Sheet metal, which is metal formed into flat, thin pieces through a variety of manufacturing processes, is used in making many objects. Very popular in manufacturing because it can be easily bent, cut, and manipulated into different shapes, sheet metal is used throughout the world. In fact, many different types of metals can actually be used as sheet metal, including aluminum, steel, titanium, and even gold or silver. Popular even hundreds of years ago, sheet metal was often used to create the body armor worn by knights. If you’re wondering how sheet metal is used in today’s high-tech manufacturing environments, here are some ways sheet metal finds its way into everyday life.
If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, you were sitting in an aircraft made primarily of sheet metal. Whether it is a standard passenger plane or even a 21st-century fighter jet, virtually all airplanes have sheet metal covering their fuselages and wings.
Just like planes, most automobiles are also constructed primarily of sheet metal. Since so many different types of metals can be used to create sheet metal, it is very popular with all types of automobile manufacturers. In addition, since it can be easily cut and shaped so many different ways, using it enables engineers and designers to come up with more and more unique designs for their vehicles.
Construction and Building Materials
When it comes to construction and other building trades, sheet metal is very popular for a number of applications. For example, it is widely used as roofing material for metal roofs, which have grown in popularity due to their ability to last as long as 70 years once installed. Along with this, sheet metal is also used as flashing for roofs and to construct guttering. Inside a building, you can find duct work and furnaces, all of which are made from sheet metal.
Since many different types of metals can be used to create sheet metal, it is common to find it being used in various kinds of industrial machinery. For example, when sheet metal is made from metals that have a high magnetic pull, such as iron, the resulting sheet metal is often used in electrical transformers.
Due to more and more sheet metal being cut and shaped using CNC laser cutting, it is found in many different types of medical equipment. Some of the most common are medical tables, especially those used in operating rooms. In addition, some types of surgical equipment are also constructed of various types of sheet metal, since this allows for detailed shaping and designing of certain instruments.
Along with its many uses for autos, planes, and other items, many companies that specialize in decorative art also rely heavily on sheet metal. In doing so, they can create almost anything for homes or businesses. From metal tables and chairs to benches that can be placed outside in a flower garden or even decorative signs, these and many other items get their origins from sheet metal.
If you happen to be an equestrian, you are very familiar with various types of horse tack. Whether it’s saddles, stirrups, or breastplates, these items were all manufactured in part by using sheet metal.
As manufacturing becomes even more high-tech in the years ahead, engineers will certainly find more and more creative ways to incorporate the use of sheet metal into things we use on a daily basis. As for now, whether it’s the car you are driving or the soda can from which you are drinking, chances are sheet metal is nearby.