Category Archive: Steel

Sheet Metal vs. Plate Metal: Which To Choose?

Sheet Metal vs. Plate Metal: Which To Choose?

In the world of metals, people go back and forth on whether to use sheet metal or plate metal. This can make it difficult to decide on the one you should use. But fear not! Our team at Thin Metal Sales will help you navigate the debate between sheet metal vs. plate metal and decide which to choose for your next project.

What Is Sheet Metal?

In its simplest form, sheet metal is metal that’s in thin and flat pieces. It’s the chameleon of the metal world. It’s versatile and adaptable, often seeing use in various industries, from automotive to construction. You’ve probably encountered it in your car, your home’s ductwork, or that quirky metal art piece you bought last summer.

What Is Plate Metal?

Plate metal is the burlier cousin of sheet metal. It’s thicker than sheet metal and is often the go-to choice for heavy-duty applications. You’ll see it in structures that demand high strength, such as bridges and skyscrapers. It’s the unsung hero holding up the fort (or in this case, the building).

The Difference Between the Two

Now for the main question: what sets these two apart? A metal sheet is like your favorite slice of pizza—thin and flexible. Plate metal, on the other hand, is like a thick, hearty slab of meatloaf. It’s substantial and robust. The difference in thickness dictates their strength and flexibility and guides their use in various applications.

When To Use Sheet Metal vs. Plate Metal

Choosing between sheet and plate metal depends on your project’s requirements. Need something light but sturdy for intricate designs? Sheet metal is your best bet. It’s perfect for detailed work, where flexibility and easy shaping are crucial.

However, if your project is about strength and durability, plate metal takes center stage. Its thickness makes it ideal for heavy-duty structures where support and stability are non-negotiable.

And there you have it, that’s our breakdown of the battle over sheet metal vs. plate metal and which to choose. Whether you’re building a skyscraper or crafting a custom piece, the choice boils down to your project’s needs. As we wrap up, remember that Thin Metal Sales offers custom sheet metal for sale.

We’ll help your team embark on its next manufacturing or construction project and provide the best metal sheets for the task. We hope your future endeavors are as strong and reliable as your selected materials!

Quick Overview of Copper: The Oldest Metal

Copper isn’t just your average, garden-variety metal. It’s the granddaddy of all metals, boasting a résumé that dates back thousands of years. Continue reading for a quick overview of copper, the oldest metal and an incredible element.

When Was Copper First Discovered?

Humans stumbled upon copper by accident around 9000 BC in the Middle East. Early humans didn’t have metal detectors; they simply found this shiny, reddish-orange material lying around and decided to make statement jewelry pieces. Little did they know they were kicking off the Copper Age, when this metal would become the talk of the ancient towns.

What Are the Best Qualities of Copper?

So what made copper the “it” metal for our ancestors? First, it’s malleable, which—in non-scientist speak—means it’s easy to twist and turn into shapes. It also doesn’t rust, a quality that might have made ancient hipsters love it for its vintage look that actually stays vintage. Not to mention, it conducts electricity like a champ. It’s second only to silver in the electrical conductivity Olympics. However, unlike silver, it won’t force you to sell your chariot and horses to afford it.

Copper is also antimicrobial. Yup, bacteria and viruses see copper and decide to “nope” out of there faster than guests when you start showing your vacation slides.

Which Industries Use Copper the Most?

Fast forward a few millennia, and copper is still the life of the industrial party. The electrical industry cuddles up to copper the most. You’ll find copper in everything from wiring to generators to motors. If it buzzes or hums with electricity, copper is likely hanging out inside.

Construction workers and architects are also on Team Copper. They love a good copper sheet for roofing or plumbing, and if they’re feeling extra fancy, they’ll throw it on some domes or statues. Then, there are the copper sheet suppliers, the unsung heroes who roll out this versatile material for a variety of projects. They’re the go-to guys when a designer says, “I want this building to look trendy but also survive a zombie apocalypse.”

Copper also plays a crucial role in the transportation arena. It’s under the hood of your vehicle, making sure your morning commute playlist comes through the speakers crisply. And with the rise of electric vehicles, copper is more in demand than ever, like a trendy new coffee shop in a town of coffee-lovers.

So there you have it: a quick overview of copper. As the oldest metal, it keeps our homes warm, our water flowing, and our tech gadgets buzzing. For more information about copper sheet metal, contact our team at Thin Metal Sales. We’ll provide you with quality copper sheets for your newest manufacturing project.

Ferritic vs. Austenitic Stainless Steel: Which Is Better?

Ferritic vs. Austenitic Stainless Steel: Which Is Better?

Many industries routinely use stainless steel, including automotive, rocketry, construction, and aerospace. If you manufacture parts for one of these industries, you likely know a lot about the different types of stainless steel.

Today, we will discuss ferritic vs. austenitic stainless steel and determine which is better for industrial applications. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial when selecting the right material for a project.

A Brief Explanation of Ferritic Stainless Steel

Ferritic stainless steel has a unique microstructure, primarily composed of iron and chromium. Thanks to this combination, ferritic stainless steel boasts good corrosion resistance, especially against hot water and atmospheric conditions. Often, you will find this type of steel in automotive parts, kitchen appliances, and even some architectural applications.

A Brief Explanation of Austenitic Stainless Steel

Rich in chromium and nickel, austenitic stainless steel is renowned for its exceptional resistance to corrosion and excellent formability. A key characteristic is its nonmagnetic nature when in its solution-annealed state. This nonmagnetic nature makes austenitic stainless steel a popular choice for kitchen equipment, industrial equipment, and chemical processing.

