Sheet metal fabrication has been around for a long time and is important for many different industries in our world today. Although it may seem like a fairly simple process, it can be quite complex and it is important to have a firm grasp on the process to ensure it is done correctly.

If you are looking to purchase sheet metal for your operation, it is important that you know what characteristics to look for in your search. Southeastern Engineering Sales is always here to help you choose the correct gauge of sheet metal for your specific application. There are many factors that play into this decision, so let’s take a look at some background information that will make the decision making process a little less difficult.

WHAT IS SHEET METAL?

Sheet metal is flexible metal sheeting that can be cut, designed, and shaped into almost anything you can image. With the help of an experienced sheet metal worker. The reason you can shape it into pretty much anything is because it is made into thin flat pieces or sheets. These metal sheets come in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses since it is used to make a large variety of items in multiple industries.

The thinner metal sheeting is often called foil or leaf. On the other hand, the thicker sheet metal is commonly referred to as plate. In the United States, the thickness of the metal is measured as a gauge. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the metal. Then as the gauge number increases, the sheet metal will become thinner. Commonly used gauges can range anywhere from 30 to 7. These gauge numbers will differ depending on the material. For example, there are iron based metals called ferrous as well as nonferrous metals that contain copper or aluminum.

Sheet metal can be formed from many different metals. Some of which include tin, steel, nickel, titanium, copper, brass, aluminum, silver, gold, and platinum. The specific type of metal used will be determined according to requirements of the sheet metal object.

WHAT IS SHEET METAL FABRICATION?

Simply put, sheet metal fabrication is the process of using metal sheet to create different objects. This process can very detailed and complex. This is one reason why it is important to a call an experienced professional that specializes in metal sheet fabrication to accomplish the task.

That’s exactly what we do here at SES. We specialize in custom metal fabrication to create different objects that are critical to your operations. Our fabrication includes tig welding, mig welding, laser cutting, shearing, machining, punching, and press brake forming. Check out our Services page for more information and to request a quote. Our facility is filled with top of the line technology so we can create quality products that suit your needs. No matter how big, small, or complex your project is, we have the equipment to get the job done correctly and efficiently.

WHAT IS SHEET METAL USED FOR?

Now that you have a better idea of what sheet metal fabrication is, you might be thinking of some ways that this could benefit your business. There is an almost endless list of examples for sheet metals uses, but here are some common places that you have probably seen it before.

  • Airplane Industry
  • Automotive Industry
  • Building Material
  • Structural Material
  • Refrigerators
  • Holding Tanks
  • Dumpsters
  • Railroad Cars
  • Tool Boxes
  • Lockers
  • Medical Tables
  • Architectural Materials
  • Decorative Pieces
  • Computers
  • Washing Machines
  • Counter Tops

The list goes on and on. If you do not see what you’re looking for on this list, don’t worry. You can contact SES to discuss your ideas and plan your next project.

ADVANTAGES OF USING SHEET METAL?

People choose sheet metal because of its amazing characteristics. For one, it’s very affordable. This is one of the most attractive benefits. It is also a pretty straight forward process of cutting, forming, and finishing the product. It just requires some practice and expertise to master the sheet metal skills. If you look into using something like plastic on the other hand, the process takes much longer which ultimately costs more money and effects your company’s bottom line.

The next advantage of sheet metal is its flexibility. Since this material is flexible, it allows you to have more options. These options come into play when implementing both simple and intricate designs into your work.

Another great benefit of working with sheet metal is the fact that it is very durable. It can stand up against numerous harsh conditions that may be present in your operations. This may include things such as high temperatures and inclement weather. The durability also allows for a long life span. That means you won’t have to replace the material as often which again saves you money and time in the long run.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT GAUGE SHEET METAL FOR YOUR FABRICATION

Now moving into something that will be more specific to each customer and each sheet metal project. This is choosing the right thickness, or gauge, of sheet metal. It is very important that you are using the correct product to optimize efficiency and functionality. In order to measure the sheet metal, you will need a sheet metal gauge handy! You will need one for non-ferrous and ferrous because like I mentioned before, the thickness is different between the two.

Since this is such an important step in the process, it is crucial that you take the time to figure out the best gauge of sheet metal for your project. There are a number of things that influence this decision. One of which is flexibility. For more rigid objects you are obviously going to need a thicker, or lower gauge, sheet metal. If the object contains different curves and needs to be pliable, then you will want to go with something a little thinner. The types of conditions that the object is exposed to will also influence the thickness of the sheet metal you choose. Things like weather, temperature, and pressure are important to consider in this case.

Whatever the situation may be, SES will be able to help you decide what is best for you. Contact us today to discuss the project details then our experts will be able to point you in the right direction and construct a plan to move forward. Also, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about choosing the right gauge of sheet metal.