Women in Welding

Women in Welding

Welding – the act of joining two pieces of metal in a permanent bond – has long been a male-dominated career. According to the American Welding Society, only about 5 percent of welding personnel are female, but that number may be growing.

More than ever before, women are breaking in to the welding trade. And it’s not just the “she-shed ideas” crowd looking for a new hobby. Women see the benefits of a career that provides steady work and good pay – and which does not require a college degree. 

In spite of popular conception, welding is not always a tough, dirty or dangerous job. Not all welding takes place outdoors or at great heights. In fact, welding is a creative skill, like art. Building something you can hold in your hand is satisfying work, and can be more gratifying than pushing paper or sitting behind a computer eight hours a day.

Great Need = Great Opportunity

On the employer’s side, there is a huge NEED for women in welding – and it’s not just to rack up diversity points. Manufacturing industry leaders, government statisticians, and CTE educators all agree that a wide gap exists between the number of open positions and the number of workers with the necessary skills to fill them. 

The American Welding Society (AWS) predicts there will be a shortage of over 450,000 skilled welders by 2022.  This follows along with a general “skills gap” in technical industries as older, more experienced employees retire, taking their knowledge with them. 

The crumbling infrastructure in the US requires repairs and replacement, and with promise of government funding, employment projections for welding jobs are positive – there is a shortage of welders. And because welding often must be done on-site, these jobs are not likely to be exported overseas. With all these factors in play, and more women being trained in welding every day, the US will continue to see more female welders building airplanes and working on bridges, highways and oil pipelines.

Women Wanna Weld

Getting women in the welding business hasn’t been easy in the past but now new initiatives are being pursued. There are exclusive classes for women, many taught by female instructors. Also, there are now several high profile women who have brought more attention (and great skill!) to the welding industry. One of those women is Jessi Combs, a television and off-road racing star who got her start in an automotive fabrication training program at Wyoming Tech (click here for more about Jessi’s career). 

In the past few years, Jessi has been joined by other women making a name and a career for themselves in welding and metal fabrication. It turns out there’s a large community of women welders on Instagram, following YouTube star Barbie the Welder, and Samantha Farr, who founded the Detroit non-profit Women Who Weld, and many others.

What You Should Know

Most welding careers don’t require a four-year college degree, but you do need training, either through a high school cooperative education program, privately owned welding school, a vocational-technical school, or a local community college. Manufacturing companies and unions also offer paid apprenticeships.

To help pay for training, you can apply for specific scholarships for women in welding, as well as a number of general scholarships through the American Welding Society (AWS), and other groups. Organizations like Women Who Weld, offer free or low-cost workshops, programs and classes for women taught by female instructors. Community colleges often offer welding classes and community metal shops like LA’s Molten Metal Works have both classes and open shop hours to practice.

Other organizations that are specifically tailored to teach women how to weld include:

According to Samantha Farr, sexual harassment of women in the welding field can still be an issue, though with more women entering the field and the awareness generated by the #MeToo movement, this should decrease. Women Who Weld teaches students how to respond to harassment, report & document incidents, and protect themselves. 

Welding is a skill that can take you many places – building construction, metal art sculpture, furniture manufacturing, welding inspection, training & education, auto repair – even working on the Space Shuttle for NASA! You can use welding as a way to finance college without debt. And as you develop your welding skill and gain specialty certifications, your take-home pay can dramatically increase.

Like Jessi, Barbie, and Samantha, women also can use welding skills as a jump-off point to many other careers, such as educator, business owner, project manager, or welding engineer. A career in welding is a great place for women!
Contact Industrial Metal Supply for all your welding equipment and supplies. Visit us online or at one of our six locations in Southern California and Arizona.

Generation Z Characteristics

The Future of Metal Fabrication: Gen Z

In just a few short years, the sheet metal fabrication industry has been rejuvenated, in part due to exciting new technologies like automation and the industrial internet of things (IIOT), 5-axis machining, co-bots, and robotic welding. 

