Thin sheet metal is a commonly used material in different industries – from construction to aerospace, automotive, medical, and consumer production/manufacturing. The reason being, it has a bunch of benefits that make it easy to ship or transport as well as use. The metals can vary from 3003, 6061 aluminum, 17-7, 302, and 304 stainless steel, and a variation of alloys.
Sheet metal forming technology and trends are applied in many major industries to manufacture absolute-shaped apparatuses from a workpiece. There are factors like rising demand from main consumer industries facilitating the growth of the thin Sheet Metal Fabrication (SMF) services industry.
Since thin sheet metal is lightweight, compact, weather-resistant, and perfectly fabricated, its future in the global market is steady. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the metal fabrication industry will grow by at least 9% between 2016 to 2026.
Here are some thin sheet metal market dynamics
1. End-User Industries
The biggest market driver for the manufacture of fabricated metal and parts is an increased demand from most major end-user trades. They include automotive, aerospace, defense, and medical industries.
In 2018, the automotive trade witnessed substantial growth. Given that metal is the main raw material in the said trade, sheet metal forming plays a big role. Currently, there are increasing investments in these industries. As a result, the global SMF services market will grow at a CAGR of above 5% by 2026.
Subsequently, the aerospace and defense trades are most likely estimated to exhibit robust progress. Due to globalization, the need for aircraft production has increased. Air travel has become a lifestyle now in developing countries. The growing demand for these products leads to a boost in the global thin sheet metal market on a significant scale.
The market can be categorized into two; aluminum and steel. Aluminum sheets are widely used as they are lightweight yet sturdy. In addition, the continued use of aluminum sheet metal will ensure a steady growth curve. This is because the metal is highly regarded in most end-user trades.
When it comes to thin sheet steel, there are several categories:
- Carbon steel: Good strength and formability
- Alloy steel: Easily available, more responsive, and affordable
- Stainless steel: Highly resistant, easy to weld, and great formability
- Tool steel: A combination of carbon and alloy steel
They all have different properties, strengths, and applications. There are many types of thin sheet metals including, (but not limited to) 17-7 steel, 3003 aluminum, 303 and 304 stainless steel, brass and copper, etc.
Thin sheet metal is one of the most common constructions and manufacturing materials, so its position in the market is safe. The global sheet metal market was approximated to hold a value of $265 billion in the year 2018. The market is anticipated to display a CAGR of not less than 5% in the 2019-2025 forecast period.
The key advantages of using sheet metal are recyclability, high strength, sturdy structures, resistance, and availability. For top-quality sheet metals, get in touch with Thin Metal Sales today!
What aluminum grade should you use for your project? There are many different grades of aluminum available, and they each have their benefits. In this article, we will discuss the differences between 1100, 6061, and 3003 aluminum and give some other recommendations on what to use for your next project.
Different Aluminum Grades
The first thing you need to know about aluminum is the different grades that are available. Aluminum comes in three basic types: 1100, 3003, and 6061. The grade of the aluminum will determine the end-use application and price point. For example, 1100 is a lower-cost material than 6061 but cannot be used for high-temperature applications like cooking utensils or pot lids.
3003 aluminum is pure aluminum with an addition of manganese to increase its strength. As an alloy of aluminum, it has, nominally, 1.2% Mn, 0.12% Cu, and 98.6% Al. It is readily weldable, has a relatively low cost per pound, and can be used in most applications. It does not have the corrosion resistance of 6061 or 1100, but it is an economical alternative to those grades for some purposes.
3003 aluminum is the most commonly used form of aluminum. It is a general-purpose alloy that can be used for cooking utensils and pot lids, but it cannot handle high temperatures like those found in an oven or grill.
Aluminum grade 6061 is often called “The Workhorse Aluminum.” It has much better corrosion resistance than 300 series alloys. Other benefits include its high heat welding properties as well as its strength when compared with the same thickness of 250 alloys.
This aluminum alloy can be used for products that experience a high level of wear and tear, such as guttering or furniture with exposed corners. The increased strength also makes it the best option to use in situations where there are high levels of humidity because it has an improved corrosion resistance over other grades.
This is the purest form of aluminum commercially available, as it’s made with 99% min purity. It has excellent workability and ductility. This makes it a great choice for challenging forming operations. Even though this metal does not harden when worked or heated as other metals do, its corrosion resistance and weldability make it very versatile. Its high thermal conductivity also gives it an edge in applications that require thermal conductivity.
Aluminum 1100 is a versatile metal, which means it can be shaped into different shapes and products. These include chemical equipment, fin stock, dials, railroad tank cars, and nameplates in the manufacturing industry. This soft yet strong alloy is also used by industries like plumbing and lighting as well as many other manufacturers across various sectors, from cooking utensils to rivets for construction projects.
Aluminum is one of the most versatile metals on earth. It has a wide range of applications and is an important building material that can be used in many different ways, from construction to cooking utensils. However, you need to find the right supplier whether you need 3003 aluminum or any other grade. For more information on how you can get the highest grade aluminum, thin sheet metal, or combined metals, contact Thin Metal Sales today.