What Materials Are Used in Metal Fabrication?

Despite its industrial application, metal fabrication can be considered an art form. After all, it takes a considerable amount of deftness and skill to turn a metal sheet into a solid usable part. As a process, metal fabrication is more important than most people think.

When it comes to uses for aluminum, most people’s minds jump to cans, but a metal fabricator likely thinks of several more practical applications. The same could be said for galvanized steel and its uses. It can be used for everything from drinking water pipes to the bodies of bicycles.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the more commonly used materials in metal fabrication.


One of the most frequently used materials in metal fabrication, aluminum is lauded for its versatility. In addition to that, it’s both lightweight and durable, which can’t be said for very many metals.

It has superior thermal and electrical conductivity but doesn’t handle extreme heat (400℉) very well. There are several uses for aluminum in the refrigeration and aeronautics industries because it stands up to subzero temperatures exceptionally well.


You can’t take about metal fabrication materials without mentioning steel. There are three main types of steel used in metal fabrication carbon steel, stainless steel and galvanized steel.

Galvanized steel uses a zinc coating to stave off rust and make the surface harder. It can be found in buckets or tubs.

Stainless steel is very adaptable. It won’t rust, and it won’t absorb anything from the surrounding environment, making it ideal for cooking and medical applications.

Carbon steel makes the surface harder and stronger but reduces its pliability and sensitivity to heat. It’s used in strengthened wires and load-bearing springs.


Copper is one of the more malleable and expensive materials used in metal fabrication. It lacks the strength of steel or aluminum, but it won’t rust and can offer a magnificent decorative finish. One of copper’s big draws is that it conducts electricity quite well, so it’s often used in electrical applications. It can be found in pots, pans and fixtures as well.


A light structural metal with a low density, magnesium is regularly used in aircraft housings, automotive parts and rotating machines. It’s stiffer than most metals yet not as strong, so it’s best used in applications where stiffness is prioritized over strength.


When you combine copper and zinc, you get brass. It’s known for its musical and acoustic properties, making it quintessential for use in metal instruments like trumpets, tubas and trombones. You can also find it in common household items like doorknobs, pipes, nuts and bolts.


Bronze is a copper alloy that’s been around for thousands of years—and for good reason, as it’s stronger than copper and weightier than steel. It also has a low melting point. Its strength has led to various utilities over the past few millennia, including coins, cookware, weapons, armor and turbines.

Call about your metal fabrication project today

Now that you know some uses for aluminum and what galvanized steel is used for, call us at Escofab Inc. We offer precise and top-notch metal fabrication services in addition to our large inventory stocked with some of the metals we discussed above. No matter the size and scope of your project, our trusted experts will be able to help guide you through it.