ferrous non-ferrous metals basics

There are a number of considerations that may be at play for any metal fabrication project, and one of these is the type of metal being used. While there are several ways to split up metals within such conversations, one of the most common and useful in many situations is categorizing them based on ferrous versus non-ferrous properties.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer the best metal fabrication and laser cutting services in Salt Lake City and nearby areas, offering products ranging from custom metal fascia to roof packages, accessories and more. In this two-part blog series, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about ferrous versus non-ferrous metals — what this term means, some examples of each, and why you should be considering one or the other for your project needs.

ferrous non-ferrous metals basics

Basic Differences

At the core of the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is the presence, or lack thereof, of iron. Ferrous metals contain at least some level of iron, while non-ferrous metals do not. This is the key distinction that separates these two types of metals from one another.

There are a few key reasons for why this difference matters. For one, it makes ferrous metals more prone to rust and corrosion than non-ferrous metals. This is because the iron in ferrous metals can oxidize and break down over time when exposed to certain conditions, like water or air. Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, are more resistant to these sorts of conditions.

The presence of iron in ferrous metals also gives them a stronger magnetic pull than non-ferrous metals. This is due to the fact that iron is a naturally magnetic element. This difference can be useful in certain applications where magnets are needed, or where metals need to resist being pulled by a magnet.

Finally, ferrous metals are generally heavier and harder than non-ferrous metals. This is again due to the presence of iron, which makes these metals more dense.

Both Have Uses in Metal Fabrication

Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals have their own unique properties and uses, which is why both are often employed in metal fabrication projects.

Ferrous metals, for example, are well-suited for applications where strength and durability are key. This is because these metals are heavier and harder than non-ferrous metals, making them more resistant to wear and tear. They’re often used in construction projects, as well as in the manufacturing of machinery and equipment.

Meanwhile, non-ferrous metals are often chosen for applications where corrosion resistance is important. This is because these metals are less prone to rusting than ferrous metals. They’re often used in the fabrication of outdoor furniture and signage, as well as in the food and beverage industry.

So, which type of metal is right for your project? In our next blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some specific ferrous and non-ferrous metals to help you make an informed decision.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our SLC metal fabrication, laser cutting or related services, speak to the team at Cypress Metals today.

stainless steel metal fabrication value

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the key properties of stainless steel that often makes it perfect for metal fabrication projects. While several different metals can be used in this process, stainless steel offers several advantages that make it especially useful for many needs in this realm.

At Cypress Metals, we’re here to offer a wide range of metal fabrication and laser cutting services, with product areas ranging from siding and wall panels through roof packages, accessories and more. What are some other main reasons why stainless steel is so beneficial for many metal fab projects? Here are several.

stainless steel metal fabrication value

Ease in Fabrication Jobs

So long as the fabricator in question is working with up-to-date equipment, stainless steel is fairly easy to work with in terms of the fabrication process. It can be cut, formed and welded without too much difficulty, so the overall process from start to finish tends to be shorter when using this material.

In addition, there are few if any prep steps required prior to beginning the job. For instance, with carbon steel, it’s often necessary to remove scale and Rust Inhibitors (RIs) before starting. This is not the case with stainless.

Heat Resistance

We already talked about corrosion resistance in part one of our series, but that’s not the only key property that makes stainless ideal for certain projects. It’s also quite heat resistant, meaning it can be used in a wide range of environments and applications.

This is especially important in industries such as food preparation, where high temperatures are often a regular part of the process. It’s common for stainless steel to be used in everything from commercial kitchens to outdoor BBQs.

Long-Term Value

Due to some of what we’ve already gone over – namely the fact that it’s resistant to both corrosion and heat – stainless steel tends to have a very long lifespan. This means that, in many cases, it’s actually a more cost-effective choice in the long run than other materials that might need to be replaced more frequently.

Compared to, say, aluminum or even some types of carbon steel, stainless is often able to withstand the elements and other damaging factors for a much longer period of time. As such, it can be a wise investment for both businesses and individuals alike.

There are many different reasons why stainless steel might be the best choice for your next metal fabrication project. To learn more about this material or to get started with a quote, be sure to contact Cypress Metals today.

stainless steel metal fabrication

There are a number of metals that may be utilized within the metal fabrication process, and one that sometimes doesn’t get its just due is stainless steel. Some of this stems from prior generations, where fabricating stainless steel was a bit more difficult than it is today — but in modern times, stainless steel offers numerous specific benefits and should be strongly considered as a material for various fabrication needs.

