6 Materials Commonly Used in Sheet Metal Fabrication

1. Stainless steel plate Code: SUS, Stainless Steel Common Codes: Tensile Strength: Above 53 kgf/mm². Material Thickness: Ranges from 0.1 to 10.0mm. Materials thicker than 10.0mm are difficult to obtain. Material Width: The maximum width is 5 feet (1524mm), but 4 feet (1219mm or 1250mm) is more commonly used. Any width smaller than 1524mm can […]

Table Of Contents

1. Stainless steel plate

Code: SUS, Stainless Steel

Common Codes:

  • SUS304 (18-8 stainless steel, non-magnetic)
  • SUS301 (spring stainless steel, slightly magnetic)
  • SUS430 (magnetic, prone to rust)

Tensile Strength: Above 53 kgf/mm².

Material Thickness: Ranges from 0.1 to 10.0mm. Materials thicker than 10.0mm are difficult to obtain.

Material Width: The maximum width is 5 feet (1524mm), but 4 feet (1219mm or 1250mm) is more commonly used. Any width smaller than 1524mm can be cut to size.

Material Length: Can be cut to any desired size. Typically 8 feet (2438mm or 2500mm).

Material Properties:

  1. The metal has a white luster and is resistant to rust.

The surface can be divided into different finishes such as matte, bright, mirror, and wire-drawn. PVC protective film is often applied to protect the surface.

  1. No surface treatment is usually required, but special treatment may be necessary for painting.
  2. Electroplating is not suitable, but electrolysis is possible.
  3. Ideal for use in refrigeration, air conditioning, household appliances, and decorative structures.

Specific Gravity: 7.95.

Weight Calculation: Length (m) x Width (m) x Thickness (mm) x Specific Gravity = kg

Example:

  • SUS304 2.0 x 2.0 x 1220 x 2440. Weight: 2.0 x 1.22 x 2.44 x 7.95 = 44.65 kg.

Another example:

  • SUS430 1.0 x 1000 x 2000. Weight: 1 x 1 x 2 x 7.95 = 15.9 kg.

Notes:

  • The standard tolerance for material thickness is +/- 0.08mm. For example, a 2.0mm thick plate may actually measure 1.92mm.
  • The thickness of the material should be measured using a micrometer, not a vernier caliper.

2. COLD ROLLING STEEL

Code: SPCC, CRS (SPCD: Cold Plate for Drawing, SPCE: Cold Plate for Deep Drawing)

Hardness: HRB, 1/2H = 74 to 89, 1/4H = 65 to 80, 1/8H = 50 to 71, H = above 89

Tensile Strength: Above 28 kgf/mm.

Material Thickness: Ranges from 0.25 to 3.2mm. Thicknesses above 3.2mm must be custom-made.

Material Width: The maximum width is 5 feet (1524mm), but 4 feet (1219mm or 1250mm) is more commonly used. Any width smaller than 1524mm can be cut to size.

Material Length: Can be cut to any desired size. Typically 8 feet (2438mm or 2500mm).

Material Properties:

  • The metal has a gray luster and is prone to scratches and rust, so care must be taken to protect it and change the processing sequence promptly.
  • Suitable for processes such as electroplating (multi-colored zinc plating, white zinc plating, nickel plating, tin plating, etc.), painting, baking, powder coating, etc.

Specific Gravity: 7.85.

Weight Calculation: Length (m) x Width (m) x Thickness (mm) x Specific Gravity = kg.

Example:

  • SPCC 2.0 x 1220 x 2440. Weight: 2.0 x 1.22 x 2.44 x 7.85 = 46.74 kg.

Another example:

  • SPCC 1.0 x 1000 x 2000. Weight: 1 x 1 x 2 x 7.85 = 15.7 kg.

Notes:

  • The standard tolerance for material thickness is +/- 0.08mm. For example, a 2.0mm thick plate may actually measure 1.92mm.
  • The thickness of the material should be measured using a micrometer, not a vernier caliper.
  • To prevent rust, the surface of the workpiece can be lightly coated with anti-rust oil after processing or covered with oilcloth.

3. Aluminum

Code: AL, A1100P, A5052H32P, AL6061T6

Common Models: A1100P-O (O represents a soft material without hardness), A1050P, A5052H32P, AL6061T6, AL6063T5.

