One of the most critical aspects of any sheet metal fabrication process is the materials selection. The reason is that it can affect both the overall cost of the project and the design integrity. Although selecting the right materials for your project can seem overwhelming it doesn’t have to be, provided you keep in mind that certain processes work best with certain materials. Let’s take a look at some of the better options.
Black Iron Sheeting
This form of sheeting isn’t quite as supple as the galvanised variety but what it does have is a coating of oxide which also protects from rust. The difference is that oxide coated iron sheeting is best used for items or products that require painting.
As you’d expect aluminium sheeting is a soft pliable material that won’t lose strength when being bent and shaped. It has a whitish appearance and maintains a high resistance to corrosion. For these reasons it’s a popular choice for thousands of mass-produced products such as trailer-parts, kitchen ware, and counter-tops. There are various content levels to choose, ranging from 1000 to 7000 (1000 being 99% pure aluminium).
Galvanised sheet metal
This is a soft steel sheet which contains a zinc coating. It’s treated this way because zinc has a high resistance to rust. Good quality galvanised steel has the propensity to be bent and straightened multiple times without losing any of that valuable protective coating. As a result galvanised steel is best used on products that are open to the elements.
Stainless steel sheeting
This material has a smooth untarnished appearance with superior corrosion resistance. It’s easy to cut, mould, and weld, without causing damage or loosing strength. Steel sheeting consists of high grade steel with various chromium and nickel additives. Based upon the alloy content contained within, stainless steel sheeting has 3 different classifications. It’s also highly resistant to corrosion making it a popular choice for outdoor parts.
And finally, although these remain the most popular, there are many other sheet metal materials that fabricators work with, each having their own qualities. These include: copper, brass, iron, nickel, and silver.
If you have a fabrication project in mind and are unsure of which material you need to use then ask an experienced metal fabricator for help. Chances are they’ve worked on hundreds of similar projects and have a good understanding of the material needed to suit your particular project needs and requirements. Here at Metro Steel we have that experience, so why not contact us on 07 3204 1000. Alternatively if you’re in the Deception Bay area of Brisbane, pop into our Kabi Circuit fab shop and talk to us first hand.