Melting Point of Metals

Melting Point of Metals

Knowing the melting points of different metals is important for fabricators and welders. Metals melt gradually, as the metal absorbs heat. Well before a piece of metal reaches its complete melting point, it may begin to soften and warp. To keep things simple, we generally classify the melting point of a metal as that point where it has become fully liquid (called liquidus).

When joining metals with very different melting points, such as copper and steel, brazing might be a better choice than welding. In brazing, an oxy-acetylene torch is used to heat a filler metal, typically a brass alloy, which has a lower melting point than the two metal parts. As the filler melts, it’s drawn into the joint, and then solidifies when cooled. The two parts being joined never reach their melting point, which means that the joint is not permanent.

Welding and Brazing

Welding is the process of joining two sections of metal by heating both parts to their melting point, creating a liquid melt pool in which their molecules mix completely. A third metal filler is often added to the melt pool. When the molten metal cools and solidifies, the two parts are fused completely with an unbreakable bond.

Knowing which metals can be welded, and choosing the best metals for welding, may depend partly on their melting points – if they differ by a large amount, one of the sections will melt faster than the other. This could cause a blowout or other mechanical weaknesses.

When joining metals with very different melting points, such as copper and steel, brazing might be a better choice than welding. In brazing, an oxy-acetylene torch is used to heat a filler metal, typically a brass alloy, which has a lower melting point than the two metal parts. As the filler melts, its drawn into the joint, and then solidifies when cooled. The two parts being joined never reach their melting point, which means that the joint is not permanent.

The following list of melting points of common metals and their alloys ranges from lowest to highest (note that the melting point will vary depending on the exact alloy composition):

Lead has one of the lowest melting points of any metal at 621 F (327 C).

Aluminum has a relatively low melting point of 1218 F (659 C). When alloying metals are added to aluminum, its melting point can range widely from around 848 F to 1230 F (453 C to 666 C). Adding aluminum to other metals also tends to lower their melting points.

Bronze: 1675 F (913 C). Bearing bronze contains mostly copper, plus lead and zinc, bringing down its melting point to 1790 F (977 C). Silicon bronze is a low-lead brass alloy that is generally composed of 96% copper plus a small percentage of silicon. Its melting point is 1880 F (1025 C).

Brass: 1700 F (927 C) Brass is an alloy of copper.

Copper: 1981 F (1083 C)

Cast iron: 2200 F (1204 C)

Steel: 2500 F (1371 C)

Stainless steel: 2750 F (1510 C)

Nickel: 2646 F (1452 C)

Wrought iron: 2700 F (1482 C)

Iron:2800 F (1538 C)

Tungsten has an extremely high melting point of 6150 F (3399 C) which is why it’s used for TIG welding electrodes.

Industrial Metal Supply carries a wide range of metals, as well as welding equipment and supplies. Visit one of our six locations or order online today.

304 vs. 316 Stainless Steel

304 vs. 316 Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular and well recognized metals, known for its attractive appearance, low maintenance requirements, and resistance to corrosion and staining. Unlike regular carbon steel, stainless steel does not readily corrode in the presence of water. When the strength and toughness of steel are required, along with the need for corrosion resistance, stainless is often the answer.

Steel is an alloy, a combination of several metals. Steel always contains iron and carbon, along with small percentages of other elements. The amount and type of elements that are added during fabrication result in many different classes and grades of steel. So, for example, all types of stainless steel contain at least 10% chromium by weight.

When exposed to air and moisture, the iron in most steels will rust, creating an active iron oxide film that accelerates corrosion by continuously forming more iron oxide. The large amount of chromium present in stainless reacts to form a film of chromium oxide on the surface. This passive film prevents further corrosion on the surface, while also blocking its spread into the metal’s internal structure.

Different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel are made to suit different applications and environments. The most common types of stainless steel are alloys 304 and 316. Both are austenitic stainless steels, which means they are non-magnetic and easily worked.

304 Stainless Steel

The most versatile and widely used of all stainless is grade 304 stainless steel, also known as A2 or “18/8” stainless because it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This stainless grade provides the best all-around performance due to its chemical composition, mechanical properties, weldability and oxidation resistance. As a result, 304 stainless is available in a wider range of products, forms and finishes than any other stainless steel.