While in the short term, the rise of industrial robots is projected by the consultancy firm Oxford Economics to result in a loss of 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030, the firm notes that some of these lost jobs will be replaced by new ones requiring a new set of highly technical skills. Meanwhile, demographic changes are causing a dramatic loss in experienced employees, resulting in a “Skills Gap” in the industry. 

But on the horizon, the next cohort of tech-savvy young people to follow the Millennials, called Generation Z, may be a perfect fix to fill in the gap.

Generation Z Characteristics

According to the Pew Research Center, the Millennial generation consists of anyone born between 1981 and 1996, while the next group, Gen Z, covers those born in 1997 or later (date ranges sometimes vary). The influential factors affecting Millennials in their growing years included the rise of the internet, increased immigration, the 9/11 attack on the U.S., the birth of the smartphone, and a world-wide economic recession. 

As these factors appeared over time, Millennials adapted along with the culture. But by the time Gen Z came on the scene, 24-hour social connectivity through wifi and the mobile web fully permeated their daily lives. This makes the latest generation of young people the most tech savvy of all – even more so than their slightly older siblings.

A 2019 Brazilian study by Deloitte found that Gen Zers are more open even than Millennials to a variety of people and groups, and are more willing to engage in dialog to solve conflicts. In the increasingly global manufacturing industry, the ability to understand and accept people from many different backgrounds is essential to successful operations.

The study also found that Gen Zers place a high value on individuality. They seem willing to experiment with a range of identities, and prefer to avoid labels. These characteristics may make it easier for more Gen Z women to find their way into traditionally male occupations, including metal fabrication.

Changes in the way schools teach have created a generation that is very comfortable with team projects and online self-learning. Both these methods of gathering knowledge and solving problems will serve Gen Z well in the 21st century workplace.

Generation Z Career Expectations

How will today’s high-tech culture affect career aspirations for Gen Z? According to the Brazilian study, definite differences are emerging between Millennials and Gen Z. Though both groups grew up during periods of dramatic social change, Gen Z was deeply marked by the Great Recession. From childhood, they watched their parents struggle with unemployment and underemployment, and the resulting emotional and financial strains. As a result, the latest generation is looking for a more stable, financially comfortable life.

A McKinsey survey found that 56 percent of Gen Z versus 52 percent of Millennials seeks to earn a high salary and be wealthy. The newest generation wants the stability of having a “real job,” versus the Millennials’ affinity for freelance or the part-time gig economy. And fifty-two percent of Gen Z, versus 49 percent of Millennials, want to own their own home. Manufacturing jobs are some of the most stable and high-paying jobs available, which should make them attractive to Gen Z.

The Future of Metal Fabrication

As true digital natives, Gen Z members come fully immersed in the world of video controllers, tablets and smart phones – the same types of graphics interfaces used to control the most advanced metal fabrication equipment. Because of this, their ability to program and operate robotic manufacturing equipment and to translate 3D computer designs into metal components should be unsurpassed.

Their comfort with global connectivity through social media and internet gaming should allow them to shine in the integrated digital factories of Industry 4.0. And their inclusivity will allow Gen Z employees to feel completely at ease in the multicultural workplace of advanced metal fabrication. Manufacturers who seek out members of this generation will benefit greatly in the years to come.

Industrial Metal Supply Company is your one-stop-shop for all things metal! Visit one of our six convenient locations today.

what is expanded metal

What is Expanded Metal?

Expanded metal is a sheet of metal fabricated with a regular pattern of diamond-shaped openings. These openings reduce the weight and cost of the sheet and provide ventilation, making it a versatile solution for many applications. The most common metals used for expanded metal sheet include steel, stainless steel, and aluminum, although it is also made from titanium and copper.

How is Expanded Metal Made?

expanded metalExpanded sheet is made from a single sheet of metal that has been slit by a row of knives mounted on an industrial die cutting machine. The knives move back and forth in a uniform pattern, slicing the sheet in alternating cuts, while the sheet moves through the machine.

