What is mild steel and how is it used?

Steel is among the most abundant metals on earth, even though it’s not naturally occurring. There are thousands of steel grades and types, each with their own properties and subsequent uses. However, most everyday people will probably only know about stainless steel as it’s used in commercial settings. 

Mild steel is less well known as it’s ideal for manufacturing projects. In this blog we’ll be delving deeper into mild steel, its properties and how it gets used. 


What is mild steel?

Mild steel is a type of carbon steel made predominantly from iron and carbon. While this combination is normal for most steel metal, mild steel stands apart due to its chemical composition. Mild steel contains a very low amount of carbon – at most 0.25%. It can also feature trace amounts of other elements, such as silicon, phosphorus, and manganese. 

The process of making mild steel follows these steps: 

  • Iron ore is melted in a blast furnace along with coal and lime. The latter is added to form a protective layer on top of the molten metal. 
  • Scrap steel is then added, and oxygen is blown through the mixture. This reduces the carbon content of the steel. 
  • The mixture can then be transferred to another blast furnace. Here, adjustments can be made to the steel’s chemical composition and impurities can be removed. 
  • Following this, the metal undergoes initial forming through casting.  
  • Once it has solidified, the mild steel slab gets formed further using forming methods such as hot and cold rolling. It’s at this stage the steel takes on many of its defining properties. 


Mild steel properties

High strength and durability

Mild steel can endure high levels of stress without breaking. It’s also ductile, meaning the metal will bend substantially before it does eventually break. This is ideal for structures that require a degree of flexibility alongside the ability to withstand strong forces.

High melting point

The melting point of mild steel is a stand-out feature. It is between 1350-1530°C (2462-2786F). It’s a material that’s therefore well suited to high temperature environments. As a result, mild steel is often used in construction to protect buildings against fire damage and meet certain health and safety standards. 


Mild steel responds well to machining and welding. For instance, both MIG and TIG welding processes can achieve great results. As such, there are many techniques that can be used to shape products out of mild steel. Mild steel products are often fabricated to a high level of precision as a result. This also lets an experienced metal fabricator like FEM to select the processes that’ll produce the best results for your project. 

Cost effective 

The composition of mild steel contains fewer alloys than other types of steel and popular fabrication metals. As a result, its cost per pound is often less than that of stainless steel and aluminium. Mild steel tends to be an effective option for companies looking to control the costs of their fabrication project. 


Uses of mild steel

One of the key applications of mild steel is in steel fabrication work. Here, mild steel fabrication companies can use it to create products for use in a variety of industries. These include aerospace, food production, transportation, energy, and more. This is in turn because mild steel fabricated products can be used in a range of settings. Common mild steel products include: 

  • Piping 
  • Machinery parts 
  • Household items – toasters, bed frames, ovens, etc. 
  • Storage tanks 
  • Fences and gates 
  • Pressure vessels 

Mild steel is particularly useful in construction as mild steel structures can withstand heavy loads and adverse weather conditions. Here, it can be shaped into beams, columns, and other support structures. Mild steel can also be galvanised to increase its lifespan further. This is made possible by the coating present on galvanised mild steel that protects the metal from the effects of extreme weather. 

One pitfall of using mild steel is that the metal is susceptible to corrosion. As a result, it might not be the best choice for every fabrication project. FEM can offer expert advice for steel fabrication work. We can also use our experience and knowledge around materials to provide a suitable alternative too.


Common mild steel grades 

Mild steel has a range of grades, which is determined by the number of other elements within the metal. This can influence the material’s properties. 

EN 1.1121

A general-purpose steel, this grade has good formability and ductility. It contains between 0.08%-0.13% carbon and manganese ranging between 0.3%-0.6%. 

EN 1.0301

This mild steel grade is the most effective when it comes to weldability. It typically contains 0.1% carbon, 0.4% silicon and 0.4% manganese. The metal will also contain trace amounts of aluminium, copper, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. 