Material Width: The maximum width is 5 feet (1524mm), but 4 feet (1219mm or 1250mm) is more commonly used. Any width smaller than 1524mm can be cut to size.

Material Length: Can be cut to any desired size. Typically 8 feet (2438mm or 2500mm).

Material Properties:

  • The metal has a white luster and is prone to oxidation and corrosion, so PVC protective film is often applied to the surface.
  • Surface treatments include sandblasting, wire drawing, or anodizing after polishing (non-conductive, can be dyed in various colors); chromate oxidation (also known as conductive oxidation, with primary color and golden yellow color).

Specific Gravity: 2.75.

Weight Calculation: Length (m) x Width (m) x Thickness (mm) x Specific Gravity = kg.

Example:

  • AL 2.0 x 1220 x 2440. Weight: 2.0 x 1.22 x 2.44 x 2.75 = 16.37 kg.

Another example:

  • AL 1.0 x 1000 x 2000. Weight: 1 x 1 x 2 x 2.75 = 5.5 kg.

Notes:

  • The standard tolerance for material thickness is +/- 0.08mm. For example, a 2.0mm thick plate may actually measure 1.92mm.
  • The thickness of the material should be measured using a micrometer, not a vernier caliper.
  • Care must be taken during the processing of aluminum plates to avoid scratches and protect the surface. Precautions should be taken to prevent cracks and knife marks during bending. (If the material is too hard, it can be annealed first or the lower mold groove can be enlarged).

4. Hot-dip galvanized steel plate

Code: SPGC

Hardness: HRB, 1/2H = 74 to 89, 1/4H = 65 to 80, 1/8H = 50 to 71, H = above 89.

Tensile Strength: Above 40-55 kgf/mm².

Material Thickness: 0.4 to 3.2 mm. Materials thicker than 3.2 mm are difficult to find and are usually replaced by galvanized white zinc.

Material Width: The maximum width is 5′ (1524 mm), typically 4′ (1219 mm or 1250 mm), and any size smaller than 1524 mm can be cut to size.

Material Length: Any size can be cut to size. Typically 8′ (2438 mm or 2500 mm).

Material Properties:

  • The metal is white and glossy, with patterns. It is not easily susceptible to rusting, but may develop white rust spots due to corrosion.
  • Surface treatment is usually not necessary.
  • Electroplating (including multicolored zinc plating, white zinc plating, nickel plating, tin plating) is not allowed.
  • Suitable for use in refrigeration, air conditioning, heavy motor, and roof structure applications.

Specific Gravity: 8.25

Weight Calculation: Length (m) x Width (m) x Thickness (mm) x Specific Gravity = kg.

Example:

SPGC 2.0 x 1220 x 2440 Weight: 2.0 x 1.22 x 2.44 x 8.25 = 49.1 kg.

Another Example:

SPGC 1.0 x 1000 x 2000 Weight: 1 x 1 x 2 x 8.25 = 16.5 kg.

Note:

  • The general tolerance for material thickness is +0, -0.08 mm, meaning a 2.0 mm plate may actually measure 1.92 mm.
  • The material thickness must be measured using a micrometer, not a cursor caliper.
  • If bending processing is required, be careful not to cause the zinc layer on the surface to fall off and promptly remove any zinc powder from the lower mold.

5. Hot Rolling Steel

Code: SPHC, HRS

Hardness: HRB, 1/2H = 74 to 89, 1/4H = 65 to 80, 1/8H = 50 to 71, H = above 89.

Tensile Strength: 41 to 52 kgf/mm² or above.

Material Thickness: 1.4 to 6.0 mm. Materials thicker than 6 mm are coded as SS41.

Material Width: The maximum width is 5′ (1524 mm), typically 4′ (1219 mm or 1250 mm), and any size smaller than 1524 mm can be cut to size.

Material Length: Any size can be cut to size. Typically 8′ (2438 mm or 2500 mm).

Material Properties:

  • The metal is dark gray and glossy, but easily susceptible to rusting. Surface scratches are not easily noticeable, so rust must be removed during processing.
  • Electroplating (including colorful zinc plating, white zinc plating, nickel plating, tin plating) is not recommended.
  • Suitable for baking paint, powder coating, and other structural applications.