As the knives cut, they simultaneously push down on the newly cut sections, stretching them apart into “ribbons.” The ribbons remain attached at the uncut sections, which become the corners of open diamond shapes in an expanded mesh sheet. The size, shape and positioning of the knives and the thickness of the metal sheet can be changed to create openings of different dimensions for a variety of applications.

Types of Expanded Metal

Expanded metal sheet comes in different profiles, including:

  • Standard Expanded Sheet: A finished product as it comes off the press after being cut and expanded. Often referred to as raised expanded metal, due to the alternating ridges formed by overlapping metal strips.
  • Flattened Expanded Sheet: A standard expanded sheet that is then cold rolled, leaving a flat, smooth surface. Flattened expanded sheet is about 5% lighter than standard expanded sheet.
  • Expanded Metal Grating: A heavy duty expanded sheet manufactured from carbon steel sheet or plate. Expanded metal grating has no joints or welds, as each sheet is a single piece of sturdy steel. Ideal for catwalk and platform applications.

A Versatile Product

Expanded Metal StairsExpanded sheet metal is a versatile and economical product that is durable, easy to work with, and provides low wind resistance. It offers one-piece construction that won’t unravel under normal circumstances, and will hold its shape for many years. The strands and bonds of the diamond-shaped trusses add strength and rigidity.

It is commonly used in a wide range of applications, such as:

  • Machine guards
  • Catwalks, platforms and stair treads
  • Grating/flooring
  • Stair and balcony railing mesh
  • Window security
  • Vents
  • Conveyers
  • Shelves
  • And much more

Industrial Metal Supply carries expanded sheet metal in standard (raised) or flattened diamond patterns, in a variety of gauges, opening sizes, and sheet sizes. Materials we stock include:

Our Expanded Aluminum sheet comes in two sizes which are both flattened. We stock several more sizes in steel expanded sheet metal, all of them flattened except for our 3/4″ pattern which is raised.

Contact IMS at www.industrialmetalsupply.com or visit one of our six convenient locations in the Southland area.

perforated metal

A Guide to Perforated Metal

What is Perforated Metal?

Perforated metal, also known as perforated sheet, plate, or screen, is a thin sheet of metal that has been punched with a regular pattern of holes. The result is a versatile, yet economical solution for a broad spectrum of uses, such as enclosures, partitions, sign panels, guards, filters, screens, and more.

How is Perforated Metal Made?

Perforated metal HexOriginally formed by manual punching, perforated metal now is manufactured with mechanical equipment in a few different ways. For the most common method, called “cold perforation,” a roller full of sharpened pins runs over a flat metal sheet during the metal fabrication process. This method leaves raised surfaces on the back of the metal, similar to a cheese grater, which may be useful in some applications.

For “hot perforation,” the pins are heated, which slightly melts the edges of the metal as they push through the sheet. As the metal cools, it creates a reinforced welt around each hole.

Another method for creating perforated metal is repeatedly pressing a metal “perforation die” containing rows of needles down on the sheet metal as it rolls through a punch press.

Laser perforation is a non-contact method of metal perforation that uses lasers to accurately burn small holes in the metal with a high level of consistency. The results are similar to hot perforation, leaving a reinforced ring around each hole.

Benefits of Perforated Metal

Perforated metal SlotPerforated metal is easy to cut and fabricate. Prized for its variety of holes sizes and designs, percentage of open area, high strength-to-weight ratio, and aesthetic appeal, perforated sheet is popular for uses in many industries, including:

Architecture & Construction

By allowing airflow, perforated metal panels make the perfect sunshades, stair treads, railing panels, privacy screens, partitions, fences, awnings, picnic tables, and more. It also lends itself to artistic and creative uses, such as signs, building trim, and sculpture.


Perforated metal is useful for machine guards, grills, baskets, panels, partitions, racks, straining, screening, sorting, pressure equalization, sound-proofing, and filtering.


