Importance of metal alloys

Understanding The Role Of Alloy Metals

All alloys have some properties added to them to make their qualities more desirable. Alloy metals have been prominent in materials engineering, offering a diverse range of properties and capabilities that are better than those of other metals. In metalworking, alloy metals play a huge role because of their unique properties. In this blog post, we will explore alloy metals, including their composition, applications, and the fusion process.

What Are Alloy Metals?

Alloy metals emerge through the fusion of two or more elements, creating a new and unique material. These elements can undergo pure metallization or a fusion of metal and non-metal constituents. As metals merge, they generate metallic material, yet the new alloy retains the traits of its source metals, which could include electrical conductivity, opacity, and luster. Alloy metals are very important in our everyday lives.

The Fusion Process

The fusion of metals in alloys opens up a whole new world of possibilities. This offers engineers a wide range of material characteristics to work with. There are many key advantages of alloy metals which include versatility and customization. To go with versatility, alloy metals can be tailored to possess specific mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties, making them highly sought after. Metal alloys can be unique and include the custom qualities you would need. For example, if you wanted to fine-tune a piece of metal to make it lighter or darker, you could.

Alloy Metal Applications

There are many ways to use metal alloys. Alloy metals such as steel and reinforced concrete alloys offer the necessary strength and durability to construct bridges, skyscrapers, and other projects. Alloy metals also play a vital role in producing electronic devices, from circuits to power transmission systems. Copper alloys, for example, are used in electrical wiring due to their strong conductivity and resistance to corrosion. Alloy metals have so many applications in our everyday lives. From smartphones to skyscrapers, alloy metals are all around us.

Contact Markham Metals Today!

If you have been wanting to do a metal project using alloy metals, Markham Metals has got you covered! We specialize in metalworking services and can help you bend, cut, form, and shape your metal into any desired product. We also carry our own in-line stock of some of the most durable metal alloys out there: steel alloys! For more information and consistent 5-star service, click here to contact us directly!

Metal Conduction

What Are The Main Factors That Affect the Conductivity of Metals?

The conductivity of metals is how much the specific material can transmit sound or heat. The conductivity of the metal you choose will depend on the type of project you are starting. Metals are integrated into our everyday lives, whether it be from the very conductive copper wires that power our homes to the electrical components found in our standard phones. However, have you ever wondered what factors influence the conductivity of metals? Many factors can affect conduction, like temperature, the material used, and any impurities present. This blog post will explore these main factors and why they are essential.


How Temperature Affects Conduction

Temperature is one of the main factors that affect conduction in metals. When temperature increases, the atoms move around more in the metal, making it less conductive. On the other hand, when the temperature decreases, particles become stiffer, increasing the conduction. If there is a higher conductivity, it is essential to keep an eye out for corrosion of the metals.


The Materials Used

All types of metal are made up of different materials with different conductivity levels. For example, copper, zinc, and iron are great choices if you want a highly electrically conductive material. Underground steel structures like utility piping and pipelines exposed to soil environments are vulnerable to corrosion. Knowing what metal you are using and its conductivity level is important.


Conductivity And Impurities In Metal

Any impurity in the metal can affect how much it can conduct. An impurity means there could be a dent or damage to the metal. The atoms that make up the metal will be changed, which can affect the conductivity negatively. Metal alloying, the opposite of conductivity, is when materials are added to the metal to increase its conductivity. Both of these alterations affect how much the metal can conduct. 


Contact Markham Metals Today!

Markham Metals is one of the top destinations in New England for all your metalworking needs. The conductivity of metal is important to know; we have an array of different metals, all with different conductivity. Markham Metals has everything you need if you have considered using metal in your next project. We have HR carbon steel, galvanized metal, CF carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Our experts can assist with any questions and guide you on which metal may be suitable for you. Contact us here for a free quote on your next metal project and see the difference Markham Metals can offer you!


why do metals rust

What is Metal Oxidizing?

