How Metal Thickness Impacts Fabrication

Written by  //  October 13, 2023  //  Building Contractors, Construction Materials  //  Comments Off on How Metal Thickness Impacts Fabrication

When incorporating metal roofs, steel studs, or metal countertop in new home building, the thickness of the metal is a crucial determinant for a successful project. Understanding how metal thickness impacts fabrication provides valuable insights and tips for home builders about working metal components.

Comprehending Sheet Metal Gauge Measurements

For homebuilders, understanding the gauge system used to measure sheet metal thickness is essential. This system can be counter-intuitive at first glance: a lower gauge number indicates a thicker piece of metal. For instance, a 12-gauge sheet metal is thicker than a 20-gauge sheet.

On top of that, different metals use different gauge systems. Nonferrous metals use the American wire gauge system (also known as the Brown and Sharpe system), whereas carbon, galvanized, and stainless steel use the manufacturer’s standard gauge scale.

A thorough understanding of the measurement system that applies to the metal you’re using is crucial when choosing the correct metal thickness for your project. It directly influences the metal’s strength and weight, thereby determining its suitability for specific applications in home building.

Cutting Speed

As you’d suspect, metal thickness has a significant impact on cutting speed during fabrication. As a rule, thicker metals necessitate slower cutting speeds to ensure precision and to prevent damage to the cutting tool.

Conversely, thin metals allow for a faster cutting pace. Regardless of the metal’s thickness, maintaining a consistent cutting speed is vital for producing clean, accurate cuts, which is particularly important when fabricating elements for a new home.

If your building project calls for custom fabricated metal elements, make sure you select a metal fabrication shop with the right machines, such as plasma cutters, fiber laser machines, saws, and shears that are appropriate to cut the type and thickness of the metal you’ve chosen to use.

Welding Connections

Welding to join metal pieces creates a strong bond by melting and fusing metal pieces together. Thicker metal can endure heat for longer than thin metal before deforming (melting). Thinner metals may require greater precision. Make sure to use experienced professional welders who understand the different techniques needed to fuse metal parts securely without damaging them.

Metal thickness impacts fabrication in ways that can carry through to home construction. Metal roofs, while strong, must be thinner to reduce their weight. Steel studs must have sufficient strength-to-weight ratios to support the loads they’re expected to carry. And working with a fabricator to understand the machinery they’ll use to create custom metal countertops, for example, and the time necessary to produce them will help builders manage client expectations as well as their own scheduling.

Whether your clients want custom copper gutters, stainless steel countertops, or metal roofs, partnering with an experienced metal fabrication shop can help you get the job done right and on schedule.

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