What are the different types of sheet metal?
Sheet metal is metal that is manufactured into thin, flat pieces of various thicknesses. It is often used in sheet metal fabrication processes to create products for a number of different sectors. Sheet metal can be made from several metals and metal alloys, which we will be exploring in this article as well as how they’re used.
The different types of sheet metal
Due to its many benefits, such as large supply, low cost, ease of fabrication, good strength-to-weight ratio, good electrical and thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance, and high recyclability, aluminium is a popular choice for various applications. Some of the ways aluminium sheet fabrication is used includes for automotive parts, electrical devices, and cooking vessels.
Aluminised steel is created by coating carbon steel with an aluminium-silicon alloy, which forms a material that blends the strength of carbon steel with the impressive corrosion resistance of aluminium. Sheets of aluminised steel are used for products designed to withstand high temperature or corrosive environments including cooking implements and kitchen appliances.
Carbon steel is a steel alloy that is partly made up of carbon (up to 2.1%). As the carbon content is increased, the material becomes stronger and harder after heat treatment, but less ductile. Carbon steel is often used in architectural sheet metal fabrication and creates a lot of products in both the industrial and consumer markets.
When compared to aluminium which has good electrical and thermal conductivity, copper is even better. However, it is also typically more expensive. The most common items made from copper include rain gutters, doors, roofs, and heat sinks.
Like with aluminised steel, galvanised steel is produced by costing steel with zinc to make it more resistant to corrosion (this is done by hot dipping). Sheets of galvanised steel are often used to make the bodies of automobiles, water pipes, and several construction elements such as staircases, roofs, and fences.
Galvalume is a process of coating steel with an alloy of aluminium, zinc, and silicon, which makes the steel more durable and resistant to corrosion than galvanised steel. As a result of the significantly improved corrosion resistance, galvalume sheets are heavily used in outdoor applications like on roofs that are consistently exposed to different weather elements.
High strength steel
You will usually find high strength steel being used for military armour plates. The material is created by alloying steel with a range of elements such as carbon, manganese, and copper to increase its hardness.
Hot rolled steel
In comparison to cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel is a lot cheaper to make. It is usually used in structural applications like automotive body parts.
Stainless steel is an alloy of steel with a minimum of 11% chromium and less than 1.2% carbon. The material has many benefits to offer like a high level of corrosion resistance, fire and heat resistance, strength-to-weight ratio, and easy manufacturability. Stainless steel sheet fabrication often produces kitchen vessels, storage tanks for chemicals, and components for food processing machinery.
Titanium has multiple beneficial metallurgical traits that make it appropriate for a broad range of industrial applications. Even though it is mostly used for its high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion, it also has the added advantages of durability, being easily recyclable, and biocompatibility. Common uses for titanium include aviation parts, construction elements, and medical equipment.
Custom sheet metal fabrication at FEM
If you find yourself searching for ‘sheet metal fabrication near me’ you’ve landed in the right place. At FEM we have over 45 years of working in fabrication with our team being specialists in mild steel, steel, aluminium, and stainless steel fabrication. We pride ourselves on always providing the highest standard of fabrication services and products for our clients. Contact us today to discuss your project needs and see how we can help you with our sheet metal fabrication service.