Specific Gravity: 7.85

Weight Calculation: Length (m) x Width (m) x Thickness (mm) x Specific Gravity = kg.

Example:

SPHC 2.0 x 1220 x 2440 Weight: 2.0 x 1.22 x 2.44 x 7.85 = 46.74 kg.

Another Example:

SPHC 1.0 x 1000 x 2000 Weight: 1 x 1 x 2 x 7.85 = 15.7 kg.

Note:

  • The general tolerance for material thickness is +0, -0.08 mm, meaning a 2.0 mm plate may actually measure 1.92 mm.
  • The material thickness must be measured using a micrometer, not a cursor caliper.
  • To prevent rusting, the processed surface can be lightly coated with antirust oil or covered with an oilcloth.
  • If electroplating is required, the surface carbon layer must be removed through sandblasting or wire drawing.

6. Copper

Code: C1020, C1100, C2100, 2200, 2300, 2400 (red copper) and Brass above C2600.

Common Models: C1020P-O (O represents soft material without hardness), C1020P-1/2H (Vickers hardness HV75 to 120), 1/4H (Vickers hardness HV60 to 100), H (Vickers hardness HV above 80).

Tensile Strength: O material = more than 20 kgf/mm², 1/4H material = 22 to 28 kgf/mm², 1/2H material = 25 to 32 kgf/mm², H material = 28 kgf/mm² or more.

Material Thickness: Above 0.3 mm.

Material Width: Typically 2′ (610 mm), and customization is necessary for widths exceeding this.

Material Length: Typically 5′ (1524 mm).

Material Properties:

  • 1xxx copper has a copper content of 99.9% (also known as electrolytic copper or collector copper) and has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, good machinability, good welding properties, and resistance to corrosion, weathering, and has a metallic red luster. It is suitable for electrical and chemical industries.
  • 2xxx copper has a copper content of 60 to 96% (also known as brass or bus copper) and is ductile and has good machinability, making it suitable for electroplating and often used in wiring equipment, dashboards, cartridge cases, etc.
  1. Surface Treatment: Wire drawing or pickling and polishing, copper plating, tin plating, nickel plating.

Specific Gravity: 8.9

Weight Calculation: Length (m) x Width (m) x Thickness (mm) x Specific Gravity = kg.

Example:

C1020P 1/4H 2.0 x 600 x 1500 weight: 2.0 x 0.6 x 1.5 x 8.9 = 16 kg.

Another Example: C1020P 1/2H 1.0 x 1000 x 1000 weight: 1 x 1 x 8.9 = 8.9 kg.

Note:

  • The general tolerance for material thickness is +0, -0.08 mm, meaning a 2.0 mm plate may actually measure 1.92 mm.
  • The material thickness must be measured using a micrometer, not a cursor caliper.

7. Introduction to common plates

7.1 Cold rolled ordinary steel sheet

Cold Rolled Ordinary Steel Sheet, also known as ordinary carbon structural steel cold rolled sheet or simply “cold plate,” is a steel sheet with a thickness less than 4mm made from hot rolled ordinary carbon structural steel.

It is produced through a process of further cold rolling at room temperature, which eliminates the formation of an oxide skin on the surface and results in good surface quality and high dimensional accuracy. When subjected to annealing treatment, the sheet exhibits superior mechanical and technological properties.

Cold Rolled Ordinary Steel Sheet is the most widely used metal material in sheet metal fabrication. It is available under various brands such as GB (Q195, Q215, Q235, Q275) and Japanese JIS (SPCC, SPCD, SPCE).

7.2 Continuous electro galvanized steel sheet

Continuous Electro Galvanized Steel Sheet, also known as electrolytic plate, is a type of steel sheet that undergoes a process of electro-galvanization. During this process, a layer of zinc coating is deposited on the surface of the prepared cold plate under the influence of an electric field. This layer of zinc provides excellent corrosion resistance to the steel sheet.

This type of steel sheet is graded under various standards such as GB (DX1, DX2, DX3, DX4) and JIS (SECC, SECD, SECE).

