Sheet metal revolutionised traditional metalworking and is used in a huge array of industries. In this blog, we give you a basic rundown of how sheet metal is made, the various types of sheet metal, and a few of its common uses.

sheet metal machinery

How Is Sheet Metal Formed?

Sheet metal is constructed in an industrial process where the metal is first melted, then poured into a mould, pickled (chemically cleaned), rolling, and annealing (the metal is heated, but not melted, and pickled again). Sheet metal is a fundamental element of metalwork and can be bent and cut into a variety of shapes to suit multiple applications. Sheet metal machinery used in the manufacturing process includes press brakes, plasma cutters, laser cutters, bandsaws, turret punches and much more.

Types of Sheet Metal

Many different types of metal can be turned into sheet metal, including aluminium, steel, copper, brass, tin, nickel, titanium, and even precious metals like silver, gold and platinum. Sheet metal comes in various thicknesses (a measurement known as its gauge). The higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal, with the thinnest forms being foil and leaf, followed by plate. Ferrous metals (iron-based) are usually much thicker than non-ferrous metals.

What Is Sheet Metal Used For?

Sheet metal is used in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing and construction. Some common things made from sheet metal are:

  • Architecture
  • Aeroplane wings
  • Car bodies
  • Hospital tables
  • Restaurant counter tops
  • Computers
  • Filing cabinets
  • Street signs
  • License plates
  • Mailboxes
  • Kiosks

Sheet metal with high magnetic permeability (usually iron-based) is used in transformers and electric machines. Sheet metal has historic uses too, such as in plate armour worn by cavalry.

Sheet metal is used in many different industries and is an extremely important component in manufacturing. ACRA stock a wide range of new and used sheet metal machinery, and can help with repair and maintenance services. For any enquiries contact us on 03 9794 6675.