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Defining Popular Sheet Metal Terms
Shaping metal into flat, thin sheets can allow it to be installed more easily. This material, known as sheet metal, can vary in size, but it generally allows valuable services for applications for metal. This metallic material can be reformed into a flat shape, or it might be coiled into a strip through a machine called a roll slitter.
Gauge - The thickness of a sheet of metal, which rises in accordance with a dropping weight.
Punching - A process, performed using a press, in which the sheet is positioned between a die and a punch.
Spinning - A technique for reshaping sheets of metal into a tubular form, as can be used in machine parts.
Stamping - An umbrella term for a wide variety of the manufacturing and redesign techniques used by contractors to transform sheet metal into the form selected by their customers.
Laser cutting - A precision technique used for reshaping sheet metal, such as into the materials needed for roofs or gutters.
Perforation - A technique used to imprint small holes into a piece of sheet metal.
Press brake forming - This is a means used to bend stainless steel into different parts.
Waterjet - Another kind of equipment used for reshaping sheets of metal needed for common functions like gutters or roofs, as can slice into metallic materials.
Roll forming - A means for reshaping sheet metal into a tube.
Deep drawing - A process in which a sheet of metal is stretched over a form, a technique which can be used, for instance, with sinks.
Sheet metal is a versatile material used in many applications, from construction and roofing to rain gutters and fabrication. This pliable, flat metal can be folded into thick or thin pieces, with an ability to be bent and formed in various ways. That's why it's so easy to use in roofing, rain gutters, and air ducts.
It's manufactured and sold in large, flat pieces to contractors, retailers, roofers, and industrial companies. Characterized by shape, size, length, and thickness, sheet metal is easy to store until needed. Sheet metal can be used to fabricate anything from auto body structures to medical tables. It's relatively lightweight, and can come in a variety of types, including aluminum, brass, tin, nickel, and steel.
Sheet metal is an easy material to work with when it comes to shaping, bending, and cutting. Contractors can turn to manufacturers for their sheet metal needs by checking the web or utilizing business referrals. Roofers and other contractors use sheet metal because it's fire resistant, durable, and long lasting. General residential consumers can find sheet metal at home improvement stores.
Historically, sheet metal workers have belonged to a company union. Through the years, this field has provided steady work for many fabricators. Today, sheet metal is mass-produced on a large scale for distribution to commercial and industrial companies. Some sheet metal companies are smaller, focused on fabricating and shaping custom artistic and creative metal work. Others produce simple, flat sheets of metal for use in the construction industry.
Consumers can consult a few different sheet metal companies and get cost estimates and other information before purchasing. Sheet metal shops may also sell shears, tools, equipment, and other materials. They may provide services such as cutting, shaping, and installation work.