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metal hardness testing

Metal Strength Chart: A Detailed Guide to Metal Strengths

Metal strength is among the most crucial mechanical properties, helping to classify metal applications. Thus, the importance of having the metal strength chart cannot be overemphasized. Some metals are more suitable for the aerospace industry, while others are ideal for electronic components.

The metal strength chart is a critical determinant that helps engineers, designers, and manufacturers choose the best metals for their projects. Understanding metal strength is crucial for making a choice.

Therefore, this article breaks down everything you need to know about metal strength. Read on to learn more.

Types of Metal Strengths: The Common Parameters Used

Materials show different types of strengths, regardless of their applications. The strength a metal exhibits will depend on the load applied and how the load is applied. The measure of strength will help you determine which metal material is best for specific applications.

metal strength concept
Metal Strength Concept

Here are the different measurements of metal strength.

Tensile Strength

This type of strength refers to the maximum degree of stretching a metal can withstand before fracturing or damaging. Essentially, it measures how much tension such metal can withstand.

Furthermore, it is an excellent point of reference to know the performance of metal during application. A metal that passes its yield point upon the application of external forces may show permanent or temporary deformations.

There are three further divisions of tensile strength, namely:

  • Yield Strength. This refers to the maximum strength point of a metal. It is the load the metal can withstand before exhibiting plastic deformation. Manufacturers use the yield point to determine the maximum load a material can take. It also provides a suitable means to define failure in engineering codes.
yield strength
Yield Strength
  • Ultimate Strength. It describes the maximum tensile, shearing, or compress stress a metal can ensure without deformation or breakage.
  • Breakable Strength. This refers to the stress coordinate you will find on the stress-strain curve whenever a metal fails.

Impact Strength

impact strength 1
Impact Strength

Impact strength measures the degree of impact or sudden force a metal can endure before failing. The limit of a metal and its impact load is expressed in terms of energy.

Thus, impact strength also helps measure how much energy a metal can absorb before fracturing, tearing, or damaging.

One of the most common misconceptions in the manufacturing industry is that a high impact strength would be equivalent to increased material hardness. However, this is not always the case.

Some factors may affect impact strength. Such factors include temperature, material thickness, and notch radius, tilting the favor towards metal hardness.

Compressive Strength

compressive strength
Compressive Strength

As you may have guessed from the name, compressive strength is the maximum amount of compression or pressure that metals can withstand without damage.

A universal testing machine often helps in testing the compressive strength of metals. The machine applies increased load on the material until the metal starts deforming.

The tester may apply the load on the bottom and top of the metal. The point where deformation begins to occur gives manufacturers a view of the compressive strength of that metal.

Why Do We Need to Learn About Metal Strength?

Sheet metal fabrication and other related techniques go beyond using any available material. It is more about using the correct type of metal. Considering the strength of metal will help you know if it is suitable for your application.

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Here are some reasons why strength is an essential factor in manufacturing:

Structural and Mechanical Design

Engineers and designers need to understand their components’ strengths when it comes to structural and mechanical elements. This knowledge will help you identify the exact point where the metal can potentially fail or break.

Thus, you will have the opportunity to set limits while also defining necessary constraints for designed parts.

Material Selection

Metal strength determines if your machined component will serve its purpose effectively.

A structure may easily deform if you use metal with low strength for an application that requires a high-strength metal. For instance, heavy-duty machine parts will require high-strength metals. In such cases, steel, titanium, tungsten, etc., are often the best choices.

Using low-strength metals for such parts will render them useless for their intended applications. This will result in a waste of effort, time, and resources.  

Durability and Safety

As mentioned earlier, metal strength is a measure of the level of impact the metal can take before losing shape. Therefore, it determines the durability of parts made from such metals.

This is crucial, especially for parts that may be subjected to high-stress applications. Furthermore, the strength of metals helps to set manufacturing limits. This way, you can avoid application failure.

Understanding the strength rating of metals ensures the safe design of components. You will also be sure that such elements can adequately support intended loads without harming users.

What Are the Strongest Metals Used in Metal Fabrication?