At Cypress Metals, we work with a number of different metals for our fabrication services, which are utilized by clients for everything from chimneys and cupolas to bay window covers and numerous other needs. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over some of the basics on why stainless steel is so beneficial for many fabrication projects, and why you should consider it.

stainless steel metal fabrication

Corrosion Resistance

First and foremost, because of the high chromium content within stainless steel, it offers natural corrosion resistance. This is one of the key reasons why it’s often utilized in food service and medical applications, where cleanliness and preventing the spread of germs and bacteria is essential.

Additionally, unlike some other metals that may offer corrosion resistance (such as aluminum), stainless steel can withstand a wide range of temperatures and still maintain that resistance.

Aesthetic Appeal

Another big selling point for stainless steel is the fact that it offers a clean, polished look. This makes it ideal for applications where appearance is important, such as in architecture or retail settings.

Additionally, because it’s so easy to keep clean, stainless steel can help give the impression of a well-maintained facility — even if it’s not being regularly cleaned! For large facilities where maintenance staff may not be able to clean every nook and cranny on a daily basis, stainless steel can help give the impression of a clean environment.

Full Recyclability

For many businesses, individuals and other entities, the theme of sustainability is important. Fortunately, stainless steel is fully recyclable — meaning that when the time comes to replace it, the old material can be melted down and reused in other applications.

Additionally, because stainless steel doesn’t corrode or break down over time, it can last for decades without needing to be replaced. This means that once you’ve invested in stainless steel products, you likely won’t need to replace them for many years (if not decades), further reducing your environmental impact.

There are many other reasons why stainless steel is such a beneficial product for fabrication needs — but these are some of the key ones. In our next blog post, we’ll go over a few other areas to consider here. To learn more about this or any of our custom metal fabrication, laser cutting or other services, speak to the pros at Cypress Metals today.

welding metal fabrication role

Did you know that April is National Welding Month? It’s true, and this is a time of year where we can appreciate welding professionals everywhere — people who play a major role in a number of different processes, one of which is metal fabrication.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer the very best metal fabrication services in Utah, helping with products from range hoods and cupolas to post caps, window covers and more. What is the important role of welding in metal fabrication, and what are some of the simple processes used to carry it out? Here’s a simple rundown.

welding metal fabrication role

Welding Within Metal Fabrication

There are some who simply think welding and metal fabrication are the same thing, but this isn’t accurate. Rather, welding is one process that’s used within the fabrication process. It generally involves using heat and pressure to join two pieces of metal together, and there are a few different types of welding that can be employed in this context.

The Different Types of Welding

There are three primary types of welding used in metal fabrication:

  • MIG welding, which is a semi-automatic or automatic process that’s often used for larger projects
  • TIG welding, which is a more precise manual process often used for thinner metals or metals that are difficult to weld
  • Stick welding, which is a manual process using an electrode that’s melted to join the two pieces of metal

Of these, MIG welding is the most commonly used in the metal fabrication process.

Specific Processes or Techniques

A number of different processes or techniques may be used by welders within metal fabrication, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Finishing
  • Die cutting
  • Roll forming
  • Punching
  • Stamping
  • Blanking

These processes or techniques will generally be used to create the desired shape from a piece of metal before it’s welded to another.

Safety Equipment and Precautions

Because welding is generally done with high heat and pressure, it’s important for those carrying out this process to take proper safety precautions. This generally includes wearing gloves, a welding helmet and other protective clothing, as well as ensuring that the area is well-ventilated. Hearing protection is another common precaution, as the noise generated by welding can be quite loud.

In addition, many welders who do this job regularly will also take welding classes to ensure they’re up-to-date on the latest safety procedures. These classes can also teach them new techniques that they can use in their work.

Risks of Poor Welding Quality

It’s vital for metal fabrication welders to carry out their work with precision and care, as poor welding quality can lead to a number of risks. This includes the risk of metal fatigue, which is when the metal becomes weaker and more brittle over time due to being placed under too much stress. Poor welding quality can also lead to cracking, warping or other damage that can cause the metal to break or fail.