Stainless steel 304 can be easily brake- or roll-formed into a variety of components for applications in industry, architecture, and transportation. The balanced austenitic structure of grade 304 stainless enables it to be severely deep drawn without intermediate annealing. As a result, 304 is dominant in the manufacture of drawn stainless parts such as sinks, hollow-ware and saucepans.

Other well-known uses of 304 stainless include kitchen appliances, cutlery, surgical instruments, and industrial equipment. It is also commonly used in commercial kitchens and food processing plants because it can be steam-cleaned and sterilized and does not require paint or other finishes.

304 Pros: Strong, low-cost, easily formed and welded, readily available in many forms, resists stains and corrosion.

304 Cons: Not fully resistant to corrosion & pitting in acidic chemical or marine environments.

316 Stainless Steel

Grade 316 stainless steel is the standard molybdenum-bearing grade, second in importance to 304 amongst the austenitic stainless steels. The significant percentage of molybdenum (2-3%) gives 316 better overall corrosion resistant properties than grade 304, particularly higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in acidic and salt-water environments, giving it the name “marine grade” stainless.

Grade 316 also contains a higher percentage of nickel than 304 stainless steel (10% vs. only 8%) which results in much improved corrosion resistance. This makes 316 stainless a better choice for use in chemical processing plants, oil refineries, and medical devices, as well as saltwater & marine applications, such as docks, catwalks, railings, and roofs.

316 Pros: Stronger than 304 stainless, more resistant to corrosion & pitting from saltwater and chemicals, good forming and welding characteristics.

316 Cons: More expensive and somewhat more difficult to weld and form than 304.

Industrial Metal Supply stocks a wide range of stainless steel forms, including bar, sheet & plate, tubing, pipe, angle, and perforated sheet. Drop by one of our six locations in Southern California and Arizona, or visit us online today!

When to Use Welding Clamps and Welding Magnets

When to Use Welding Clamps and Welding Magnets

You only have so many hands and sometimes to achieve that perfect weld you need help. That’s where welding magnets and clamps come in to play. They can be used to create inside and outside corners as they can hold metal (tube and sheet) at a variety of different angles.

Magnets are useful when you need to get a tack weld started or when you need to solder a couple thin pieces of sheet metal. They can hold pipes in place for soldering and they are also good for doing layout work to prepare for all types of fabrication.

Small to large projects and various metal shapes require different types of clamps and magnets. Here are some ideas to add to your metal shop tools list:

Standard 4-in-1 clamp

Secure a piece of sheet metal to a welding table, or turn it into a pipe clamp with the V-Pad accessory. Add an extender block and reverse the clamp arm to create a spreader for laying out and welding metal cross-pieces. Use one or more extender blocks to create a step-over clamp for stepping over obstacles such as I-beams.

Adjust-O Magnets

Setting up and holding two pieces of metal in place for tack welding can be difficult, but if the metal is ferromagnetic (attracted to magnets), these handy magnets make it a snap. The secret is in the flip of a switch. Start by laying the Adjust-O magnet on the horizontal piece. Next, line up the cross piece using either the 90° or the 45° edge. Once both pieces are aligned, flip the magnet switch to lock them in place.

The Adjust-O Dual Switch makes the process even more fool-proof. Once the first piece is in place, turn on the first magnet to lock it to that piece. Next, align the cross piece using the 90° or the 45° edge. Once it’s in position, switch on the second magnet to secure it. Reverse the switch to release the magnet when the job is complete. Adjust-O magnets feature 150 pounds of magnetic force and precision machined flat and V surfaces to securely hold both flats or rounds.

Sheet Metal Magnets

These strong magnets with plastic handles makes placing, moving, and removing magnets fast and easy. They hold sheet metal and automotive metal panels firmly in place to allow better access for cutting, tack welding, painting, etc. The magnets are made with rare earth metals for superior gripping power and the replaceable rubber pads provide friction for better handling of large, heavy workpieces. NOTE: Magnets must be removed before completing the weld.

Snake Magnets. This set of two flat magnetic pads with an 18″ cable that holds two workpieces at odd angles. Metallic cable can bend and twist in any direction. Set includes a spring clamp that can replace one magnet head and hold small tools, acting as a “third hand.” NOTE: Magnets must be removed before completing the weld.

