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What Are the Most Popular Metals in Manufacturing Today?

From everyday household items to the machines that run our factories, metal plays an essential role in our society and our economy. 

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Since 1998, Metaltech has provided ready-to-install metal components for a wide range of industries. Our team has the experience and know-how to create large and small customized parts for numerous products. 

The best type or grade of metal depends on the requirements of a particular product. Some metals conduct the electricity that powers our digital devices. Others provide the strength that supports our buildings and infrastructure. And some add aesthetic beauty to our home or office decor.

Here’s an overview of the most popular metals in metal manufacturing today. 


As the most commonly used metal in the world, steel is an iron alloy enriched with carbon. Iron by itself is heavy, dense and vulnerable to corrosion. Adding carbon builds corrosion resistance and strength.

There are about 3,500 different grades of steel, and an estimated 2 billion tons are produced worldwide each year. Common uses include vehicles, ships, medical equipment and household appliances. 

Stainless Steel 

This versatile material is made with a combination of iron, carbon, chromium and other metals. It is corrosion-resistant and has a wide range of applications: 

  • Kitchen utensils
  • Furniture
  • Pipes
  • Building structures
  • Tools 
  • Appliances such as washing machines 
  • Boilers 

Carbon Steel 

Carbon steel can be categorized as high, medium or low depending on the amount of carbon content. The more carbon, the harder the material. It is commonly used for tools, mechanical equipment and structural building materials.

Alloy Steel 

This highly customizable metal is made by combining various other materials with iron. Examples include chromium, manganese, nickel, tungsten and vanadium. 


About 5% of the earth’s crust is iron, making it the most abundant metal on our planet. In fact, approximately 90% of all refined metal is iron. 

Iron is highly unstable in unalloyed form, as it will rust in the presence of oxygen. However, it combines well with other materials to form useful alloys such as steel. 

Its high melting point gives iron a tolerance for hot environments. It is often used for cookware. Other applications include: 

  • Chains
  • Nails
  • Rivets
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Railings
  • Ornamental structures

Cast iron is a versatile alloy made with iron, carbon and silicon. It is found in kitchen appliances and engineering components as well as construction projects such as bridges. 


Derived from an ore known as bauxite, aluminum is the most common non-ferrous metal on earth. It was first discovered in the early 18th century. 

This affordable, lightweight metal is durable, corrosion-resistant and malleable. It possesses good electrical conductivity and won’t magnetize. It is vulnerable to oxidation and corrosion when exposed to salts. 

Aluminum is widely used in a variety of products including: 

  • Power lines
  • Cans
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Window frames
  • Vehicles
  • Aircraft parts
  • Furniture
  • Packaging
  • Building materials
  • Kitchen utensils


Strong, lightweight and versatile, titanium has become a popular choice across a range of industries. Its corrosion resistance makes it a good material for boats, submarines and desalination equipment. Because if its excellent safety profile, titanium is widely used for medical applications including implants and surgical instruments. Other common uses include sporting goods, airplane components and auto parts. 


Copper is a highly malleable metal that is easy to shape. It is an excellent conductor of electricity. 

What is copper used for: 

  • Pipes
  • Currency
  • Wiring
  • Circuit boards
  • Electrical components
  • Cookware
  • Heating materials
  • Jewelry


The first alloy made by humans, bronze is produced by combining copper and tin. It resists fatigue, doesn’t bend or crack and is non-corrosive. Bronze also has good thermal and electrical conductivity. Due to its copper content, it will develop a protective patina as it ages. 

Here are just a few common uses for bronze:

  • Furniture trim
  • Cabinet hardware
  • Electrical connectors
  • Church bells
  • Ship components
  • Reflectors


As a strong metal with a low melting point, zinc is easy to cast and recycle. It is frequently used as a coating for other metals. For example, it can be applied to galvanized steel to prevent rust. It also develops a patina which further guards against corrosion. 

Other common uses for zinc include: 

  • Industrial
  • Marine
  • Medical
  • Hardware
  • Electrical
  • Automotive

Magnesium alloy

Non-ferrous and lighter than aluminum, magnesium creates a strong alloy when combined with other metals. It’s easy to recycle, is a good conductor of heat and has excellent hardness. 

Magnesium alloy is frequently used in aerospace components, mobile communications equipment and automotive parts. 


Chromium is well-known for adding strength and beauty to many different products. Adding it to stainless steel is an excellent way to boost strength and durability. It is also commonly applied as a decorative coating for such items as door handles and car bumpers. 

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Metaltech’s engineers work closely with all of our clients to produce quality, custom parts for a range of products. Even if all you have is a simple hand-drawn sketch, we will create a detailed design before transforming your idea into reality. From laser cutting and welding to final assembly, we have the experience to give you the results you need.

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