7.3 Continuously hot-dip galvanized steel sheet

Continuously Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel Sheet, also known as galvanized sheet or white iron sheet, features a visually appealing surface with block or leaf-shaped crystal patterns, a durable coating, and exceptional resistance to atmospheric corrosion.

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, this type of steel sheet also boasts good welding and cold-forming capabilities. Its coating is thicker compared to that of regular galvanized sheets, making it ideal for use in sheet metal parts that require enhanced corrosion resistance.

This type of steel sheet is graded under various standards such as GB (Zn100-PT, Zn200-SC, Zn275-JY) and Japanese JIS (SGCC, SGCD1, SGCD2, SGCD3).

7.4 Stainless steel plate

Stainless steel is a type of steel that offers resistance against weak corrosive media such as air, steam, water, and chemical etching agents like acid, alkali, and salt. In practical applications, steel that is resistant to weak corrosive media is often referred to as “stainless steel,” while steel that is resistant to chemical agents is referred to as “acid-resistant steel.”

Stainless steel can be further divided into:

  • Ferritic stainless steel: This type of stainless steel contains 12% to 30% chromium. The resistance to corrosion, toughness, and weldability of ferritic stainless steel increase with an increase in chromium content. Additionally, its resistance to chloride stress corrosion is better than other types of stainless steel.
  • Austenitic stainless steel: This type of stainless steel contains over 18% chromium and also contains about 8% nickel, as well as a small amount of molybdenum, titanium, nitrogen, and other elements. It has good comprehensive performance and can resist corrosion from various media.
  • Austenitic ferritic duplex stainless steel: This type of stainless steel has the advantages of both austenitic and ferritic stainless steels and also has superplasticity.
  • Martensitic stainless steel: This type of stainless steel has high strength but poor plasticity and weldability.

It’s important to note that while the strength of stainless steel is relatively high, the wear on numerical control punches is relatively large, making it generally unsuitable for numerical punching.

Grades:

There are many types of stainless steel, but a commonly used austenitic stainless steel (1Cr18Ni9Ti) with the Japanese standard JIS (SUS) is frequently used in sheet metal processing.

7.5 Aluminum plate

Aluminum is a silver-white light metal with good thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and ductility. However, pure aluminum has low strength and cannot be used as a structural material.

Sheet metal processing typically uses aluminum alloy plates. Based on the content of alloying elements, aluminum plates can be divided into eight series, including 1000 series, 2000 series, 3000 series, 5000 series, 6000 series, 7000 series, and 8000 series. Of these, the 2000 series (copper-aluminum alloy), 3000 series (manganese-aluminum alloy), and 5000 series (magnesium-aluminum alloy) are the most commonly used.

The 2000 series, also known as duralumin, is characterized by high hardness and is commonly used for various medium-strength parts and components. The 3000 series, also referred to as rust-proof aluminum, has good rust resistance due to its manganese content. The 5000 series, a magnesium-aluminum alloy, is known for its low density, high tensile strength, and high elongation. In a given area, aluminum-magnesium alloys are lighter than other series.

Common brands of aluminum alloys include 3A21 (formerly known as LF21), 5A02 (formerly known as LF2), and 2A06 (formerly known as LY6).

7.6 Copper plate

Red copper, also known as pure copper, is a material that boasts an attractive purple color and excellent conductivity, thermal conductivity, ductility, and resistance to corrosion. However, its high cost limits its widespread use, primarily as a conductor and thermal conductor.

Red copper is most commonly utilized in components that require the transfer of high current in power supply systems. Despite its good conductive properties, it is not suitable for use as a structural component due to its low strength.

The grade of red copper is classified as T1, T2, or T3.

7.7 Brass plate

Brass is a type of copper-zinc alloy that offers high strength and good workability in both cold and hot conditions. Despite its tendency to corrode and crack, brass is relatively inexpensive and widely used in various applications.

The grade of brass is categorized as H59, H62, or H70.

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Shane
Author

Shane

Founder of MachineMFG

As the founder of MachineMFG, I have dedicated over a decade of my career to the metalworking industry. My extensive experience has allowed me to become an expert in the fields of sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical engineering, and machine tools for metals. I am constantly thinking, reading, and writing about these subjects, constantly striving to stay at the forefront of my field. Let my knowledge and expertise be an asset to your business.

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