This is why, at Cypress Metals, we only work with the very best welders in the business. Our team has years of experience and takes great pride in their work, ensuring that every project is carried out to the highest standards. For more on this or any of our metal fabrication, laser cutting or other services for Utah clients, speak to the team at Cypress Metals today.

metal-cut signs applications

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on the value of metal-cut signs for many businesses and entities. Precision metal cutting with lasers is used for numerous applications across various industries, and creating quality signage is just one of them.

At Cypress Metals, we’re here to offer the very best laser precision metal cutting services available in Utah, providing clients with several different possible applications — including signage. What are some of the other reasons why metal signage is a top consideration for many business owners and others who need signs? Here are some basics to consider.

metal-cut signs applications

Compatibility and Applications

Many signs sit in conditions that require very high levels of damage resistance and durability, and in some cases metal is the only material that can meet these needs. Other materials may not be as weather-resistant, durable, or long lasting as metal signage. In addition, metal signage is often the most visible and legible type of signage in a variety of conditions.

For this reason, you often see custom metal signs in specific applications where others will not do. Many companies in the transportation realm, for instance, will often use metal signs for things like directional signage, for identifying parking areas, and for other needs. These signs need to be highly visible and able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear — making them the ideal option in many cases.

Other areas where they’re often used include aerospace and agriculture, both of which have conditions that are tough on signs. If you need a sign that will last for years in any environment and still look great, metal is often the best way to go.

Different Types of Metals

You also have different options when it comes to the type of metal used for your sign. Different metals offer different looks and levels of durability, and you can choose the one that will work best for your needs.

For instance, aluminum is a common choice for signage because it is durable and has a clean look. It’s also non-magnetic, so it won’t be affected by magnets or other magnetic fields. Steel is another popular option because it is very durable and can be recycled easily. Stainless steel is a good choice for areas that are humid or salty, as it won’t rust like other metals can.

Limited Maintenance Requirements

Finally, especially when compared to other common sign materials like wood or plastic, metal signage requires very little in the way of ongoing maintenance. While it’s still a good idea to clean it periodically and check for damage, most metal signs will last for years without any need for special care.

When you’re looking for a sign that will last long and look great no matter what, laser-cut metal is likely your best bet. For more on our laser cutting or press brake services, or to learn about any of our other metal fabrication solutions, speak to the team at Cypress Metals today.

value metal-cut signs customization

There are certain manufacturing processes that are incredibly versatile in their potential scope, and a good example here is laser metal cutting. Precision metal cutting is a need across dozens of different industries and applications, and one particular product type it’s useful for — one that cuts across several industries — is signage.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer the very best laser metal cutting services in SLC and other parts of Utah, producing quality metal products that accommodate every client need. We’ve created products for clients across a wide swath of industries, including metal signage for a variety of companies and their specific needs. What are some of the top reasons clients prefer laser-cut metal signage for their businesses? Here are several across this two-part blog series.

value metal-cut signs customization

Completely Customizable

Our laser cutting services utilize cutting-edge automated cutting technology that allows for a wide range of materials to be cut, including aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and many other types of metals. This means that any shape or design can be quickly machined out to your exact specifications; every product is one-of-a-kind in its own way. Whether you need classic geometry for a soaring eagle emblem or custom font for your restaurant’s logo, our laser-cutting services can provide it for you.

On top of this, our machines can also remove additional interior material from metal for various decorative effects, a process known as carving. This allows you to remove certain parts of your design from the metal product itself, creating a raised look that mimics 3D objects or other effects.

Our laser cutting services utilize technology that allows for a wide range of materials to be cut, including aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and many other types of metals. This means that any shape or design can be quickly machined out to your exact specifications; every product is one-of-a-kind in its own way.

Fantastic Durability

Another major benefit of laser-cut metal signs is that once they’re created, they’re incredibly durable. They naturally resist a number of contaminants and environmental conditions that affect metal, and especially outdoor signage. Our laser cutting services produce signs that resist chemical corrosion and discoloration from the weather, including sun exposure and harsh storms.

And if you want to increase this level of protection even further, that’s easy to do. There are ways to seal your graphics beneath a layer of aluminum or some other metal, for instance, creating an impenetrable barrier that keeps both the surface of the sign and its contents safe from damage.