While several metals are used in sheet metal fabrication, their strengths differ. There are stronger options that manufacturers prefer, depending on design requirements and applications.

different types of metals
Different Types of Metals

Here are some of the strongest metals commonly preferred in manufacturing:

Carbon Steel

This is one of the commonest alloys of iron and carbon, and it rates high for every quality that defines a metal’s strength. Yield strength of 260 MPa and tensile strength of 580 MPa puts it among the strongest metals. It also has high impact resistance.

Manufacturers can fabricate carbon steel into various hardness levels. This often depends significantly on the carbon content. As the carbon quantity rises, the steel strength increase.

Carbon steel is an excellent option for construction purposes and other appliances.

Stainless Steel

This is a corrosion-resistant alloy of steel, manganese, and chromium. It has a yield strength of about 1,560 MPa and tensile strength of 1,600 MPa.

As with the various steel options available, it highly impacts resistance. One of the unique features of stainless steel is its distinctive silver mirror coating. This metal is lustrous and brittle, and it does not tarnish upon air exposure.

Some stainless steel applications include cookware, surgical instruments, metal ceramics, appliances, etc.


Tungsten boasts the highest tensile strength among naturally occurring metals. With an ultimate tensile strength of 1,725 MPa, many people tag it the toughest and strongest naturally occurring metal.

It is metallic and grey in appearance, and it is often brittle. However, tungsten often comes alloyed with other elements to compensate for its brittleness. One of such alloys is tungsten carbide, which is usually harder.


The strength of this metal makes it helpful in making military components. It is also valuable in aerospace, mining, and other industries.


Titanium is another strong, naturally occurring metal with a high tensile strength to density ratio. It is more famous for its low strength-to-weight ratio and increased corrosion resistance.

This advantage makes it an ideal option for the aerospace and automotive industries. It is also useful for medical and military applications.

Titanium Aluminum

Asides from titanium in its pure state, it is often alloyed with other elements, further enhancing its strength.

Titanium aluminide is one of the strongest of these alloys. It contains aluminum and vanadium, with a tensile strength of 880 MPa and yield strength of 800 MPa.


Chromium makes this list because many people consider it the hardest metal available. It may not have similar strength as other metals, but it offers a significant advantage when alloyed with other metals.

It is a key material for manufacturing stainless steel, a top-rated metal in various industries.


Iron is the go-to option for rifle barrels, bicycle chains, cutting tools, etc. It completes this list of the strongest metals for fabrication with a yield strength of 246 MPa and tensile strength of 414 MPa.

Metal Strength Chart

When machining metal parts, you need to know some essential parameters. We have discussed yield strength, tensile strength, compressive strength, and impact strength in the earlier part of this article.

The metal strength chart helps you further narrow down your choice. It enables you to compare the properties of various metal materials. This will ensure that you select the right option for your application.

Below is the metal strength chart:

Types of MetalsTensile Strength (PSI)Yield strength (PSI)Hardness Rockwell (B-Scale)Density (Kg/m³)
Stainless steel 30490,00040,000888000
Aluminum 6061-T645,00040,000602720
Aluminum 5052-H3233,00028,0002680
Aluminum 300322,00021,00020 to 252730
Steel A3658-80,00036,0007800
Steel Grade 5065,00050,0007800
Yellow Brass40,000558470
Red Brass49,000658746
Phosphor Bronze55,000788900
Aluminum Bronze27,000777700-8700


Selecting the suitable metal for your project is very vital. It determines where such a part will meet design requirements or fail. Once you know the purpose of your intended part, the metal strength chart will help you make the best choice.

However, you can contact AT-Machining whenever it gets complicated. Our extensive experience in metal machining will help us bring the best out of your project.


Is titanium stronger than steel?

Titanium is generally stronger than many grades of steel. When it comes to sheer strength, you should choose the best titanium alloys as opposed to low to medium steel grades. However, using the highest stainless steel grade will be a better option than titanium in terms of strength.

What is the difference between metal strength and hardness?

Strength refers to the metal’s ability to withstand an external load without deformation. On the other hand, hardness is the ability of a metal to resist scratching or penetration. Knowing metal strength will help you set limits on the maximum allowable load on components. This will help avoid damage to machinery and structures.

On the other hand, hardness indicates the resistance of the metal to mechanical wear. Manufacturers prefer harder metals for parts required to withstand high stress.

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