EN 1.0402

Often used in machinery parts, this grade balances strength, toughness, and ductility. Its carbon content ranges from 0.18%-0.23%, while it contains between 0.3%-0.6% of manganese. 


Metal fabrications near me

Mild steel is typically in high demand for fabrication projects and for good reason. At FEM, we put our knowledge and experience to use to determine if it’s right for your needs. We’re fully accredited, so you are safe knowing that our products meet industry standards and regulations. 

Contact us today and we’ll be happy to give you a free quote. 

Products you didn’t know are made from metal fabrication

Metal fabrication is everywhere in our modern society, whether you realise it or not. From an idea that began thousands of years ago with shaping mined copper into crude tools, fabrication has shaped and impacted a wide range of industries with the impressive products it has created. In this blog we’ll be exploring some of the amazing products that have been made using the process of metal fabrication and the role it has played in key industries. Some of these might surprise you! 


Medical equipment

The medical industry relies heavily on metal fabrication for vital tools and pieces of equipment, stainless steel in particular. By having products fabricated specifically for their requirements, hospitals and medical businesses can uphold the high standard of care they strive to provide – with metal products that are robust and long lasting, as well as easy to sterilise. Whether they need MRI machines, operating tables, surgical tools or much more. Metal fabrication fulfils their needs with precision and accuracy.


Kitchen utensils

When you think of products made by fabrication, the knives, forks, and spoons that are in your kitchen drawer probably aren’t the typical images that come to mind. However, they are a good example of stainless steel fabrication and sometimes other metals too. This is because they often require a lot of strength and durability with the heavy amount of use they get. Also, cutlery that is used in restaurants for example, typically have a shiny look which will have been achieved during the fabrication process.



Staying on a similar theme with household products, metal fabrication is also a key element of important appliances. For example, fridges, ovens, dishwashers, dryers, and washing machines. If it wasn’t for metal fabrication, products like these wouldn’t exist how they are in their current form. Modern metal fabrication has offered a lot in terms of making everyday life easier for people. As well as improving the quality of what has become standard items found in the home.


Spiral staircases

Stainless steel staircases are another common example of products that are made from metal fabrication. The contemporary and stylish look of metal spiral staircases as well as the important safety properties have made them a popular option for many homes and offices. Their strength and longevity make them a great investment compared to other staircase materials.  


Agricultural equipment

Like with the medical industry, agriculture and farming is a specialist sector that requires specific equipment. This equipment is often made from high quality fabricated metals in order to produce and harvest the food we eat safely and effectively. From tractors and plows to milking equipment and a wide variety of other essential tools and equipment, metal fabrication has revolutionised this key industry over the years, making things more streamlined and efficient for farmers. So much so that practically every aspect of the farming process has an item that has been made with fabricated metal.



Transportation is a large industry that covers various aspects, many of which rely on the useful properties of fabricated metal. One example is walkways and bridges that go over busy roads and railways. They need to be incredibly strong, durable, weather resistant, and safe to protect pedestrians from falling. Cars, trucks, trains, and other vehicles within the automotive industry often feature fabricated metals. In various parts of their design and construction. 

This is largely due to the strength of fabricated metal and its easy ability to be shaped and designed in line with specific requirements. It takes a skilled and precise workforce to accurately manufacture parts for vehicles. That’s why senior aluminium fabricators are often involved in metal fabrication projects for the transportation sector. 



There are so many aspects of infrastructure in modern living that we take for granted which utilise metal fabrication. Most notably things like sewer systems, pipework for our water supply, tunnels, and bridges all depend on fabricated metal to operate properly with the necessary properties to carry out their role effectively.


Architectural structures

Structural and stainless steel are two examples of commonly used materials in building construction. They’re robust, have a modern and versatile visual appeal, and they’re corrosion resistant. This makes them ideal for use in building long-lasting, attractive structures. Features that couldn’t be achieved without the metal fabrication process.



As we have seen, there are many products and industries that rely on metal fabrication in order to keep society running as it should. If you have an upcoming project that requires specialist metal fabrication services, be sure to contact the team at FEM. We have many years’ experience in creating the highest quality fabricated products for various industries and applications. Make sure you get a free quote from us. And see how our services can help you to meet your project specifications.  