For more on why many businesses default to laser-cut metal signage for all their sign needs, both inside and outside, or to learn about any of our laser cutting, metal fabrication or other related solutions, contact the pros at Cypress Metals today.

metal fabrication cost factors

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic factors that are likely to impact the cost of any custom metal fabrication job you’re ordering. From the raw materials your project requires to the labor costs involved and several other important variables, there are multiple elements that come together to lead you to a final cost.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer a variety of custom metal fabrication projects, creating products ranging from fascia boards and roof packages to siding and wall panels, box gutters and many others for our clients throughout Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah. What are some of the other top factors that influence your final cost for any fabrication project? Here are several.

metal fabrication cost factors

Certifications and Compliance Requirements

The metal fabrication world is one where professionals must adhere to strict compliance regulations in areas like inspections, testing, auditing and more. Standards may be put forth by a variety of different entities, including ISO, AS, AWS, ANSI and more. In order to ensure that your fabrication project runs as smoothly as possible, you’ll need a fabricator capable of complying with these regulations. Yes, it’s important to check for this information from Cypress Metals before placing any order.

In addition to certifications, your potential fabricator should be up-front about which specific standards they are held to. Providing you with a list of requirements can help you ensure that your project falls within specifications for the area you plan on installing it in, handling compliance issues before installation has begun.

Painting and Finishing Needs

Many metal fabrication jobs will require painting or some kind of specialty finishing. Which options are required will be completely dependent upon your specific project. At Cypress Metals, our team is capable of providing services like powder coating, painting and more to ensure that you receive the aesthetic value you desire for your custom metal fabrication job.

Other finishes may include zinc, electroless nickel, anodizing or even decorative finishes. For long-lasting results that look great, you’ll need a fabricator capable of applying various treatments to your project in order to ensure success.

Shipping and Delivery

Finally, just like any other product that will need to be transported, your custom metal fabrication project will eventually need to be moved from its place of origin to the area where it’s ultimately installed. Transporting heavy metals usually requires a specialized fleet, which can make shipping costs high for any project. Be sure you’re considering this area in detail before finalizing any budget or cost plans, as glossing over it could leave you well over-budget by the end of the project.

For more on the important variables that play into the final cost of your custom metal fabrication job, or to learn about any of our metal fabrication, laser cutting or other programs in SLC or surrounding areas, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

metal fabrication cost materials labor

If you’re looking to arrange a custom metal fabrication job of any kind for your building or facility, the total cost of this job will obviously be one important factor you’re considering. There are several variables that may impact the costs of any custom metal fabrication job, and knowing these in advance may help you move through this stage of the process easily.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer a huge range of metal fabrication services for numerous different applications, including roof packages, siding, fascia, gable vents and more. What are the most important and common factors to be aware of that may impact the cost of your custom fabrication job? This two-part blog series will go over several.

metal fabrication cost materials labor

Raw Materials Used

Perhaps the single largest factor in determining the cost of a custom metal fabrication job is the type and quantity of raw materials used. The price of steel, aluminum and other metals can vary greatly depending on market conditions, so it’s important to have an accurate estimate of how much material will be needed for your project.

One specific element that’s often considered here is metal thickness, because while thickness isn’t the only factor to consider, it does have a pretty substantial impact on cost. When you’re planning your fabricated metal work, take into account that for steel for example, if you want structural integrity but are worried about expense, thicker materials may be more economical than thinner ones — at about 4 mm, 10 gauge steel has almost three times the strength of 18 gauge steel, but costs about 50 percent more per square foot.

Labor Costs

Labor costs are the other major cost factor when it comes to metal fabrication. There are a number of different types of workers who may be involved (depending on your project and the shop you choose) and their efforts may require varying levels of skill and expertise, which all lead directly to higher costs.

You also have to think about mechanical labor in addition to human labor. Machine usage will drive up the cost of your job, so it’s important to have a realistic idea of how much fabrication work will be completed by hand and how much will be handled by machines.

Overall Complexity

While this area often ties in directly with overall material amounts and the quantity of labor required, it’s important enough to highlight on its own. The fabricator you choose should have the ability to create products that are aesthetically appealing, but it is essential that they also be practical for your needs.

For example, some jobs may require fabrication techniques that are new or haven’t been used before in your area. It’s important to go with a fabrication shop that has the expertise required to complete this type of project.

For more on the factors that impact the cost of a custom metal fabrication job, or to learn about any of our custom metal fabrication services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

value custom sheet metal fabrication

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on the value of custom sheet metal fabrication for those who require it. Especially when compared to various mass-production methods, custom sheet metal fabrication offers far greater durability, lifespan and several other positive qualities.

