Which Sheet Metal Materials Should I Choose?

Choosing suitable sheet metal materials for your manufactured components is essential because it directly affects the finished product’s performance, durability, and overall quality. Sheet metal fabrication can use various metals and metal alloys, such as aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, and titanium. Each material has unique qualities, such as strength, corrosion resistance, conductivity, or malleability. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully select the material that matches the design requirements and delivers the best results.

Which Sheet Metal Materials Should I Choose?

Standard Sheet Metal Materials

Different types of sheet metal have various benefits and drawbacks, making them suitable for other applications. We will explore the types of sheet metal materials used at Enze and provide examples of real-life uses for each.

Mild or Low low-carbon steel

Mild steel is commonly used in sheet metal fabrication due to its relative strength, ease of fabrication, and low cost. It is versatile and suitable for creating custom steel parts, but it is not ideal for high-gloss polishing, requires protection from rust, and is less solid and heat-resistant than other materials.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel, an alloy containing chromium, offers good corrosion resistance, improved strength, and is non-magnetic. It’s easy to work with, suitable for high-gloss polishing, durable, and easy to clean and sterilize. However, it’s more expensive than mild steel, welding can be cumbersome, and it cannot be used in applications requiring magnetism.

Galvanized Steel

When steel is galvanized, a layer of zinc is bonded to its surface, offering a cost-effective way to add high corrosion resistance. Galvanized steel is ideal for outdoor use. Pros include easy maintenance, cost-effective corrosion protection, and durability. Cons include potential corrosion at joints or cuts and relatively higher cost than mild steel.


Aluminum has many advantages, including high rust resistance and a weight of one-third of steel. It can be designed as strong as steel in some applications but may sometimes handle different stresses. Contact Komaspec for advice on suitability.


– High strength-to-weight ratio

– Corrosion resistant

– Durable

– Aesthetically attractive with minor polishing


– More expensive than carbon steel

– Lower tensile and yield strength than steel

– Additional hardening processes may be required after manufacturing.

Spring Steel

Spring steel is a highly resilient material designed to bend or flex under load and return to its original shape. It is commonly used in latching mechanisms, drive belts, and springs.


– Strength with high yield

– High tensile and fatigue strength

– Easy to form and shape


– Potential to lose shape over time

– Prone to rust and corrosion

– Limited heat resistance

Standard Sheet Metal Materials

Why is Selecting the Right Materials for Sheet Metal Fabrication Critical?

Using the incorrect material for sheet metal parts can seriously affect the quality and performance of the product or part. Different materials have unique properties that impact a metal part’s strength, durability, and other characteristics.

Using suitable materials can result in a successful application. For instance, a part may lack strength, be prone to corrosion, or be unhygienic. Likewise, a material that cannot be finished to the requirements would be unsuitable. In addition to a part not functioning correctly, part failure could damage an entire system.

Why is Selecting the Right Materials for Sheet Metal Fabrication Critical?

Key Considerations When Selecting Sheet Metal Materials for Fabrication

Various factors should be considered when selecting suitable sheet metal material for your application to ensure optimal performance and functionality.

Please consider the following factors when choosing the sheet metal material for your application:


How malleable is the material? For example, aluminum has low ductility, while stainless steel has high ductility.

Components Dimensions

The dimensions and size of your components will determine the type of sheet metal best suited for your needs. Some materials may be better for larger or smaller components based on their inherent qualities and production capabilities.

Metal Types

Different metals, such as alloy steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or copper, have unique qualities that impact their suitability for a particular application. Consider factors like strength, conductivity, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal when choosing.


The weight of the finished product is an important consideration, especially in sectors where weight reduction is critical, such as aerospace or automotive. Lighter materials like aluminum may be preferred in such cases.


Consider the sheet metal’s formability—its ability to be molded, bent, or formed into the required component without breaking or deforming. Some metals, like aluminum, have excellent formability, while others may require more complex processing.

Hardness and Tensile Strength

Analyze the required hardness and strength of the component—materials like high-strength and tool steel suit applications requiring wear resistance or structural integrity.

Budget Considerations

The cost of different types of sheet metal varies, so it’s essential to weigh the required features against the project budget to choose the most economical option.


If welding is used in the manufacturing process, consider the weldability of the selected material. Some metals are easier to weld, and the welding procedures required may influence the material selection.

Elongation Ratio

Evaluate the elongation ratio needed for your application, which refers to the material’s ability to flex under tensile stress without breaking.

Surface Finishes

Consider the component’s intended surface finish. Some materials may require additional surface treatments or coatings, while others, like stainless steel, may offer a polished appearance without additional treatments.

Corrosion Resistance Requirement

Assess the component’s exposure to chemicals or moisture and choose materials with excellent corrosion resistance, such as stainless or galvanized steel, for long-term durability.


Machinability refers to the ability to cut materials with a blade. Highly machinable metals enable rapid cutting. Steel has medium machinability, for instance, while stainless steel has hard machinability.


Choose a material that can be easily molded into different shapes without breaking or cracking according to the needed malleability for your component.


Consider how your component will be assembled and choose materials that respond well to joining techniques like welding, riveting, or adhesive bonding.

Environmental Impact

In this era of environmental awareness, even sheet metal undergoes eco-friendly treatments. Consider the environmental effect of your material choice, from production methods to recyclability.

Considering these factors, you can choose the best sheet metal material for your application, ensuring maximum performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

Key Considerations When Selecting Sheet Metal Materials for Fabrication


Enze is proud to be a leader in stainless steel fabrication. We specialize in designing, fabricating, installing, and servicing sanitary equipment for various industries. Our team is highly knowledgeable in metal fabrication and can assist clients throughout the material selection, ensuring an ideal fit for their application. Contact our workers today to learn more and discuss your options with an expert.