Ground Hog Clamp. When performing metal arc welding, the Ground Hog clamps onto the metal surface being welded, creating a contact point that allows complete transfer of the electrical current in a full circuit. The clamp controls the electrical current by isolating the contact surface and the welding cable connection. The result is reduced power consumption and a smooth, continuous arc with no fade or heat transfer.

IMS stocks metal working tools for all levels of expertise, including hand tools and power tools, and an extensive variety of magnets and clamps, depending on your specific need. Some of the many options we stock include C-clamps, tube clamps, standard squares, and bolt-on or clamp-on bench vises.

Visit us online for all your welding supplies, or drop by one of our six convenient locations in Southern California and Arizona.

largest deposits of metal

Top Largest Deposits of Metals Around the World

Iron, the main ingredient of steel, is one of the most important elements on earth. The reddish-brown metal is often found in large mineral deposits of sedimentary rocks.

Metal deposits contain significant amounts of metallic elements, such as gold, copper, and iron. Deposits which can be economically extracted for human use are classified as ores. To be commercially viable, iron ores must contain about 60 percent iron.

Iron ores include the oxides hematite, magnetite, limonite, and goethite, as well as silicates (mixed with silicon and oxygen) and carbonates (mixed with carbon and oxygen). These ores are spread across every continent of the globe and provide a great source of wealth for both local and foreign investors.

Iron Ore Reserves by Country

iron ore

The continent of Antarctica contains large mineral and metal deposits, but as of the Antarctic Treaty signed in 1998, no commercial mining is allowed there. The following countries produce the largest amounts of iron ores (Note: the general ranking and total figures will vary depending on types of ores produced and the method of reporting).


As of 2015, Australia produced 817,000,000 metric tons of iron ore, mostly from its Western regions – the largest amount of any country. Australia has a total of 17 percent of the accessible reserves of iron ore, the largest deposits in the world.


Brazil came in second with 397,000,000 metric tons of iron ore produced in 2015, or 12 percent of the total world production. Brazil has the second largest deposits of iron ore and some of the largest mines in the world.


Though China’s iron ore production is calculated differently than in other countries, it was estimated that in 2015, China produced approximately 375,000,000 metric tons, or the third largest of global production. The country has the fourth largest iron ore reserves in the world.


India has the fifth largest reserves of iron ore. Its 2015 production was 156,000,000 metric tons.


Russia produced 101,000,000 metric tons of iron ore in 2015. The country has the third largest reserves, and production comes mainly from Central Russia, Siberia, and the Urals.

South Africa

In 2015, South Africa produced 73,000,000 metric tons of iron ore. Seventy percent of South African iron ore is produced by Kumba, a leading supplier of seaborne iron ore.


In 2015, Ukraine produced the 7th largest amount of iron ore at 67,000,000 metric tons. Ukraine has 18 per cent of the global total of accessible reserves, the largest potential amount of any country.

iron ore ukraine

United States

The United States was the 8th largest producer of iron ore in 2015, with a total of 46,000,000 metric tons produced from mines in Michigan, Minnesota, and Utah.


Canada’s 2015 production of iron ore equaled that of the United States, at about 46,000,000 metric tons, depending on the reporting source.

Industrial Metal Supply is your one-stop shop in the Southwest for all things metal. Visit us at one of our six convenient locations.

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 for the Southwest’s largest supply of metal and metal tools and accessories.

How to Keep Knives Sharp

How to Keep Your Knives Sharpened

The age-old question of how to sharpen a knife is critical to chefs, barbers, hunters and fishermen, survivalists, and DIYers. Sharpening metal edges requires an abrasive material that is harder than the metal itself – in the form of ceramic or tiny mono- or polycrystalline man-made diamonds glued together to create a sharpening stone.

Sharpening vs. Honing

There’s a difference between honing and sharpening metal knives, and some experts suggest honing a knife every time you use it. Honing doesn’t file down the metal – it just straightens and re-aligns the edge of the blade, removing any microscopic pieces of steel that may have chipped off during use. The sharpening process actually removes metal from the blade by grinding it down to form a beveled edge.


You can try an electric knife-sharpening machine, but generally, those tend to take more metal off your knife than is necessary. Hand sharpening requires a few specialized tools and takes some practice to achieve good results.

Sharpening stones or tools come in a range of grits, and you generally work from coarse to fine to get the sharpest edge.