At Cypress Metals, we’re happy to offer a variety of different metal fabrication services, including for items like chimneys, cupolas, finials and many others. What are some of the other reasons custom sheet metal fabrication is so much more valuable than other processes? Here’s a primer.

value custom sheet metal fabrication

Fit Assistance

If you’re working with mass-produced sheet metal parts, you’ll often find they don’t work or fit on a given machine or device, and might need to be further custom-fabricated by a trained metal fabrication professional. In some cases, the part you’re missing won’t even be produced anymore.

If you’re working with something that’s already been custom-fabricated from sheet metal, however, then you won’t run into these problems.

Old Equipment Salvaging

Rather than simply disposing of older equipment or machines, custom fabrication allows you to reverse-engineer the sheet metal parts for these machines. This way, you can use the custom-fabricated sheet metal parts to repair or further modify your equipment so it works properly again.

This is another area where mass-produced sheet metal parts just won’t do. If their dimensions aren’t perfect, they likely won’t fit the machine right and repairing or modifying it will be dangerous or impossible.

Simple Ease of Use

Especially when working with any custom-built parts as part of your project, you should know that custom-fabricated sheet metal parts are infinitely easier to use. They fit together and work with existing equipment and machinery seamlessly, whereas mass-produced sheet metal is very often built in a way that makes it impossible to work with off the shelf.

Consider the HVAC industry, for example, one area where custom fabrication is often performed. If an HVAC technician is working with a mass-produced part, it’s possible or even likely that it won’t fit the machine and cause serious problems.

With a custom fabricated part, on the other hand, everything works perfectly. Why is this? Mass-produced sheet metal parts are often made using automated manufacturing processes that don’t allow for the same degree of customization that custom fabrication does. The end result is a part that’s almost always incompatible with any existing equipment or machinery it might be used on, which makes it dangerous to use in the HVAC industry.

Custom fabrication allows you to ensure that your sheet metal parts will fit and function perfectly within your project, be it an HVAC system or otherwise. It’s the only way to know for sure that all your hard work and good intentions will pay off when everything is complete.

For more on the value of custom fabrication for sheet metal, or to learn about any of our metal fabrication, laser cutting or other services, speak to the pros at Cypress Metals today.

custom sheet metal fabrication lifespan

When it comes to the industrial world, there are numerous processing needs that may come with varying metals you’re working with. When it comes to sheet metal specifically, there are several reasons why working with custom metal fabricators is far superior to using mass-produced or other cookie-cutter solutions.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer a wide range of metal fabrication process, including for items like roofing and run outs that often require sheet metal fabrication. Why are our services, and those of other custom metal fabricators, the absolute apex of quality in the sheet metal world? Here are some specifics in this two-part blog series.

custom sheet metal fabrication lifespan


Simply put, custom-fabricated sheet metal is exponentially more durable than mass-produced run of the mill metals. Why? First, typically you’re not limited to one thickness – for example, our typical sheet metal purchases are anywhere between 22 and 26 gauge in thickness. For ease of reference, that’s .022 inches up to .026 inches in terms of thickness. However, these measurements can be tweaked to your specific needs.

Typically, mass-produced metals are limited to a thickness of around 24 gauge (0.5mm), which is a majorly slim 0.005 inches difference! Why make the extra effort – it’s not going to make or break anything, right? Quite simply, this difference in thickness varies based on your usage scenarios. For example, if you’re only going to be working with your metal indoors, then 24 gauge may not be a problem. However, if your project calls for outdoor usage of the metals, then their durability will of course decrease exponentially.

In addition to that difference in thickness comes an important factor – quality of material. Most mass-produced metals are made from a B20 alloy. This alloy is fine for most projects, but should something more specific come along that requires a better quality metal, other metals may not be a viable option – again, due to the specificity of other metals being produced in bulk.


As a result of their improved durability, custom-fabricated sheet metals can withstand the test of time – including whatever elements you may be working with. For outdoor projects, this means the difference between continuing to look brand new or rusting out after a few years in the elements.

You can get even further life out of your products by choosing properly between galvanized, aluminum or stainless steel materials — yet another area where working with a custom metal fabrication shop can help. Trying to make these choices on your own can end up badly, especially if you’re inexperienced with metal fabrication and don’t know how these should be chosen between.

For more on why custom sheet metal fabricators are far superior to mass-produced options, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.