An Overview of Thin Sheet Metal

Posted on Jan 18, 2021

thin sheet metal

Thin sheet metal is usually made of steel alloy, since this type of material owns the greatest properties that thin sheet metal needs. Stainless steel sheet metal can be very thin, but it only exceeds 1⁄4 inch.

Sheet metal is a cornerstone of many things we use daily, from microwaves and tractors to vehicles to forks. One of the most versatile construction materials out there is stainless steel sheet metal. It is not only durable and economical, but relatively easy to deal with as well. It can be found in programs ranging from immense manufacturing applications to sophisticated applications for electronics, and nearly everything in between. In applications that include sheet metal manufacturing, here's what you need to know about working with thin sheet metal:


The Special Properties of Thin Sheet Metal


● anti-corrosion

Thin sheet metal is usually made of steel alloy, since this type of material owns the greatest properties that thin sheet metal needs. A steel alloy that comprises at least 10.5 percent chromium is stainless steel. What makes the metal anti-corrosion and anti-staining properties is the content of chromium. The exact chromium content varies depending on the product in which the steel would be used, along with the carbon content and the content of other metals.

It should be remembered that there is no complete corrosion or stain evidence in stainless steel. The resistance of the metal will depend on its material, and the metal, regardless of its content, can be affected by such chemicals. Stainless, however, offers some of the best possible corrosion and stain resistance, especially when you consider the other characteristics it offers (aesthetics, durability, etc.).


● extremely thin

Stainless steel sheet metal can be very thin, but it only exceeds 1⁄4 inch in thickness for it to count as "sheet metal"—after that the metal is referred to as "plate." The thickness of and gauge is determined for stainless sheet metal. The larger the amount of the gauge, the thinner the layer is. To gauge the stuff, you can reference sheet metal scale charts and use a gauging tool.


How Does Thin Sheet Metal Form?

Stainless steel sheet metal comes in a number of variations, each with benefits and drawbacks and disadvantages. Different materials, finishes and sizes may be sold by manufacturers, but the forms tend to be common among suppliers. Those forms include:


● 200 Series Austenitic 

Chromium, carbon, manganese, and/or nickel are made from this series. This series can be hardened, but its lack of resistance to corrosion is one downside. Austenitic Series 300-Austenitic stainless steel makes up about 70 percent of all manufactured stainless steel between the 200 series and 300 series. 

Of all stainless steel types, the 300 series is the most ductile, weldable, and resistant to corrosion. 304, also called A2 stainless, is the most common standard. The chromium content of 18 percent and nickel content of 8 percent also led to 304 being referred to as 18/8.


● Martensitic

This type is very effective and simple to machine, but less corrosion resistant.


● Ferritic

Ferritic stainless is less corrosion resistant than austenitic, chosen for its ease of engineering.


● Duplex

This up-and-comer is between about 50/50 as austenitic.


How Easy Is Thin Sheet Metal to Manipulate?

In certain cases, it is reasonably straightforward to deal with stainless steel sheet metal, but there are difficulties based on what you are trying to achieve and the grade you are using.

For example, to prevent warping or burning, thin sheets need caution when welding, whereas thick sheets may be hard to bend. Typically, cutting sheets is not difficult as long as you deal with a provider who has the right instruments, such as a state-of-the-art laser cutter system.

:: Read more: Ways of Welding Steel Sheet Metal


Thin Sheet Metal Applications

Soldering and wire thickness and heat delivery are the two main problems for welding stainless steel sheet metal. As for every thin metal layer, the metal can warp too easily by applying too much heat, and there is often a chance of burning through it. MIG welding gives you a lot of control over the heat you apply, but the contractor would also need to correctly brace the weld and use plenty of tacks to hold it in place. The heat should be distributed out by your engineer to allow the metal to cool as necessary. The thinner the board, the harder it becomes to bend. Thin sheets can be bent by hand, while a bending tool may be needed for thicker sheets.


Types of Thin Sheet Metal

Stainless steel sheet metal, machinable, customizable and always stunning, is the material of choice for countless applications. Ask a sheet metal maker if you're not sure you want to live with the relatively high cost compared to cheaper steels like aluminum. An skilled vendor will tell you whether the highly aesthetic and protective qualities of stainless are really needed for your project or whether you can get away with anything else.

Sheet metal is a metal that has been molded into a thin and pliable sheet, thus retaining structural stability and strength (unlike foil).

There are 4 distinct types of sheet metal: cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel, stainless steel and aluminum. The thickness, hardness, strength and optimal application differ in each of these distinct categories.


Steel Cold Rolled thin sheet metal

Using a cold method increases the sheet metal's strength by as much as 20%. It is notably cheap and easy to work with cold-rolled steel.

● It has a more finished appearance than hot rolled steel, which fits well with something that needs a smooth, even look.

● Home appliances, metal chairs, file cabinets, and school lockers are also used.

● Cold rolled steel in construction is a common material for the construction of steel sheds, factory buildings and garages.


Steel hot-rolled

● Hot rolled steel is shaped on the opposite end of the continuum when it's still hot. This metal is harder to deal with than cold rolled steel, but in a sheet shape, it is easier to treat.

● Hot rolled steel can be manufactured inexpensively and easily, much like cold-rolled steel. But for something that needs a shiny, attractive finish, this steel has surface imperfections that make it a poor pick.


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