There are two basic methods to sharpen a knife: hold the knife blade steady and swipe it with a sharpening tool, or fox a flat sharpening stone in place and move the blade across it at the desired angle.

Hold the stone (or the blade) at the correct angle (see below) and starting at the base, pull it towards you in a curving motion, pressing down firmly. Repeat the motion several times on both sides to create an even bevel.

You can eyeball the angle or you can buy one of several different styles of sharpening sets which provide a guide that takes out some of the guesswork, making a more consistent bevel angle along the entire length of the blade.

Choose your Angle

In general, the smaller the bevel angle on a blade, the sharper the edge. But the tradeoff is that a very sharp edge will dull more quickly. For filleting a bass or trout, you need a very sharp edge, so you might sharpen it to an angle of 15 degrees to 17 degrees. A survival knife used for many different types of cutting needs a durable edge, with a bevel of 25 degrees or more. Kitchen knives require precision and are usually sharpened to about 20 degrees.

The Leather Strop

One last step to the entire process is to use a leather strop, which helps remove any microscopic burrs left over from the sharpening process. You may want to use a diamond spray or stropping compound spread on the leather, which helps remove any leftover particles.

Tool steel bar, as the name suggests, is often used to produce tools, including knives. Tool steel is known for its extreme hardness, as well as its abrasion resistance and ability to hold a cutting edge at high temps.

Industrial Metal Supply offers tool steel bar in O-1 and A-2 grades, in square, round, and rectangular cross-sections.

Metal Pipe or Plastic Pipe

Choosing the Right Material: Metal Piping vs Plastic Piping

When planning your next plumbing project, you need to evaluate the various types of pipe for the job. Although stainless steel and brass tubing could be used, most projects will be completed with galvanized metal, copper tubing, or some sort of plastic pipes for plumbing applications.

Lead pipes and lead solder used on copper pipes have been outlawed since 1986, so any new plumbing projects should not cause further problems with lead poisoning, although some types of plastic may absorb chemical contaminants coming from the water system. According to Chemical & Engineering News, all types of pipe materials can impart taste and odors to drinking water, which often can be mitigated by flushing the system.

Benefits of Plastic Pipe

Plastic piping can be made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). In general, plastic pipe doesn’t rust or corrode, is light in weight, easy to cut and easy to join – no welding required.

PVC piping is a good, low-cost choice for many plumbing projects. It is easy to install, with a range of different methods for joining, such as clamps, mechanical couplings, or solvent welding. PVC outdoor lines can be buried, though they might need extra care to prevent collapse. The main drawback of using PVC piping is that it can’t withstand high temperatures. This means you can’t use it for hot water lines and it’s not rated for drinking water, due to possible heat degradation of the plastic.

CPVC pipe has all the benefits of PVC pipe, plus the added chlorine gives it a higher heat resistance. It is also rated for drinking water, and is flexible, fire resistant, and well insulated to prevent energy loss for either hot or cold water.

PEX tubing resists high heat and is commonly used for radiant hot water heating systems and drinking water lines, though it can’t be directly connected to a hot water heater and requires a short section of copper tubing in between. It is highly flexible, so it can be easily installed through walls and around corners. PEX lasts for decades and withstands freezing temperatures well, resisting cracks due to freezing and thawing of water in the lines.

Benefits of Metal Pipe

Historically, most piping was made from brass, copper, cast iron, or some other metal. Brass and copper have innate corrosion resistance, which makes them excellent choices, but even these have seen problems when the pipes begin to age over decades, often due to lead in the solder used to connect them.

One of the most widely used materials on Earth, steel provides outstanding strength, toughness, and durability. It is a versatile, cost-effective solution for water/sewer plumbing and pipeline systems.

Galvanized Steel Pipe vs. Black Steel Pipe

Galvanized steel pipe features a protective zinc coating that helps prevent corrosion, rust, and the buildup of mineral deposits, thereby extending the pipe’s lifespan. Galvanized steel pipe is most commonly used in plumbing and other water-supply applications. In addition, galvanized pipes are a lower cost alternative to steel, and can achieve rust free protection for up to 30 years while maintaining comparable strength with a durable surface coating.

Black steel pipe contains a dark-colored iron-oxide coating on its entire surface and is used for applications that do not require galvanization protection. Black steel pipe is used primarily for transporting water and gas in rural and urban areas and for delivering high-pressure steam and air. It is commonly used in fire sprinkler systems thanks to its high heat resistance. Black steel pipe is also popular for other water transfer applications, including potable water from wells, as well as in gas lines.

