Aluminium-Sheet Buying Guide

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Aluminium Sheet Buying Guide

Manipulating and working with sheet metal such as aluminium is not difficult or hard to master. You can work an aluminium sheet in one of four ways, including cutting, bending, shrinking, and stretching. You can accomplish the techniques needed to work with aluminium with tools that you can find in a basic home tool kit or buy online.

 

Types of Aluminium Sheets

Other than steel, aluminium is the most commonly used sheet metal in crafting and construction. Since aluminium is a soft metal, it requires the addition of harder metals in the manufacturing process to increase its strength and durability. Commonly added elements are iron, copper, silicon, and magnesium. With the addition of these elements to increase tensile strength, aluminium works for us in a wide variety of products for the home and manufacturing industry. Once manufacturers process the aluminium, they offer it in sheets in three different styles. Flat sheet aluminium works for almost any product you can create from aluminium. Perforated aluminium features holes in varying sizes and shapes that form patterns. Brushed aluminium or anodised aluminium features aluminium mixed with anodised steel that you can cut with scissors. The type of project you are undertaking dictates the type of aluminium you need. Projects that use drains or vents commonly feature perforated aluminium. Those that need sealing often use non-perforated aluminium, and brushed aluminium works well for wrapping projects to add style and shine.

 

Measuring Sheet Metal

You can determine the thickness of an aluminium sheet by looking at its gauge. The larger the gauge number, the thinner the metal is. People generally refer to gauges without the numerical decimal points, so a 0.036 gauge would simply be 36 gauge.

 

Standard Wire Gauge

Millimetres

Gauge

7/0

12.7

0.036

5/0

10.97

0.032

4/0

10.16

0.028

0

8.23

0.024

5

5.39

0.020

10

3.25

0.016

15

1.83

0.012

20

0.91

0.008

25

0.51

0.004

27

0.42

0.002

30

0.32

0.0008

40

0.12

0.0004

50

0.03

0.0002

 

Keep in mind that while aluminium is a lightweight metal, once you stack several pieces together it can be heavy and you may need lifting assistance.

 

Aluminium Sheet Tools and Accessories

When working with any type of metal, you need a few accessories. You should consider protective gear, such as work gloves, safety goggles, and a heavy apron, if welding, as essential. In addition to household tools sets such as drills, bits, awls, centre punches, and measuring tools, you may need to add some additional tools. Metal snips, rivets and rivet setting tools, and sheet metal screws are often items you may need as well.

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