or tack welding holes as well.

We have had customers weld our anodized aluminium tags with some success so there are lots of options.

At the other end of the spectrum, makes custom metal business cards.

Unlike their anodized aluminium cousins, these cards are HEAVY and when you give them to somebody, they know you gave them something of note and significance.

They are quite popular with custom fabrication customers who want something that’s WOW to their bigger business customers.

x3 Metal Selection for Custom Projects

Another advantage to stainless steel is we can actually use it to make really neat and expensive 3D models for our customers and they are both heavy and incredibly durable.

Stainless steel is very strong, even when full of holes, this could have technically be made out of other metals but if you are going big, go all the way!

Metal Selection for Custom Projects: Polycarbonate metal alternative

We have quite a few custom customer applications where either their custom specs are incredibly low volume or they need something relatively comparable to the strength of metal but transparent.

Polycarbonate comes to the rescue!

The advantage to polycarbonate is that you can see through it yet it can be annealed permanently just like stainless steel by

We have a variety of capital equipment that can really do wonders when it comes to creating custom polycarbonate pieces that work great for machine tags though to safety windows and we’ve even made a few business cards out of this stuff too!

Although we use polycarbonate and mylar for a lot of custom stencil applications, it works great for other industrial applications as well.

Case Study: Pet Tags

Your pet needs to be found after being lost in the front yard, well, offers a host of different custom pet tags in a variety of materials, anodized aluminium, brass, stainless steel and whatever else strikes your fancy and budget.

Case Study: Welding Tags

Welding tags are another area where produces lots of volume for our customers, they are incredibly durable compared to their plastic cousins, they are SHARP and can be tack welded, riveted or tied to just about any welding or custom identification job.

If you require a custom welding tag that’s extra durable and hefty to boot, try our much thicker 16GA 304SS tags, with or without holes, it will work wonders for you so people always know who the fabricator of a custom job is and how to contact them to send them even more business!

There you have it, a good and very brief summary of what can make for you using metal, the options are ENDLESS.

If you have a need for something to be manufactured out of metal, contact right now!