Metal oxidation is a process that happens naturally when metal interacts with oxygen in conjunction with moisture and other agents. The metal’s function, durability, and presence can be heavily affected by oxidation. While oxidation and corrosion are similar, oxidation is focused on the exterior of the metal rather than the interior. In this blog post, we will discuss the leading causes of oxidation, the effects that oxidation can have on metal, and ways to prevent this process from happening. 

Main Causes of Metal Oxidation

Two main agents can cause metal oxidation. The first one is oxygen exposure. When a metal interacts with oxygen in the environment, some of the metallic elements in its composition turn into oxides. This means that the metal has formed a thick film over its surface, showing a rusty color. The other main cause of metal oxidation is exposure to moisture. Metal oxide, otherwise known as rust, is formed when it’s exposed to water or humidity. 

What Are The Effects of Metal Oxidation?

There are three prominent effects that metal and steel can have when it’s oxidized. The first one is the metal’s function. The function that the metal provides can be altered. Some examples of this are poor conductivity or having holes that lead to leaks. Another effect is the metal’s durability. As the thick layer of oxide forms, it can weaken the metal and cause problems in infrastructure, for example. Lastly, the presence of the metal is greatly affected. Rust is a bright orange color that can look damaged or dirty. This discoloration can alter the aesthetics of the metal.  

Tips To Prevent Metal Oxidation

There are a few ways to prevent metal oxidation. One method is galvanization. This process is so important because it provides a layer of zinc to protect the metal. Another way to prevent oxidation is to put your metal in proper storage. Keeping metal materials in a cool, dry environment is so curtail to maintaining their health and longevity. Maintenance of the metal is crucial, and you can do this by regularly cleaning your materials. Lastly, protective coatings can provide that extra layer of protection for your metal. We recommend using rubber paint to protect the metal’s chemical structure.

Metal Galvanizing with Markham Metals 

Markham Metals is here to assist you with all your metal galvanizing. Metal oxidation is a natural process; we want you to ensure your metals are maintained and well taken care of. Galvanized steel is a low-cost way to keep your materials looking brand new. To protect your metal, call Markham Metals. Contact us today here today or visit our website to learn more about our galvanized metal and what makes it so unique!

Hot Formed Steel vs. Cold Formed Steel

There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel each having their own unique properties.  With all the different types it allows for wide diverse use in infrastructure, appliances, vehicles, even wind turbines.  Optimizing steel properties goes well beyond changing the chemical composition.  However, the manufacturing process plays a role in steel products even if the grades of the steel are the same.  

What is the difference between hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel?

The difference to note between both rolling methods is the process in which they are done.  Hot rolled steel takes place when heat is applied.  For cold rolling it is the opposite of hot rolled steel it happens at or near room temperature.  Both of these techniques play a role in overall performance and application.  Steels of all types of grades and specifications can be rolled both hot or cold.  That includes basic carbon steel and other alloy steels.  

Hot Rolled Steel

Hot-rolled steel is steel that has been heated up to extreme temperatures (over 1,700 degrees) which is well over the recrystallization temperature for the majority of steels.  This allows the steel to be able to be bent and shaped easier.  How is works is that manufactures start with a large piece of metal called a billet.  They begin by heating the billet before it is sent for pre-processing where it gets flattened into a large roll.  From there it is run through a series of rollers while being kept at a high temperature till it takes its final dimensions.  Sheet metal is a bit different of a process.  The rolled steel is spun into coils and left to cool.  Where they are made into bars, or plates.  

Benefits of Hot Rolled Steel

When it comes down to rolling steel there are two options to either hot roll it or cold rolling.  Hot rolling steel requires much less processing which is more cost effective. Hot rolling steel is the better option when dimension tolerance are not as important as overall material strength. 