304 Stainless Steel Pipe

304 stainless steel pipe also can be used for transporting liquids. Stainless offers high corrosion resistance, superior durability, high strength-to-weight ratio, fair resistance to thermal and electrical conductivity, ease of fabrication, ease of cleaning, and it is non-magnetic and harden-able by cold working.

Brass Tube/Pipe

Though brass piping is an older material, it’s still used today for water supply and drain lines, as well as gas lines. Brass, an alloy made of copper and zinc, is highly resistant to corrosion, and as long as a lead-free brass alloy is chosen, it should be safe for drinking water. Because it is a fairly soft metal, brass tube/pipe can be installed with a tight seal, preventing leaks.

Industrial Metal Supply carries 304 stainless steel pipe as well as brass and copper tubing and galvanized, coated and uncoated steel pipe. We offer steel pipe products in a range of standard diameters and lengths, including diameters from 1/4-in. to 6-in. and lengths up to 21 ft., as well as cut-to-length services to meet your specific requirements.
Stop by any of our six locations in California and Arizona to check out our inventory, or request a quote for your application.

how to use and read calipers

How to Use and Read Calipers

Dial calipers, digital calipers, and digital micrometers are used to measure the dimensional characteristics of all metals. This article will discuss how to use calipers for measuring metal rod, sheet and plate, how to read calipers, and explain the differences and uses of each.

Dial Calipers

Dial calipers are used for measuring diameters, thicknesses, and lengths of small items. To measure an object, open the dial caliper to fit around its sides, and then close down the caliper until it touches both sides. Reading the caliper scale at 7 and the round dial at 56 means that the object is 756/1000 inches in width or diameter.

Digital Calipers

Digital calipers are used for measuring diameters, thicknesses, and lengths up to six inches. The readout is in inches and thousandths of an inch in decimals. The advantage of a digital readout is for accuracy and repeatability, because the operator is not required to interpret off of a scale. To use the digital calipers, turn them on, make sure it is zeroed out, and then open the calipers to fit around the object. Hold the wheel firmly to tighten both jaws of the caliper against the metal, and read out the measurement on the digital display.

Digital Micrometer

The 0-1” digital micrometer is used to measure diameters or thicknesses up to one inch in diameter, with an accuracy of 0.0001”. To use it, open the micrometer to greater than the thickness to be measured, place the anvils on both sides of the object, and then tighten the spindle to so that the anvils touch both sides of the object. The thickness can be read from the display in thousandths of an inch.

At Industrial Metal Supply, the frequency of inspection for calibration of calipers and micrometers is annual. Visit for all your metal and metalworking needs.

heat conducting metal

Best Metals for Conducting Heat

Thermal conductivity is the term that describes how quickly a material absorbs heat from areas of high temperature and moves it toward areas of lower temperature. The best heat-conducting metals have high thermal conductivity and are useful for many applications, such as cookware, heat exchangers, and heat sinks. On the other hand, metals with a lower rate of heat transfer are also useful where they can act as a heat shield in applications that generate large amounts of heat, such as airplane engines.

Here’s a ranking of heat conducting metals and metal alloys from lowest to highest average thermal conductivity, in Watts/meter-K at room temperature:

  1. Stainless Steel (16)
  2. Lead (35)
  3. Carbon steel (51)
  4. Wrought iron (59)
  5. Iron (73)
  6. Aluminum Bronze (76)
  7. Copper brass (111)
  8. Aluminum (237)
  9. Copper (401)
  10. Silver (429)

Stainless Steel

With one of the lowest thermal conductivities for a metal alloy, stainless takes much longer to conduct heat away from a source than, say, copper. This means that a pot made of stainless would take much longer to heat up food than a copper-bottom pot (though stainless has other benefits). Steam and gas turbines in power plants use stainless steel because of its heat resistance, among other properties. In architecture, stainless steel cladding can resist high temperatures longer, keeping buildings cooler in sunlight.


While aluminum has a slightly lower thermal conductivity than copper, it is lighter in weight, cheaper, and easier to work with, making it a better choice for many applications. For example, microelectronics such as LEDs and laser diodes use tiny heat sinks with aluminum fins that project into the air. Heat generated by the electronics transfers from the chip to the aluminum and then to the air, either passively or with the help of forced airflow convection or a thermoelectric cooler.


