Common Types of Sheet Metal and Their Uses

July 16, 2020 9:15 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Picking the right kind of sheet metal is essential to the success of your project. Fabricating parts, machines and even decorative items requires a metal that can handle the fabrication techniques as well as how the product will be used after it’s cut and assembled.

At NW Metal Fabricators Inc., we’re very familiar with the different types of sheet metal and how they should be used in Umatilla County, OR. Here’s an overview of the most common types—and if you need assistance choosing a material for your next project, our team would be happy to help:

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel has at least 10.5 percent chromium content, which helps it resist corrosion. It tends to be easier to weld than aluminum, although it’s much harder, and its shiny quality is good for aesthetic projects. However, it tends to be much more expensive than other types of steel and aluminum. It’s best for food service industry projects, appliances and pots or pans.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is corrosion-resistant and tends to be easier to manipulate than steel. It is usually much cheaper than stainless steel, and is great for projects that require electrical conductivity. However, it is not suitable for food-related projects. It can also warp under high heat.
  • High carbon steel: High carbon steel is much stronger than stainless steel, thanks to the increased carbon content. It is unlikely to warp from heat and force, which makes it a good choice for springs and other heavy-duty components.
  • Low carbon steel: Low carbon steel is easy to manipulate, with high ductility and excellent heat transfer. It’s also significantly cheaper than stainless steel and aluminum. Try it for projects like vehicle panels and PC boxes.
  • Cold-rolled steel: Cold-rolled steel is simply steel that has been further processed to increase its ability to hold tolerances as well as a smoother, shinier finish.
  • Pre-plated steel: Pre-plated steel has been galvanized to resist corrosion, as well as annealed (a heat treating process) to make it softer and more ductile.
  • Copper and brass: Finally, copper and brass are often used for projects where looks matter—they have an oxidized patina that looks beautiful. These metals are easy to cold work and weld, making them a great choice for visually appealing projects that don’t need to stand up to heavy wear and tear.

The various types of sheet metals available can make or break your project, which is why NW Metal Fabricators Inc. is happy to work with you to choose the right supplies. We understand the importance of getting the job done right the first time, so we would be happy to provide additional insight when you’re choosing a type of sheet metal. Remember, the above list is only the most common types of sheet metal in Umatilla County, OR—there are many more varieties that may be suitable for your work.

Since 1986, NW Metal Fabricators Inc. has been providing fabrication, welding and machining services to area clients. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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