Cold Rolled Steel

The process for cold rolling steel takes a bit longer as it involves just a few more steps compared to hot rolled steel.  Each product of cold rolled steel or sheets are pulled like bars and tubes.  Other cold finishing processes include turning, grinding, and polishing, each of which are used to modify the existing hot rolled steel into a more refined product.  

Benefits of Cold Rolled Steel

The first aspect that is noticeable between cold rolled steel and hot rolled is the surface characteristics.  So, when the job calls for more precise applications cold rolled steel will provide a more aesthetic feel.  The baring part of using cold rolled steel is the price tag that comes along with it.  Due to it having more steps and applications to get to the finished product.  Another winning aspect cold rolling brings to the table is the strength and resistance to tension.  


Contact Markham Metals Today!

If you are looking for an expert team to help with your next project do not overlook Markham Metals.  Our professionals have years of experience with cold and hot rolling metals. For more information on cold and hot rolling metals read more here.  To get in contact with us at 978-658-1121 or by filling out an online contact form.  

How Plasma Cutting Works

Metal cutting breaks down into two categories there is mechanical cutting and then thermal cutting.  Plasma cutting falls underneath the thermal cutting method that relies on ionized gas to cut through metals.  Plasma cutting is one of the most widely used techniques to cut thick metal plates and sheet metal.  Below we weigh the benefits and disadvantages of plasma cutting.  

What is Plasma?

It is possible to find plasma in nature but mainly in the upper parts of Earth’s atmosphere.  The beautiful polar lights that everyone has heard of are actually made up of solar winds made of plasma.  There is plasma found in other areas too such as our bodies, and even lightning.  Plasma is all around us in the universe everywhere we look.   

Plasma is an electronic conductive ionized gas-like substance.  Gas can be transformed into plasma if it is introduced to intense heat.  Similar to gasses, plasma atoms are not in constant contact with each other.  At the same time it holds similar qualities of behavior as liquid with the ability to flow when subjected to an electrical and magnetic field.  

How Does Plasma Cutting Work?

Plasma cutters use compressed air and gasses like nitrogen.  Once the gas ionizes they become plasma.  With the mixture of plasma making contact with electrodes it creates pressure.  Then, a build up of pressure begins to push the plasma towards the cutting head.  The cutting force is then directed towards the workpiece.  While the plasma is contacting the metal the high temperature begins to melt it.  Lastly, the gasses traveling at a high speed blow away the molten metals.  

The Cutting Process

Now, even though not all cutting processes are the same there are different variations of plasma cutting.  Ones that are a lot less costly.  Like, the high frequency method, the pilot arc, or even the spring loaded plasma torch head.  There are pros and cons for each method and a time to choose which one is best for your project.  

Advantages vs. Disadvantages


  • Able to cut all conductive materials
  • Great quality for thickness up to 50 mm
  • Maximum thickness up to 150 mm 
  • Comparative cheap for thick metal cutting
  • Best way to cut medium thickness stainless steel and aluminum
  • Can cut in water 
  • Smaller cutting kerf compared to flame cutting 
  • Quick cutting speed


  • Larger Haz compared to laser cutting 
  • Quality with thinner sheets and plates is not as good as laser cutters.  
  • Tolerance is not as precise 
  • Does not reach thickness like flame cutting or waterjet cutting 
  • Wide kerf

Choosing a Cutting Method

The recommended cutting thickness for plasma cutting is between 15 and 50 mm.  The recommended upper limit of material thickness for a plasma cutting service is around 50 mm for both carbon and stainless steel.  Aluminum should never go beyond 40 mm.  Everything that exceeds these limits should be done with either flame cutting or waterjet cutting.  When it comes to thinner metals like sheet metals laser cutting is the ideal choice.  

Contact Markham Metals Today:

For more information on plasma cutting contact our team of professionals at Markham Metals.  Our team is more than happy to help with both small and big projects.  To get in touch with us call us at 978-658-1121 or by filling out an online contact form directly on our website.  We look forward to speaking with you.