Custom alloys are used in an increasing number of industries for applications ranging from high-tech research and development to everyday structural applications. However, because the metals used in these custom alloys tend to be somewhat rare, companies that mix custom alloys for special orders often have difficulty sourcing the materials they need.
Metal remnants from a trustworthy supplier with industry connections can be a convenient solution that saves time and money. In this post, we’ll discuss how verified remnants can address the cost, availability, and quality concerns of sourcing material for custom alloys.
Reduce Costs with Scrap and Remnant Metal
One of the biggest challenges of producing custom alloys is that the necessary alloying elements can be very expensive. While familiar metals like stainless steel or common alloys of aluminum can usually be found at low prices, the custom alloy business is concerned with more exotic, hard-to-find materials, such as titanium or tungsten.
Because these metals are relatively rare, the prices tend to be high, especially for new metals sourced from the mill. Facing high costs and limited stock, custom alloy producers often must shop around with multiple suppliers to find what they need, and they still end up paying high prices.
Fortunately, there is another option. Like more common metals, rare and exotic metals can be found in the form of remnants left over from large-scale manufacturing processes. These remnants are significantly less expensive than new metal.
The problem is finding a reliable, affordable source of rare metal remnants in the quantities you need. Most metal suppliers and recyclers typically don’t keep these materials in stock or may only carry them intermittently. Here in Silicon Valley, we have access to high-tech manufacturers that generate all kinds of exotic metal remnants. Even if you’re not local to the area, it can be beneficial to establish a relationship with a metal remnant supplier in the San Francisco Bay Area that can also ship nationwide. Building a long-term relationship with a trusted supplier with regular access to rare and exotic metal remnants ensures your business always has a reliable source of these materials.
Sourcing Rare Metal Scrap
Custom alloys often require multiple alloying elements in various quantities. This can force manufacturers to buy and ship from multiple sources, adding time and cost to the procurement process.
Sometimes, only a small amount of a particular metal is needed, and the shipping costs may be excessive. Some suppliers may not be willing to ship small orders at all. Other times, rare metals are needed in bulk quantities, and it can be a challenge to find a supplier capable of fulfilling the order.
The key is to partner with a supplier that has a steady inventory and is willing to work with you on the quantities and shipping requirements you need. In general, look for a company that:
- Regularly stocks exotic and specialty metals.
- Handles both large and small orders.
- Has fair prices and flexible shipping policies.
Ensure Quality by Using Verified Remnants
Given the high prices and irregular availability of new metals, metal remnants seem like an obvious alternative if you can find the material you need. However, it’s also important to consider the quality of the material, especially when buying scrap or remnants.
The composition and quality of metal scrap and remnants are inherently much more difficult to determine than that of new metal. Remnants do not come with mill test reports, material certifications, or any other quality assurance documentation, making them unsuitable for applications with strict material specifications. However, these remnants come from the same high-quality materials used by major manufacturers. If their composition can be verified, you can get extremely valuable metals at a fraction of the price of certified new material.
Fortunately, the composition of metal remnants can be verified using nondestructive spectrometry technologies—for example, x-ray fluorescence (XRF). A handheld XRF analyzer can identify a metal’s exact composition with a simple scan, allowing manufacturers to use these remnants in custom alloys with confidence.
Affordable Metal Remnants for Custom Alloys
Industrial Metal Service has been supplying manufacturers, fabricators, and machine shops with new and remnant metal for more than two decades. We’re proud of the reputation we’ve built as a trustworthy, reliable metal supplier. Whatever rare or exotic metals your custom alloys require, we likely have the inventory to quickly meet your needs.
When you buy verified metal remnants from us, we make sure the quality is never in question. We use Thermo-Fisher XRF analyzers to determine the chemical composition of all our metal remnants. This means you can be confident you’re receiving the types and grades of metals that meet the specifications of the custom alloys being produced.