Metal sheet can be defined as a metal, which has been formed into thin and flat pieces. It is one of the primary forms used in metalworking, and can be cut and bent into several shapes and forms. Numerous objects are constructed using metal sheets. Thicknesses can vary considerably, though extremely thin pieces of sheet metal would be conceived to be leaf or foil, and pieces thicker than 1/4 inch or a centimeter can be considered as sheet.
Metal sheets are usually produced in sheets less than 6 mm by reducing the thickness of a long work piece by compressive forces enforced through a set of rolls. This method is known as rolling and began around 1500 AD.
Metal sheets come in the form of flat pieces or as strip in coils. These are characterized by their thickness or the gauze of metal. The gauze of metal sheet may range from 30 gauze to about 8 gauze. The higher the gauze is, more thiner will be the metal. There are various metals, which can be made into sheet form.Metals Used
Metals sheets can be made using a wide range of metals, including - aluminum, copper, brass, mild steel, cold rolled steel, tin, nickel and titanium.Applications
Metal sheets have found to be useful in a variety of applications, including - car bodies, airplane wings, medical tables and roofs for building and many other things.Advantage
The primary advantage of metal sheet is their flexibility - the ability to be formed and shaped through a variety of processes. Every method and process does something different to the metal thereby giving it a different size and shape. Some of the common processes used to give different forms and shapes to metal sheets are -Stretching
Stretching is a process wherein metal sheets are clamped around their edges and stretched over a die or form block. This process is primarily used in the manufacturing of aircraft wings, automotive door and window panels.Drawing
It is a process in which metal sheets are drawn into cylindrical or box shaped parts by using a punch that presses the blank into a die cavity. The method can also be used to produce arbitrary shapes with the help of soft punch.Deep Drawing
Deep drawing is drawing process wherein depth of the part is more than half its diameter. The technique is used to make automotive fuel tanks, kitchen sinks, 2 piece aluminum cans, etc. The process is generally done in multiple steps known as draw reductions. The greater the depth is, more is the number of reductions required. Deep drawing can also be attained with fewer reductions by heating the workpiece.
In various cases, special material, which has been rolled at the steel mill in both directions can assist in the deep drawing process. Material, which has been rolled in both directions has a more consistent grain structure and is known to as a "draw quality" material.Cutting
Sheet metal can be cut in several means from hand tools known as tin snips up to very large powered shears. With technological advancements, sheet metal cutting has turned to computers for accurate cutting.