Using plastics for home projects

Finding The Right Sheet Metal For Your Process

One of the most important steps of making a product with sheet metal is to determine which option will be the best for your project. Each type has strengths and weaknesses and can affect the cost of your product and it's suitability for indoor and outdoor applications.

Galvannealed Steel

Galvannealed steel sheet is steel that has been coated with zinc. The zinc makes the coating harder. It is less likely to be scratched or damaged while undergoing the manufacturing process. The only concern is that the zinc coating can sometimes be susceptible to powdering. Also, it is not ideal if you would not like to paint the sheet metal because the paint provides protection from corrosion.


Aluminum is commonly used because it is easy to fabricate aluminum into the conditions that are needed to make various types of products. Aluminum also does not need a special coating to provide it with corrosion resistance because aluminum creates its own protective coating when it comes in contact with moisture. However, aluminum can be more expensive than carbon steel. Aluminum is much lighter than steel, so there are some applications where it is the only sensible choice. Mild steel is much lighter, but is also more flimsy than aluminum. Aluminum is not as strong as steel though. However, it is a much more malleable metal. 

Hot Rolled Sheets

Hot rolled sheets are created at higher temperatures than other sheet metal types. More leveling practices are necessary in order to eliminate coil memory. There are also sometimes imperfections left behind from hot rolling steel. Make sure that the hot rolled steel is punched rather than being cut with a laser. There is also the hot rolled pickled and oiled option. This version undergoes an extra process of uncoiling the steel and having it flattened and sheared. This is not an ideal material if you need something that will be used outdoors. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a very durable material that does not corrode and does not require as much maintenance. Therefore, it is a material that is commonly used in a variety of products. It does not require any additional surface coatings, so it is more convenient to manufacture. Also, there is no concern regarding the staining of adjacent materials. Also, stainless steel does not decay if it is exposed to mortar in the same way as other steel materials.

Cold Rolled Sheet

Cold rolled sheet is a hot rolled sheet that is further treated to improve its strength. The structure is compressed through a cold rolling process. The surface is smoother as a result and the thickness of the structure is more consistent.