Oil and water filters, silencers, grilles, running boards, flooring, and engine ventilation are all applications of perforated metal.

Perforated metal SquareFood & Beverage

Perforated metal is invaluable in applications such as dryers, sorters, ventilators, screens, cheese molds, juice presses, and baking trays.

Industrial Metal Supply stocks perforated metal sheet in ten unique perforation patterns and a variety of gauges and materials, including aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. We carry pre-cut sizes from 24” x 36” up to 48” x 120”or use our cut-to-size service for a custom width/length. We also carry perforated aluminum corrugated sheet.

Visit one of our six convenient Southland locations or contact us to order.

3d metal printing

How 3D Metal Printing Works

Most people are now familiar with the concept of 3D printing, which allows you to “print” an object in layers from the bottom up, based on a 3D computer model that is “sliced” into ultrathin sections and then built up one layer on top of the next.

The concept of 3D printing has been around for more than 40 years, though for much of that time, it was only possible to print objects from soft plastics or liquid polymers. But as the technology improved, people wanted to print more durable objects, specifically from metal. The same processes could not be used, however, due to the high melting point of metals. So scientists conceived of using powdered metals and heating them with lasers.

One of the most common metal 3D printing processes is Selective Laser Melting, or SLM. With the help of high-powered lasers, a layer of metallic powder can be melted in the exact shape of a single slice of the computer model. The liquid metal combines with the layer below, and hardens in place.

After another layer of powder is spread over the build, the laser traces out the next slice of the design, melting and combining it with the material below it. Slowly the object is built up, layer by layer. Once the process is complete, the remaining powder can be recycled, which means there’s much less waste than when machining a piece of metal.

Benefits of 3D Printing

Not only does using less material lower the cost of the raw materials, but it also saves a lot of energy that would go into mining, transporting, and manufacturing those materials.

The technology can be a huge time saver for parts manufacturers that want to speed up the process of prototyping and verifying new designs, which can often take months using traditional methods.

The greatest benefit is probably the design freedom that 3D printing offers. Now engineers can optimize a part for the best shape, size and weight to accomplish a task, without worrying about its “manufacturability.”

3D Printing is Not Always the Best Solution

Of course metal 3D printing is not without its issues. Aerospace, medical, and other precision manufacturing industries place increasingly difficult demands on parts makers. As requirements for precision, durability, and lighter weight increase, scientists keep inventing new materials and processes to meet those requirements.

Even when a part has been successfully designed and printed, it requires “post-processing” to get the desired surface finish, and to remove any temporary support structures that were printed along with the object itself. This adds another layer of time, equipment, and energy to the process of creating a part.

Another issue is dependability. Because 3D metal printing is so new, and so many powdered materials and processes have only recently been available, there’s not enough industrial knowledge or part-specific data to insure that each individual part is free of defects – an absolute requirement when safety is at stake, for example on an airplane.

Metal 3D Printing Services

Metal 3D printers can be very expensive and require experts to operate the printers, while managing the powder safely. Many manufacturers turn to a metal 3D printing service, in order to get a prototype printed quickly, and for much less cost than investing in state-of-the-art equipment and expertise.

For the largest selection of metals in the Southwest, contact Industrial Metal Supply.

bulletproof material

The Future of Bulletproof Metal

Every day, law enforcement, security officers, and military personnel (along with politicians and movie stars) depend on bulletproof vests for their very lives. The materials used can vary from bulletproof metal plates to man-made Kevlar fabric, to composites, which combine two different types of material together to produce one with superior characteristics.

All of these types of protection rely on the principle of absorbing the bullet’s enormous energy, though they approach this in different ways. And of course, they must do this with the minimal amount of bulk and weight – or they’ll be too uncomfortable to wear.

Current Bulletproof Vest Technologies

plasma cutting body silhouette

Ever since chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented the stronger-than-steel material Kevlar for DuPont de Nemours, other companies have competed to discover even stronger and lighter materials for bulletproof vests. Some of the newer materials for this purpose include Dyneema, Zylon, and Spectra.

