All 9 Main Types of Sheet Metal and Their Uses in [2021]

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Last Updated on April 23, 2021 by John Patterson

Sheet metal has its roles to play in the household, semi-commercial, commercial and industrial sectors. And whoever working with these sheets, have to deal with mixed types of them.

So, what are these types? How do they differ from themselves? And what are the uses?

We had been looking for answers to these three questions and noted down all the answers in this article. Take some time to read this post, and hopefully, this will be the last guide you’ll need on different types of sheet metal genres and their uses.

different types of sheet metal and their uses

What Is Sheet Metal?

Before heading into the heart of this content, let’s do some basics.

Sheet metal technically labeled as metal sheet that are below 6mm in thickness. They are processed through cold working metal, and the kinds of operation involved are- punching, cutting, shearing, riveting, and folding, and so on.

Although sheet metal has its applications and knows for its unique qualities, there is no particular definition better than that. It’s instead called a processing technology that is the handbook or metal workers.

What is Sheet Metal Used for? Types of Sheet Metal Explained

#1. Stainless steel sheets metals 

Stainless steel sheets metals 

The most commonly used type of metal sheet is stainless steel sheets, containing 13% or less Chromium. As a result, stainless steel has a default quality of being ultra-durable.

To strengthen up the chemical combination of stainless steel sheets, additional chemicals like Nickel, Molybdenum, etc. also added.

Stainless steel is mainly known for its ability to stay resistant to atmospheric exposure. So the metal sheet made out of stainless has the property to be protective against acid, salt, rain, alkali and so.

Based on metallic composition and combination, there are some sub-types of stainless steel sheets. Here is a short list-

  • Austenitic stainless steel.
  • Martensitic Stainless steel.
  • Ferritic stainless steel.

Stainless Steel Sheet Metal Uses

  • Super-protective against corrosion and other natural decays.
  • Ultra-bright and elastic.
  • Highly durable in terms of stiffness.
  • For machine parts that have to process liquids and chemicals.
  • Machines have to undergo rigorous pounding.

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#2. Copper sheet metalCopper sheet metals

 

Copper itself is a conductive metal. So, whenever metal sheets need to work as conductors, copper sheet metal is more preferred. And unlined stainless steel sheets, it’s an unalloyed type of sheets.

There are several properties in copper sheet metal for which it’s preferred for many industrial and commercial purposes. As an example, they’re highly electrically conductive, they are highly corrosion-resistant, easy to fabricate, and the strength is quite appreciatable.

Another particular virtue of copper sheet metal is, they are highly fatigue resistant. So, pure copper sheet metal comes with years of durability, we can say.

You may hear of metal ornaments and jewelry as modern trends of fashion. Well, in many cases copper sheets used to prepare jewelry standard items.

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Copper Sheet Metal Uses

  • Electronics and electric parts.
  • Jewelry and metal decorations.

#3. Brass sheet metal

Brass sheet metals 

Brass is a allow of metals manufactured using mostly zinc and copper. By varying the amount of both zinc and copper, different types of brass metal sheets are prepared.

These five types of industrial-grade brass available and each of them is more or less used to prepare sheets. Have a look at the five types of the brass sheet-

  • Red brass sheet
  • Cartridge brass sheet.
  • 330 brass sheet.
  • Free machining brass sheet.
  • Naval brass sheet.

One of the biggest reasons for using brass sheet metal in industrial applications is, it’s highly corrosion-resistant. Comparing to any other allows of copper, well-prepared brass sheets are more durable and tensile.

Another right side of brass sheets is, they are quite lighter in weight comparing to other alloys. So, whenever we need a combination of both strength and lightweight, we go for brass sheet metal.

Brass Sheet Metal Uses

  • Decorative purposes such as a ceiling, indoor and exterior decoration.
  • Machines where sheets are needed to be cut in various sizes and shapes.
  • Cases when it requires a lightweight but durable steel sheet for operation.

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#4. Corrugated sheet metal

Corrugated sheet metals

As long as metal sheets concerned for the jobs of roofing and siding, corrugated sheets had always been the first choice. They are robust, durable, and free of chemical pollutions. So, they widely used in both commercial and residential applications.

Corrugated sheet metal prepared through a process called the cold-form process. In this method, metal sheets pressed flat and taken throughout roll forming.

When the sheet is taken through roll forming, it takes shapes created by rolling dies. Finally, they are cut into the required length.

Usually, you can recognize corrugated sheet metal by its wavy pattern, although there are some other patterns to choose from.

Now, let’s talk about the best quality that corrugated sheet metal has got. And it’s the tensile strength. Usually, steel-made sheets are likely to have the right amount of tensile strength. And corrugated sheets contain even more tensile strengths than steel.

Summary line?

Whenever you need a significant amount of tensile strength in your sheet metal, go for corrugated sheet metal.

Corrugated Sheet Metal Uses

  • For general purposes where it requires good durability along with the ability to stand up against rain, wind, hail, etc.
  • Uses where the steel sheet needs to be resistant and protective against warp, dent, and buckle.
  • Residential purposes where minimum maintenance would be excellent for sheet metal.

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#5. Galvanized sheet metal

Galvanized sheet metals

Another important sheet metal type is the galvanized type of metal sheet. Usually, this kind of sheet is made out of steel. So, we instead call them galvanized steel metal sheets.

As long as the process of galvanization is concerned, there are two kinds-

  • Electro-Galvanized sheet.
  • Hot-dipped metallic coated sheet.

