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What is the Procedure for Working with Sheet Metal?
Sheet metal is one of the most widely used materials in manufacturing and is formed by rolling metal into thin ‘sheets’ that are easy to process. Metal sheets are useful in metalworking as they can be cut, bent and shaped into many different forms that are essential for construction.
Sheet metal fabrication involves different steps of manipulation including cutting, forming and finishing. These processes allow sheet metal to form the main building blocks used by manufacturing industries.
Types of Sheet Metal
Sheet metal generally refers to flat stretches of metal, however, the thickness (usually referenced in mm or as a gauge) can vary greatly. On the thinner end is ‘foil’ or ‘leaf’ sheet metal and on the thicker end, or thicker than 6 mm, is plate metal. Sheet metal usually comes in long flat sheets or in coiled strips that are formed by rolling the sheet through a metal slitter.
Light-sheet metal is advantageous as it can be shaped with hand tools and for this reason, it is one of the most commonly used materials in manufacturing. It’s commonly found in roofing sheet, gutters, and ductwork.
Sheet metal can be made from numerous metals, including aluminium, brass, copper, tin and steel. Gold and silver sheet metal is even used for decorative purposes. Steel sheet and aluminium sheet are commonly used in construction as they are resistant to rust, with galvanised steel being the choice for most projects.