Meanwhile, researchers across the globe continue searching for armor materials that are even lighter and stronger – as well as easier and cheaper to make. Some of the proposed materials include ceramic composites with titanium or carbon fibers, and graphene nanowires.

One of the more fascinating new materials that could prove to be the strongest yet is a composite metal foam invented by a team of researchers at North Carolina State University led by Afsaneh Rabiei. This material is much lighter than metal plating, yet can shatter an armor-piercing bullet on contact.

Material Just Like Styrofoam

The new material is a composite made by melting aluminum around hollow steel spheres, which creates air bubbles surrounded by a metal matrix. The result is a metallic “foam.” On impact, the metal spheres squeeze down and the pores collapse – just like squeezing a sheet of bubble wrap or stepping on a piece of Styrofoam.

“What we did is introduce the same concept to metals, and now we have the impact protection, because of the porosity inside,” said Professor Rabiei in a video interview. “But this time you have it against much heavier impact.”

Rabiei’s initial testing showed that the metallic foam could go to 80 percent compression without damage, because the energy is absorbed as the outside force compresses the material.

Later, when a 7.62 x 63 mm M2 armor-piercing round was fired into a sample of metal foam, following standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the bullet shattered on impact. The round caused an 8 mm indentation on the back – an 80 percent improvement over the 44 mm indentation allowed by the NIJ standard.

But not only is the metallic foam strong, it’s only about 1/3 to 1/2 the weight of sheet metal, due to the air bubbles inside. In fact, the foam is so strong and light, it can stop a bullet even at a total thickness of less than an inch, making an entire bulletproof metal suit not out of the realm of possibility.

Visit www.IndustrialMetalSupply.com for the Southwest’s largest supply of metal and metal tools and accessories.

Major Periods of Metal Age

3 Major Periods of Metal Age

The history of metal is a long and fascinating one. Before the metal ages, the Stone Age reigned for perhaps millions of years. During that long period, humans learned to shape stones into useful implements, including stone tools and sharp-edged flint blades.

By around 6,000 B.C., people picked up bits of gold which they learned to form into jewelry. They discovered silver by about 4,000 B.C., and eventually used it to make jewelry, coins and bars for commerce. Both metals were scarce and quite soft and malleable, which made them useless for tools and weapons.

As people learned to find and use more practical metals, three distinct “metal ages” began toward the end of the Stone Age, each one overlapping the next. These include the Copper Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.

Copper Age

By about 4,200 B.C., people began to pick up small nodules of copper and used them to make green or blue paints or to fashion ornaments by hammering flat into various shapes. Repeated heating and hammering resulted in annealing, which made the metal harder but also brittle. In this way, they made simple flat axes and daggers.

They also learned to melt pure copper over a fire and poured it into simple molds. Later they learned how to “smelt” the copper from ore, by melting it at 1200 °C and combining it with charcoal to precipitate out the pure copper.

Copper was still a scarce commodity, so stone continued to be the primary material for many tools until the Bronze Age.

Bronze Age

Bronze is an alloy made primarily of copper with about 10 percent tin and small amounts of other elements. In the late Copper Age, around 4,500 years ago, metalsmiths in China and the Middle East learned how to purify tin from ore and then combine it with copper. The resulting alloy was much stronger and tougher than copper, making it useful for many applications and replacing copper and stone implements in many locations.

Bronze of different types was developed around the world, and used in ploughs, swords, axes, spearheads, armor, helmets, and shields, as well as artistic decorations and scientific implements.

Iron Age

After the Bronze Age, the Iron Age began about three thousand years ago between 1200 B.C. and 1000 B.C. As people became more adept at mining and metalworking, they learned to make useful objects from the iron found in meteorites dropped from space. Later, they learned to smelt iron ores, which are quite common, creating superior weapons and agricultural implements.