How to choose the best metal fabrication company for your project

Metal fabrication is highly sought after by many businesses to create structures and components with important roles. As such, choosing the right company to help you complete the fabrication work is crucial in ensuring the functionality of these products. But how do you separate the good from the bad? 

In this blog, we’ll help you choose the best fabrication company to help with your project. 


Identifying steel fabrication companies

Metal fabrication companies offer a range of fabrication services. These are designed to create products, structures, and components using a variety of techniques. This can result in the cutting, bending, drilling, machining, joining, or punching of the material. 

A metal fabrication company will typically offer: 

  • On-site fabrication 
  • Aluminium fabrication 
  • Steel fabrication 
  • Sheet metal fabrication 
  • Mild steel fabrication 
  • Structural steel fabrication 
  • Finishing 

A fabrication company is made up of multiple professionals, specialising in a certain part of the fabrication process. For example, FEM has an expert welding department that can perform TIG welding, MIG welding, plasma arc welding, and more. We also provide all the services listed above. 

Many fabrication projects are large in scope, either requiring a big production volume or the creation of massive structures. As such, fabrication companies tend to have substantial capabilities in order to cater to the needs of multiple projects at once.

fabricator working on metal

Types of fabrication projects

If you’re looking for the right metal fabrication company to handle your project, it’s first important to consider its needs. This will be influenced by the nature of the products and the industry they are intended to be used. For the latter, industry regulations may affect the fabrication process as additional standards must be considered.  

Projects can also be defined by the type of fabrication that’s used. However, other metal fabrication projects will focus on what is being provided for your business. These are: 

  • Site services – these projects are characterised by work that primarily consists of on-site maintenance, repairs, or installations. 
  • Public sector – supporting efforts that impact local communities for the better. This involves working alongside public institutions such as schools, libraries, and local authorities. 
  • Bespoke projects – bespoke steel fabrications are predominantly informed by an initial design or idea. Technical decisions, such as materials and techniques, are then made to meet the unique requirements of the project, unless they are already stated in the design.


What makes a good metal fabrication company?

Choosing a metal fabrication company is very important, primarily as they will act as your project partner. The company is therefore responsible for executing the fabrication work to meet the needs of the project and adhere to industry standards. If they don’t have the relevant capabilities, there’s a risk the project won’t generate a return on investment. As a result, the factors that make up a good metal fabrication should instil trust in their services. 

Fabrication capabilities

A good metal fabrication company should have a large range of equipment that is regularly maintained. This includes tools, technologies, and facilities. It’s recommended to physically visit the production shop, so you can see the fabrication process first-hand. This will provide an insight into the company’s working practices, especially in areas of health & safety, cleanliness, and efficiency. 

For context, FEM in located in a 30,000 sq/ft manufacturing facility that is operated by trained platers, fitters, and welders. Our overhead cranes and fork trucks allow for jobs to progress smoothly. 


A great indicator of expertise is in a company’s history of work. You should be asking, how long have they been in the metal fabrication industry? And what types of fabrication projects have they carried out in the past? Evidence of a variety of work is good, however, you must ensure the company has done work similar to what you’re asking of them. If not, there isn’t a guarantee they will be able to do the job to a high standard. FEM started its business journey over 40 years ago, growing and evolving into the market leader it is today. 

Customer service

Communication is vital when outsourcing a large fabrication project. A good metal fabrication company should provide regular updates on how the work is progressing. They should also be reachable in the event anything unexpected happens. Transparency and honesty are excellent qualities to look for in company values. Before starting the project, you can also ask them how they would resolve certain issues if they were to arise. 

At FEM, we pride ourselves on having an open-door approach. Our employees and customers are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we give regular updates on our ongoing projects. We aim to foster lasting relationships with our customers through value for money and consistency. 