Copper has a very high thermal conductivity and is much cheaper and more available than silver, which is the best metal of all for conducting heat. Copper is corrosion resistant and resists biofouling, which makes it a good material for solar water heaters, gas water heaters, and industrial heat exchangers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps.

Other factors affecting heat conduction

When considering the best metals for heat conduction, you must also take into account other factors in addition to thermal conductivity, which affect the rate of heat flow. For example, the initial temperature of the metal can make a huge difference to its heat transfer rate. At room temperature, iron has a thermal conductivity of 73, but at 1832°F, its conductivity drops to 35. Other influences include the temperature difference across the metal, the thickness of the metal, and the surface area of the metal.

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

Data taken from Engineering Toolbox.

placing orders at IMS

Life Of An Order

At Industrial Metal Supply, we strive daily to live up to our slogan “Metal Made Easy.” Our fast response to customer needs is well-known, and businesses and consumers alike enjoy our clean and organized way of doing things, as well as our helpful and timely service.

Our six convenient locations throughout Southern California and Arizona each include a store that is open six days a week to wholesale and DIY enthusiasts alike. We stock everything from aluminum, steel, stainless, and other raw metals, to welding, cutting, grinding tools & more. We are your one-stop shop for metal materials and first-step processing, including laser cutting metal services, custom cut stainless steel sheet, and aluminium plate cut to size.

In this article, we’ll show you exactly what happens to your order from the moment you request a quote to the time it’s delivered to its final destination.

Request a Quote

You can contact any of our locations by phone to request a quote. Or use our online request for quote form, filling in any comments, questions or details and uploading any documents with your specs.

All quote requests are returned promptly, and orders are processed for same day or next day delivery. Items not in inventory will be transferred immediately from another facility or brokered from one of our partners to meet the customer’s request.

IMS has no minimum purchase requirements. For payment, we accept debit or credit cards, or our credit staff will immediately set you up with Industrial Metal Supply credit lines with good terms.

Once An Order is Placed

Once the completed order with payment is received, our highly experienced staff enters the work order into our system and immediately begins processing the metal. All of our locations feature high-end equipment and a trained staff ready to meet your processing needs.

IMS provides high-precision metal processing services, including cutting, sawing, and shearing, hi-def plasma, waterjet, flat-bed laser, and tube laser cutting, as well as threading, grooving, hole punching, notching, and other services.

Our cutting and processing capabilities will save you time and money. Request a quote on metal processing services, or contact us to discuss your custom requirements.

Additional Services

We offer first-class customer support services including support of lean operations, Kanban, and Just-in-Time manufacturing processes. We also provide material management (stocking and delivery on a scheduled basis). Our sales professionals can act as an extension of your purchasing department, tracking down any hard-to-find metal products you need.

We offer five different methods for getting your metal to you:


For processed materials, we provide next day delivery with our trucks throughout Southern California, Arizona, and northern Mexico via brokers (Nogales and Tijuana). If you place your call Monday through Friday we most often can deliver a processed order the next day at or before noon. Our forty trucks serving these areas daily have a very high success rate at meeting our delivery promise times – averaging over 95% companywide.

Will Call

Any time we are open you can call in your order, including cut orders, and make arrangements to pick it up in Will-Call at any of our six locations that same day. Our sales reps will let you know how long it will take to pull and package your order, and will give you a promise time. If desired, we can also send a text when your order is ready for pick up.


Our six stores are open six days a week and stock thousands of items, including precut sizes so you can pick up anything from a small round bar of aluminum or copper, to wrought iron pickets, to metal cleaners. We have been called a One Stop Metal Shop and if you stop by you will know immediately why customers have said this for more than sixty years.


We ship anywhere in the U.S. If you have any questions please contact us via email and we’ll get back to you quickly.


If you can’t pick it up in Will-Call or you live outside our delivery areas, we can use the US Post Office, UPS, or common carrier to get your metal safely and efficiently to you.

Please see our other terms and conditions before ordering.

Since 1948, Industrial Metal Supply has worked to partner with its customers, and the long term relationships that we’ve shared for years illustrate just that – we try to consistently exceed our customer’s expectations. Contact us today for all your metal needs.