We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Sheet Metal?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Sheet metal is metal formed into flat sheets through a rolling, extrusion, or hammering process, depending on the type of metal and how it will be used. This material is available for a wide variety of tasks, from installing metal flashing on roofs to building space ships. Companies involved in sheet metal production typically make an array of gauges and grades to meet different needs, and it is also possible to custom fabricate particular types by special request from customers.

The gauge of a sheet metal product refers to the thickness. Consistency of metal products can vary and some may be very even, while others may have a slightly more coarse thickness with bumps and lumps. Usually rolling processes maintain a very smooth state, with an even composition. Different nations have their own standardized gauging systems, depending on the system of measurement they use.

Grading is a measurement of quality. Each type of metal has its own grading scale, referring to purity, corrosion resistance, and other traits that may be of importance for various metals. High grade sheet metal is more expensive, as it is of higher quality and tends to be more versatile. Lower grades are less costly and may be suitable for many applications, unless a project has very narrow tolerances or specific needs. When sheet metal is being used as a conductive material, for example, it needs to be of good quality to prevent problems with the product.

Some types come with special treatments. Companies may galvanize, stamp, or coat it for different needs. It may come in flat sheets or rolls for various applications, and sometimes includes a thin film left in place on the metal until it is fully installed. This is common with products like brushed or polished metals used as cladding for buildings, where the company wants to prevent gouges and scuffs during transport and construction. Workers can remove the protective sheeting at the end of construction to expose the clean layer underneath.

Hardware and home supply stores carry sheet metal for home improvement projects. It is also available directly through manufacturers or metal dealers for large-scale projects. Companies with high sheet metal needs like car and airplane manufacturers may fabricate their own or establish a contract with a supplier to make sure they will always have enough. Consumer prices tend to be high, while wholesale contracts for large volumes can result in a low cost per sheet because of the sheer volume of sheet metal being sold.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon226450 — On Nov 01, 2011

You really described well sheet metal products. Can you explain in brief how we can use 3D CAD models while making sheet metal products.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.