Iron is stronger and more plentiful than copper and tin, and became much cheaper than bronze so that regular farmers could afford iron ploughs. The result was an agricultural explosion that altered the pattern of societies.

Iron remained the primary metal of industry for more than two thousand years – until the discovery of steel.

Industrial Metal Supply is a full service supplier of metal, metalworking equipment, and supplies. Metalpedia , , , ,

Things You Didn't Know About metal

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Metal

Metals are some of the most important materials on Earth. Check out these fun facts about metal.

  1. The periodic table consists of 118 known elements, and approximately 95 of these are metals, with a small group of about 7 or 8 “metalloids” that are neither one nor the other, but have properties of both. The classification of metals, metalloids, and non-metals varies a bit, depending on the criteria used.
  2. Most metals are lustrous solids at room temperature. They are malleable and ductile, and able to conduct electricity and heat. They also can be heated and forged or melted and casted.
  3. Pure aluminum, which is the third most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, was once considered a precious metal worth more than gold, until cheaper methods for separating it out from ore were invented in the 1800s.
  4. Due to their strong metallic bonds, most metals have high melting points. Tungsten has the highest melting point of all pure metals at 6192 °F and the highest boiling point at 10706 °F.
  5. Steel is the most recycled material by far, more than all aluminum, paper, plastic, and glass combined. Steelmaking furnaces in North America recycle nearly 70 million tons of domestic steel scrap each year including cans, cars, appliances, and construction materials, conserving energy, emissions, raw materials, and natural resources.
  6. Mercury, with the lowest melting point of all metals at −37.89 °F, is the only metal that is liquid at standard room temperature and pressure.
  7. Some of the tallest buildings built in the 1800s used cast iron and wrought iron to support the upper floors and roof. But once the Bessemer process for making steel was improved for commercial use, steel frames made possible much taller buildings, such as the 10-story Home Insurance Company Building in Chicago (1884-5), considered the first true skyscraper.
  8. Gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron, and mercury, and their alloys, including bronze and brass, were the only known metals up until the Middle Ages.
  9. The Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883, would not have been completed without the work of a woman, Emily Warren Roebling, after her husband, Washington Roebling became incapacitated. The 1,595-ft. span suspension bridge is held up by 15.5-in. diameter cables each containing 5,434 parallel steel wires connecting the masonry towers.
  10. Research has proven that copper and its alloys, such as brass, have natural anti-microbial properties and can quickly kill viruses and bacteria. Hospitals and food service institutions use these metals on frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, faucets, hand rails, etc., to help prevent the spread of disease.

Industrial Metal Supply is your number one source of metal and metal equipment supplies and accessories. Visit us at one of our six locations or online at www.industrialmetalsupply.com.

Types of Red Metals

Types of Red Metals and Their Differences

In the world of metals, three particular types stand out for their unusual red coloring. Copper, brass and bronze are related, but each has different properties that make it appealing for different uses. All three are found in a huge array of applications –including building construction and architecture, fine arts and sculpture, musical instruments, auto manufacturing, marine hardware, electrical components, HVAC systems, and machined parts and components.

Copper Metal

Copper is one of the few metals directly usable in its natural state, and it was one of the first metals mined by early humans. The most common red metal, copper is the base metal for the other two, which are alloys of copper.

Copper’s electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties make it useful for many applications. Its resistant to bacteria makes is ideal for medical applications or surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom counters and backsplashes, sinks and tubs. On top of that, copper has a built-in corrosion resistance, which means it can withstand the outdoors and other wet applications, such as roofing or plumbing.

The most common type of copper, alloy 110 is 99.9 percent pure. Copper 110 bar displays enhanced electrical conductivity, making it the product of choice for electrical components such as terminals, bus bars, conductors, and connectors.

Copper is easy to bend and form, with excellent dimensional control and good crack resistance. It also can be extensively machined, soldered and brazed, making it ideal for a wide range of applications in the automotive, industrial, architectural and building industries. For example, fabricators use copper for blanking, drawing, shearing, and stamping while other common uses include pressure vessels, heat exchangers, cotter pins, rivets, radiators, gaskets, roofing and gutters.

