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Welding and Fabrication Material Guide

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is heavier than both carbon steel and aluminum. Stainless is corrosive resistant and non magnetic. There are a few different options when it comes to stainless. Stainless has different grades for the purpose it is serving. With these different grades comes a different price. Your standard and cheapest stainless is 304 stainless. Used for general purpose corrosive resistant and strength. 304 is used in most cooking equipment for its shiny look and easy to clean surface. 316 is taking it to the next level. The corrosion resistance of 316 stainless is much greater. It can withstand salt water and chemical exposure much better than its cousin 304. This is why it is typically used on boat accessories and in pharmaceutical facilities

Standard Steel

Standard or carbon steel is your most commonly used metal. It offers high strength, durability, and temperature resistance. It is also easier to weld and doesn’t require as much preparation as aluminum or stainless.


Aluminum is so soft you can actually cut it with a hand saw. Aluminum is very lightweight making it used in many applications where weight be an issue. Though it is more expensive than standard steel, aluminum gives you a lightweight, corrosive resistant finished product


There are two types of iron. Wrought iron which is made with hand tools and bent to a custom shape. Cast iron is actually melted down and poured into a mold to cool and harden back to its original state. Iron is mostly used in gates, fences, and decorative furniture. It offers durability and strength. It is not corrosive resistant so it must be painted to protect it from rusting.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized Steel is not its own form of steel. It is actually standard or carbon steel that has been dipped or coated with a liquid galvanized substance. This helps to protect the steel from rusting or corroding. It is inexpensive and not as strong as normal steel because a 1/4” galvanized product is actually about an 1/8” thick steel with a 1/16” coating on either side.

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