Here are few details on both kinds of galvanized sheet metal-

Electro-Galvanized sheet

In the case of electro-galvanized steel sheets, the base metal is cold-rolled annealed steel. The type of pre-treatment that is used in this case is electroplating. That’s what’s behind the name of this type.

These kinds of sheets have got thick zinc layer along with pure zinc coating. The plating surface is absorbed on the surface of the steel.

Alongside, these are quite expensive and are used in extreme mechanical applications.

The hot-dipped metallic coated sheet

These kinds of metallic sheets are called cold rolled hard steel plate, which is pre-treated through a hot-dip process.

Zinc coating is also applied in this kind of metal, but the thickness is quite less. The structure solidified, but the coating is a bit different than the electro-galvanized type of sheets.

Where electro-galvanized sheets have got a thin coating of poor quality, this kind of sheets has got thick, good quality coats. Sometimes, anti-fingerprint coatings are added to these as well.

Galvanized sheet metal Uses

  • Construction purposes such as awnings, canopies, handrails, fences, ladders, staircases, steer furniture, ductwork, etc.
  • Electronics such as precision instrument manufacturer, instruments with rust-resistance and moisture-resistance manufacturing, etc.
  • To prepare nails, bolts, and nuts on an industrial basis.
  • Galvanized piping for plumbing works.
  • To enhance the longevity of galvanized pipes.
  • To provide chemical and heat resistance to metallic pipes.
  • For insulation purposes.

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Other Minor Metal Sheeting Material List

So far, these were the most recognized classification of industrial-grade sheet metal. But some different kinds of sheet metal material are often manufactured and used as well.

Here are is a short brief of them all-

#1. Cold Rolled Steel Sheet

Cold rolled steel sheets are produced by keeping a metal alloy (steel) in between two rollers and deforming the metal into a sheet. Once the fibrous sheet prepared, the manufacturer washed it off with acidic materials and compiled the final roll.

Finally, they were taken through heat treatment and a finishing layer. The cold-rolled steel sheet is stronger and better finished than hot-rolled steel.

#2. Hot Rolled Steel Sheet

Hot rolled steel is almost similar to cold rolled steel sheets; just the process differentiates regarding temperature.

While the metal piece took through the rolling process, the temperature is more than 1400 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher.

Such extreme temperature helps to produce a metal sheet of thickness ranging from 1/16 inches to 5/16 inches. Such depth comes in handy when sheet metals employed in quite a delicate type of function.

#3. Mild Steel Sheet

Mild steel sheets are another variation of steel sheets, and it can be called a subset of cold-rolled steel. The steel alloy used in this process contains less carbon count comparing to other steel sheets.

Because of this reason, this kind of sheet is right to manipulate formation or welding works.

So, what are the significant areas of application? So far, we’ve seen them applied in automobile parts manufacturing and other similar jobs.

#4. Aluminum Sheet Metals

The last kind of sheet that we are talking about isn’t even a Steel sheet at all. Unlike others, it isn’t made of any combination allow of metals. It’s made of aluminum, and therefore, is quite soft and delicate.

To enhance the strength of this kind of sheet, manufacturers often add iron, silicon, copper, or other metals with it.

When it comes to heat treatment, some of the aluminum sheets taken through it, and some are not.

Talking about uses, aluminum sheets mostly used in fan blades, jewelry, electronic chassis, and many household appliances.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

#1. What is the gauge thickness?

Answer: Gauge thickness or gauge size is the value that shows the width of a piece of a steel sheet. If the gauge thickness value is higher, that indicates the thinner sheet. Although the exact amount depends on the gauge standard.

#2. How do you measure the thickness of sheet metal?

Answer: To measure the thickness of sheet metal, go through these following steps-

Step 1: Take a measuring tool like an elcometer ultrasonic thickness gauge. It helps to measure the thickness of the steel sheet easier and faster.

Step 2: Calculate through the pre-calibration and make sure it’s done with the same standard as the steel sheet itself.

#3. What kind of metal is used on roofs?

Answer: There are many kinds of metal sheets used in household coverings and roofing. Some of the most common ones are-

#4. What is the difference between gauge and thickness?

Answer: Both are technical terms regarding the width of any steel sheet or slice.

Thickness is an uncountable noun that is the dimension of being thick. On the other hand, the gauge is the standard of measuring the thickness comparing to any standard value.

#5. How much does a sheet of metal cost?

Answer: If you think about sheet metal fabrication, it costs from $700 to $1600 or even higher. If you would like to buy readymade sheet metal, the cost would be way less. For example, small projects like 4×4 or 4×8 would cost around $300.

#6. What does gauge mean in steel?

Answer: Gauge is the number that indicates the thickness of any metallic sheets. If you think about steel-made sheets, the gauge size standard will change accordingly.

For example, in standard steel, three gauges of a sheet would refer to a thickness of 0.2391 inches.

#7. What is the thickness of 16 gauge sheet metal?

Answer: There are some standards of gauge sizes and the answer to this question would be different every time. If you take steel standard as gauge size, 16 gauges will refer to 0.0598 inches or 1.519mm of thickness.

#8. What is the difference between the plate and sheet metal?

Answer: The dead-simple difference between sheet and plate is regarding thickness. Although it may vary based on standards, a diameter less than 3mm is termed as sheets, where depth more than 3mm is termed as plates.

In Conclusion

So far, we’ve put some highlights on almost all of the different types of Sheet Metal and their uses, significance. If you’ve been interested to know about them, hopefully, your purpose had been served.

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.

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