Getting the right material is crucial when you need steel or other metals for something you are building. A steel distributor will often stock many different steel products, alloys, and other metals for you to purchase in various sizes, shapes, and styles.
When you arrive at the steel distributor in your area, you may want to start by discussing your needs with a customer service associate. Many steel products will be available in hot or cold-rolled steel, tool steel, high-carbon steel, and many different alloys. Determining each material's strength, flexibility, and properties can be challenging, but that is what the associates at the distributor are there for.
Let the associate you are working with know what you are doing with the steel and what you need it to do for you. If you want steel that is rigid and has no give, the material options will be different than if you need something that has some flexibility.
You also need to determine what shape and size stock you will need. Most steel distributors can cut the steel for you, making it easier to work with, and if the pieces are extremely large, they may be able to deliver them to your shop when they are ready.
A large steel distributor often does not limit their stock to just steel. They will often stock other materials like aluminum, brass, copper, titanium, and many other metals. Each distributor sets up their business to meet the needs of the clients they work with, so what one distributor does not have available, another one nearby may.
If you are looking for materials other than steel, call the steel distributor before driving to the yard and ask them if they have what you need. If they don't, most distributors can order the materials and have them for you in a few days.
Steel distributors may also offer additional services like material cutting, shaping, and rolling if you need them. If you need steel plates a quarter-inch thick, cutting it can be challenging, but a distributor with a plasma table or a water jet can cut the material for you and may only charge you a small fee for that work.
Buying your steel or metal already cut and drilled can simplify the entire project and streamline things immensely. If you need some holes drilled in a piece of heavy plate, it can take a lot of time and requires a high-quality drill bit and drill to get through the material. However, a shop offering this service for a minimal fee can do the work accurately and will often be far cheaper than buying the tools you need for that one job.
Contact a steel distributor near you to learn more.