As you walk down the street, you can easily find multiple things that have been created from aluminum sheet metal. Awnings, street poles, screen doors, etc. Aluminum sheet metal is very popular for every day construction due to its corrosion resistant material and it is easily weldable for any project.
Aluminum sheet metal comes in several gauges of thickness. Depending on what you will use it for, you should plan the thickness of the product accordingly. You can get aluminum in gauges that range anywhere from 8 to 31. Always remember that the higher the gauge is, the thinner the product is. Aside from thickness, you will have to take into account the different grades of aluminum sheet metal on the market. You can get aluminum sheet metal in 1100-H14, 3003-H14, 5052-H32, and 6061-T6. Each different grade has a variety of uses and specifications involved with it.
Grade 1100-H14 is a commercial aluminum sheet metal. This grade has been chemically treated and is weather resistant. You can use it for welding or drawing, but minimally. You will typically use this grade for projects involving chemical processing, jewelry, and light reflectors. Grade 3003-H14 is a much stronger grade, but still holds the same strength with a cheaper price tag. Grade 5052-H32 is a very strong form of aluminum sheet metal that is still formable. This too has high resistance to corrosion and is easily welded into shapes. Usually this grade is used with electrical equipment. Lastly, Grade 6061-T6 is a heatable aluminum alloy sheet metal. This type of sheet metal is flat and not formable after its creation.
You can purchase aluminum sheet metal per square foot or per sheet from $4.99 to over $100.00. Aluminum sheet metal is easy to find locally and online. If you are shopping online, check out retailers such as Amazon, ACE Hardware Superstore, or K&S Metals. Always be sure when you are shopping online that you factor in the cost of shipping. Sheet metal can be very expensive and bulky to ship; therefore you may pay more than the actual product to ship it. When shopping in-store, you can visit local retailers such as ACE Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes, or even any True Value store. Most local retailers will still offer retail pricing, but if you have any wholesale metal manufacturers in your town you may want to visit them as well. When ordering aluminum sheet metal in large quantities, you should always seek out wholesale pricing, rather than retail.
Aluminum sheet metal is highly versatile and used in numerous applications. Often you will find yourself surprised at how much aluminum sheet metal is used on things we use every day. Always know just he purpose you are purchasing your sheet metal for so that you get the right quality, grade, and thickness your project requires. Do not be afraid to use sheet metal to create projects at home. Make your own screen doors or simply purchase a few pieces of sheet metal to create works of art you can place around your home. Today, many artists are creating picture frames and backsplashes from aluminum sheeting.