Materials

At Dymond Engineering we specialise in manufacturing products from sheet, tube or wire – and any combination of these. We use both mild steel and stainless steel. We provide a comprehensive range of metal fabrication capabilities on-site at our Devon-based factory in Barnstaple.  So with these facilities we can efficiently design-engineer, manufacture, and finish your custom metal products.

Specialising in these materials means we have the capability and expertise to make a wide range of custom and bespoke metal products. Our clients include manufacturers, joinery companies, installers and fit-out companies. We also work with a number of direct clients including schools and colleges.

Mild Steel

Mild steel is also known as carbon steel or plain carbon steel. This is due to its composition from iron and carbon, plus lesser elements. The lesser elements are too minimal to affect the properties of the alloy.

The term ‘mild steel’ refers to steels that have a low carbon content (max of 0.3%), but which also have material properties which are highly suitable for fabrication. Properties include: its good strength, its suitability to be bent and formed into a wide variety of shapes and its ability to be welded. This makes it ideal for many uses.

It is also the least expensive type of steel, which combined with its usefulness, makes it the most common steel used.

Properties of Mild Steel

Having a low carbon content of 0.05% to 0.3% means it is neither extremely brittle nor extremely flexible.

The low carbon content makes it soft, like iron so whilst it is tough and durable, it is also malleable and ductile which is ideal for us to engineer and form. It is also less expensive, although it rusts easily.

A higher carbon content would make it stronger but also harder, less flexible and more difficult for us to weld because it has a lower melting point, as well as being more expensive.

Mild steel comes in different forms.  At Dymond Engineering we use it in sheet, tubular and wire form to fabricate our metal products.

Fabrication of Mild Steel

The nature of mild steel makes it very suitable for engineering and fabrication which is why it is so popular, and why we work with it.

The low carbon content makes it less brittle enabling it to flex so we can bend, fold, punch and laser cut it into shapes and forms without it breaking. It also has higher heat resistance so we can weld it.

Mild steel easily rusts and therefore must be protected by a seal. We use EPC powder coating or electro-plating to prevent damage from rust, and give an attractive, durable finish.

Uses of Mild Steel

Because mild steel is such a highly versatile material it is used to produce many everyday objects as well as for commercial goods and projects, especially if a large amount of metal is needed.

At Dymond Engineering we use mild steel to fabricate bespoke metal products including desk and table frames and legs, trollies, stands, enclosures, shelves, retail display stands and shop fittings, brackets and component metal parts.

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a steel alloy which contains at least 10.5% chromium.

It is because of the chromium that stainless steel does not easily corrode, rust or stain like mild steel does, although it is not fully stain-proof, particularly in adverse conditions such as salt or lack of air.

Stainless steel is ideal in environments which need both a resistance to corrosion and the properties of steel, as well as for its aesthetic appearance.

Properties of Stainless Steel

Unlike mild steel, which rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture, the chromium in stainless steel forms a corrosion-resistant and invisible chromium oxide film.  This film is resistant to water and air and therefore prevents corrosion both on and beneath the surface. It is also lustrous and tough, and if the film is scratched or damaged it reforms quickly in oxygen, thus repairing itself (called passivation).

Stainless Steel comes in several finishes:

Mill finish

Mill finishes offer the cheapest finish option. The finish varies from dull to mirror-like and becomes less uniform as the thickness or diameter of the steel increases.

Brushed stainless – 240 grit

A brushed finish is created using bristles or nylon fabric in a fine abrasive action which does not remove the surface layer.  This creates what’s referred to as grit and there are a number of GRIT specifications.  ‘240 grit polished’ is the finish we work mostly with at Dymond.

Polished stainless

A polished finish is produced either mechanically using a series of gradually finer abrasives, or by a rolling procedure that simulates the appearance of mechanical abrasion. To achieve an even smoother polish, the polished surface is further buffed to give a mirror-like appearance which is referred to as ‘mirror polished’.

Special finishes

These include random scratch patterns, swirls, circles, embossed textures, and various colouring and coating methods.  They tend to be used when the appearance is important and for specialised industrial purposes.

Fabrication of Stainless Steel

Stainless lends itself to fabrication as well as mild steel.  It can be cut, formed, welded, and machined, from tube, coil, sheet and blanks.

Benefits of Stainless Steel

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Hygiene – easy to clean, without harsh products
  • Aesthetic appearance – bright, attractive and easy to maintain
  • Impact resistance – very tough
  • Fire and heat resistance
  • Long term value
  • Cost-effective – long lasting without the need for further protection Sustainability – environmentally friendly due to the above benefits.

Uses of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining, its attractive appearance and its lack of maintenance make it ideal for many applications. There are more than 60 grades or specifications of stainless steel and surface finishes which makes it suitable for a wide range of different environments so it’s important to know which grade to use for a particular purpose. As the grade changes, so does the workability of the material.  Grade 304 is the most versatile and most widely used stainless specification, available in a wider range of forms and finishes than any other.  It is ideal for fabrication and welding, and it is the grade we work with at Dymond.

Sustainability

Stainless steel is environmentally friendly.  It is 100% recyclable, with an average of 60% recycled material of which about 40% comes from recycled products and 60% from the manufacturing processes.

It’s long-lasting and corrosion resistant qualities leads to a reduction in the use of resources, maintenance and harsh cleaning products.

Come and speak to us about materials and processes.

Mild steel is also known as carbon steel or plain carbon steel

 

 

It has a carbon content of between 0.05% and 0.3%

The inclusion of carbon affords flexibility to the mild steel making it great for bending, folding, punching and laser cutting without it breaking

 

 

Mobile Hand Sanitiser Stand being used by a child wearing PPE

 

Stainless steel is also called “stainless” and abbreviated to s/st

It is a steel alloy which contains at least 10.5% chromium

Unlike mild steel, stainless steel has a high resistance to corrosion

But, in common with mild steel, stainless steel also lends itself to fabrication. It can be cut, formed, welded and machined

Stainless-Steel-Kitchen-Table-for-Takeaways and restuarants

Typical applications include:

  • Food processing equipment, brewing, kitchen hardware and appliances

  • Brackets

  • Enclosures

  • Industrial equipment

  • Catering equipment

  • Hospital equipment

  • Shop fittings and retail display equipment

  • Construction

  • Architectural

  • Chemical containers

  • Heat Exchangers

  • Firearms and handguns