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Making a Choice: How to Determine Which Steel Sheet to Use

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Sheet metal is extensively used nowadays in plenty of industries. This versatility is all thanks to its qualities of being extremely flat and thin, making it easy for manufacturers to cut and manipulate it into any desired form, shape, and style. Although the material is thin, sheet metal still remains sturdy and durable. Thus, even when undergoing elaborate industrial processes, it doesn’t tear, bend, or easily get damaged (granted that the procedures are performed correctly).

In addition, sheet metal is available in the market for a wide range of thickness and types of materials. This variety allows manufacturers and companies to select and utilize the best possible metal sheets that suit their specific intended functions. One particular example of a commonly used sheet metal is a steel sheet. Below, we’ll enumerate the three main categories of steel sheets, but before that, let’s explore several popular metal sheets and their respective applications:

The Commonly Used Types of Sheet Metal

  1. Copper

Copper is utilized immensely in jewelry manufacturing because of its aesthetic value and durability. It’s also a popular choice in the production of electronics, such as home appliances and personal gadgets, considering that it’s a conductive metal that is ideal for dealing with electric power.

  1. Aluminum

Like copper, aluminum is also naturally soft and perfect for jewelry making. To make it sturdy enough for more intensive applications, other elements are combined with aluminum, such as iron, magnesium, silicon, iron, and copper. Some types of aluminum sheets are also treated with intense heat to improve its hardness, strength, and corrosion resistance. The properties of this metal sheet allow it to be utilized for many purposes like manufacturing electronic chassis, automotive parts, and both home and commercial appliances.

  1. Tin sheets

These are often used to produce containers for storing food items. Moreover, like copper and aluminum, it’s a typical option for jewelry manufacturing. It’s also a common material for interior decorative accents. In addition, it’s used widely in industries like electronics, aerospace, telecom, and even construction.

  1. Steel

Steel is sturdy enough to retain its properties but soft enough to be easily cut and formed. It’s also much cheaper than platinum, gold, and silver, making it an ideal and cost-effective alternative for manufacturing jewelry pieces. Moreover, it’s aesthetic appeal is not considered less than other expensive forms of metal.

There are three main kinds of sheet steel that are available for sale, namely hot rolled steel, cold-rolled steel, and mild steel. To determine what type of sheet steel to use, here are several questions that manufacturers should consider:

  • What is the product? Does the finished product require a polished appearance? If so, cold-rolled steel is the best choice. This material is a bit on the pricey side, but it delivers a more attractive and even surface. This is because unlike hot rolled steel, cold-rolled steel is rinsed with an acid that creates a smoother-textured surface with minimal to zero imperfections.
  • What is the production budget? If the priority is not the smoothness of the surface, but the affordability of the material, then hot rolled steel is a better option. The decreased price point is all thanks to the formation process, which entailed steel placement on hot rollers measuring up to 1400 °F. Thus, it’s produced much faster. This time-efficiency leads to reduced costs, which in turn, makes a lower purchase price possible. However, it’s surface has imperfections and uneven texture.
  • What is the industrial process?If the process heavily involves formation and welding procedures, such as manufacturing automobile body panels and equipment parts, mild steel is an ideal material. This is because it contains significantly lower carbon components than other steel sheets.

There’s a specific type of sheet metal that works best for a particular purpose. Thus, it’s indispensable to choose the right one in order to promote accuracy and quality in the produced output.

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