Nowadays, there are many ways to check how a company is regarded within the industry. Online reviews, website testimonials, social media, and word of mouth are all channels that can provide information on how a company conducts its work. Without doing some research in these areas, it can be difficult to know what kind of company you are contacting. 

Knowledge of industry standards and regulations

The company should commit to creating quality products that function as intended. This can be evidenced by any accreditations and certifications the business has achieved. These are often be found on a company’s website or on official documents. The main standard to consider with fabrication is the ISO 9001 and BSEN 1090-3, both of which FEM does all its work to. 


Expert fabricators near me

Do you need help with a fabrication project? FEM can offer expert advice and guidance to help point you in the right direction. Our team has a wealth of experience in all kinds of metal fabrication projects, from small and bespoke to large scale construction. We’ll also give you a free quote to get you started. 

Contact us today. 

How is aluminium fabrication used in the automotive industry?

The automotive industry is one that makes great use of fabrication engineering in many processes. Of all the metals involved, aluminium is amongst the most used due to its beneficial properties. 

Find out how aluminium fabrication works, its uses in the automotive industry, and how it can be applied in a range of manufacturing projects. 


Aluminium Fabrication Explained 

Prior to fabrication, raw aluminium can be formed using the following processes: 

  • Casting – molten metal allowed to cool in a desired shape. 
  • Forging – the shaping of metal using compressive force. Can be done at a range of temperatures. 
  • Rolling – metal is passed between specially designed rollers that shape aluminium by rotating in opposite directions. 
  • Extrusion – forcing metal through an opening to create a shape. 

Aluminium fabrication then shapes the metal according to designs through bending, cutting, welding, drilling, or a combination of all four. Within this process there are many options available to businesses for how they want to go about aluminium fabrication. 

Bespoke metal fabrication can be used to manufacture a vast range of products. However, aluminium has many properties which make it especially useful for manufacturing technical products like cars. It’s impermeable, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, flexible, and has a high level of conductivity. 


Automotive applications of Aluminium Fabrication

The automotive industry is one of the biggest in the world, particularly when it comes to manufacturing. The global automotive manufacturing industry was worth $2.86 trillion in 2021, despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing a dip in car sales during 2020. The sales of electric cars are also predicted to rise to the point where they’ll contribute to 26% of all car sales. This is significant, as electrically powered vehicles use more aluminium than petrol vehicles due to their use of sensitive electrical components.  

The main aluminium alloys you’ll find being used in automotive manufacturing are: 1100, 2024, 3003, 3004, 3105, 4032, 5005, 5052, 5083, 5182, 5251, 5754, 6016, 6061, 6181, 7003 and 7046. These numbers refer to the metal’s temper grade. Here are the auto parts that aluminium fabrication is used for: 



Aluminium alloys are lightweight and as such, they’re used in car bodies to improve fuel efficiency. They also help protect the vehicle from weather conditions and maintain surface finish. 

As aluminium is flexible, customisation options can easily be applied to bodywork with fabrication techniques like welding. Examples include spoilers and body skirts. 



Electrical components often use copper for its high conductivity. Aluminium’s electrical conductivity is lower, however, it has the added benefit of being lightweight. Aluminium fabrication can be used in the following auto systems: 

  • Sensors 
  • Interior and exterior lighting  
  • Displays 
  • Audio  
  • Ignition  


Critical components  

Parts that are responsible for the functionality of a vehicle are designed to withstand stress, resist wear and tear, and malleability. Aluminium is therefore used in: 

  • Engine parts 
  • Transmission system 
  • Cooling 
  • Fuel supply systems 
  • Braking 
  • Power steering 
  • Suspension 


Interior features 

Metal parts in car interiors like seats, flooring, airbags and insulators are typically made of aluminium. For this, 1100, 3105 and 5052 alloys can be used. 


Experienced Aluminium Fabricators 


If you’re looking for aluminium fabrication near me in the north of England, FEM can help. We offer bespoke metal fabrication services for businesses across a variety of sectors, in many types of projects. Have a look at our case studies. FEM experts can also carry out machining, design, and help with project management. 

Get in touch for a free quote today.