Brass Metal

Brass is an alloy, or mixture of copper and zinc, along with small amounts of other metals. Brass provides good durability, high corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, non-sparking qualities, and excellent aesthetics, all at a lower cost than comparable copper or bronze materials. Brass is easy to machine and otherwise fabricate, as needed, making it an ideal material for a wide range of applications.

Known for its decorative use in architecture due to its bright gold appearance, brass is also used extensively in the manufacturing, construction, electrical and plumbing industries. Brass is used to make gears, bearings, valves, ammunition casings, nuts, bolts and threads, and marine hardware.

Bronze Metal

Bronze is an alloy of copper that’s mixed with about 12 percent tin, which adds to its strength and corrosion resistance. Bronze has been used for thousands of years for coins, statues, doors, tools, weapons, candlesticks, armor, musical instruments, and many other objects. Like copper, it has a natural resistance to corrosion. Bronze is more of a dull gold than a red metal, and it usually has rings on the surface caused by the manufacturing process.

Silicon bronze, the most widely used form of bronze used in modern times, is a low-lead brass alloy composed of 96 percent copper with the addition of a small percentage of silicon, which provides natural lubricity. It is known for its easy pouring ability and attractive surface finish. Silicon bronze is highly corrosion resistance and roughly as strong as steel. Thanks to these properties, silicon bronze sheet is ideal for use in salt water and fresh water applications, as well as pumps, boilers, pump components, no-lead castings and plumbing, statuary, bearings & bushings, and valve stems.

Bearing bronze has a high lead content of 6 percent to 8 percent. Like silicon bronze, bearing bronze offers low friction and high corrosion resistance, as well as excellent wear resistance and high hardness. As the name suggests, bearing bronze sheet is most often used for bearings, bushings, and similar applications.

Silicon bronze and bearing bronze can be found in a variety of industrial applications. These materials are strong, corrosion resistant, and non-magnetic. Silicon bronze is relatively easy to machine, while working bearing bronze requires more fabrication expertise.

Industrial Metal Supply stocks a wide range of styles and sizes of red metals, including multiple size options of copper, brass, and bronze in the form of round or rectangular bar, sheet, plate, or foil. We also stock a line of decorative brass railing from Lavi Industries.

Aluminum or Aluminium?

According to Grammarist.com, the correct name for Element 13 on the Periodic Table can be either “aluminum” or “aluminium.” The silver-ish metallic element, with symbol Al, can be found throughout the Earth’s crust. This lightweight metal has become a highly utilized material for aerospace, automotive, packaging, and many other applications where minimizing weight is key.


So what’s the history behind the aluminum spelling debate? The English chemist Sir Humphry Davy, who had already named several elements, predicted the metal’s existence within the mineral alumina – though he was not the first to isolate it. Apparently, Sir Davy himself caused the confusion, when he first used the name “alumium” in 1808, then later, “aluminum,” and finally “aluminium” in his 1812 book Elements of Chemical Philosophy.


Gradually, over the 19th Century, Canada and the United States settled on aluminum, while the U.K. and the rest of the world called it the more scholarly sounding “aluminium.” The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) now accepts both spellings, though even in North America, several scientific organizations prefer adding the extra letter “i.” Meanwhile, popular publications, such as the New York Times, stick to the American way.


In addition to its light weight, aluminum can be easily machined, is a good conductor of electricity, and is also prized for its corrosion resistance, making it an ideal material for industry and architecture – especially in locations subject to chemical or saltwater exposure.


Industrial Metal Supply carries a variety of aluminum angle and other aluminum shapes, such as tees, I-beam and channel, for use in a wide range of applications, such as scaffolding, ship & building construction, transmission towers, truck trailers, machined parts, and furniture.  


Contact IMS today for more information and to order aluminum shapes.