Comparing Ferritic and Austenitic Stainless Steel

Several distinctions stand out when comparing ferritic vs. austenitic stainless steel and determining which is better. First, austenitic stainless steel tends to be more corrosion-resistant than its ferritic counterpart. This resistance to corrosion makes it ideal for environments that are more aggressive or require rigorous sanitation, such as food processing.

Formability is another factor when comparing the two options. With its unique molecular structure, Austenitic stainless steel is easier to weld and form than ferritic stainless steel. This flexibility explains why an experienced stainless steel sheet supplier might recommend austenitic steel for intricate designs or welding-heavy projects.

Additionally, ferritic stainless steel is generally less expensive than austenitic steel. Plus, its magnetic nature can provide several benefits in certain applications. It also has better resistance to stress corrosion cracking than its austenitic counterpart.

So Which Is Better?

When comparing each type of stainless steel, it is not about crowning a winner but understanding which option best fits your needs. If you want something cost effective and durable for less aggressive environments, you might choose ferritic stainless steel. On the other hand, if corrosion resistance and formability top your list, then austenitic stainless steel is the way to go.

In any case, always consult with a knowledgeable stainless steel sheet supplier. At Thin Metal Sales, our team can provide invaluable insights into which steel best suits your project’s unique requirements. Contact us today for more information about our high-quality assortment of stainless steel materials.

A Quick Guide To Understanding How Alloys Are Made

A Quick Guide To Understanding How Alloys Are Made

Most people have heard the term alloy at least once in their lives. However, very few have researched the fascinating science behind alloy formation. Here is a quick guide to understanding how alloys are made.

What Is an Alloy?

An alloy is a combination of two or more metals or a metal and another element. Alloys are usually created to enhance certain properties like strength or resistance to corrosion. Think of it as a metallic superhero team-up, where each member contributes a unique skill to create an end product that is more formidable than its individual parts.

What Are the Most Common Alloy Materials?

While many alloy combinations are available, certain combinations have become more popular due to their enhanced properties. The most common alloy materials include:

  • Brass: A blend of copper and zinc
  • Bronze: Primarily made of copper, often combined with tin
  • Stainless steel: Comprises iron, carbon, and at least 10.5 percent chromium
  • Aluminum alloys: These alloys contain aluminum and other elements, like copper, manganese, silicon, or zinc

Many businesses worldwide use alloys to support their operations. For instance, a sheet metal supplier might have brass or stainless-steel alloys as part of their primary inventory so that it can cater to different manufacturing needs.

How Are Alloys Made?

Creating an alloy is not just about throwing metals into a pot and hoping for the best. There are specific methods involved in the process, each offering a unique way to create a final product with distinct properties.

Melting and Mixing Compounds

Melting and mixing compounds is the most traditional method to craft alloys. Manufacturers heat metals until they reach their melting point and mix them in predetermined proportions. Once thoroughly combined, the mixture is cooled down to form a solid alloy. Think of it as making a soup, in with manufacturers combining different ingredients to make a delicious concoction!

Powder Metallurgy

This technique skips the melting process altogether. Manufacturers grind metals into powders, mix them in the desired proportions, and compress them under high pressure. The resulting compact is then heated in a controlled environment, allowing the metals to bond. Manufacturers typically use this method when metals have vastly different melting points.

Ion Implantation

Ion implantation is an advanced method that involves firing ions (charged atoms) of one metal into the surface of another at high velocities. This process changes the structure of the surface, creating a thin layer of alloy. It is like giving the metal a facelift, enhancing its surface properties without affecting its core.

Alloys are complex constructions that have helped build our modern world. Next time you come across a metal object, be it a jewelry piece or a product from your trusted sheet metal supplier, take a moment to appreciate the science and artistry that went into creating it.

At Thin Metal Sales, our quick guide to understanding how alloys are made will remind you that combining different elements can sometimes lead to something incredibly powerful and beautiful! Contact us today for more information about our precision sheet metals for sale.

Benefits of Using Aluminum as a Protective Covering

Benefits of Using Aluminum as a Protective Covering

One material stands out for its exceptional properties when creating protective coverings: aluminum. Aluminum is a versatile and highly effective choice for safeguarding various surfaces and components. In this blog, we’ll explore the numerous benefits of using aluminum as a protective covering, from its corrosion resistance to its electrical and thermal conductivity, all while keeping an eye on its cost-effectiveness.

Corrosion Resistance

One of the greatest benefits of using aluminum as a protective covering is its remarkable corrosion resistance. Aluminum naturally forms a thin oxide layer on its surface, acting as a protective barrier against environmental elements like moisture, oxygen, and corrosive chemicals. This oxide layer prevents the underlying aluminum from rusting or corroding, making it an ideal choice for outdoor applications and harsh environments.

Aluminum sheet manufacturers often use various techniques to enhance this corrosion resistance further. They can apply specialized coatings or treatments to the aluminum sheets to provide even more protection against corrosion. The specialized coating makes aluminum a top choice for industries like construction and aerospace, where exposure to corrosive elements is a common concern.

Electrical and Thermal Conductivity

Aluminum’s powerful electrical and thermal conductivity make it a valuable material for protective coverings in industries that require heat dissipation or electrical conductivity. Its high thermal conductivity allows aluminum to efficiently transfer heat away from sensitive components, making it an excellent choice for heat sinks in electronic devices.

Additionally, aluminum’s electrical conductivity makes it suitable for applications that require electrical grounding or shielding. It can help protect sensitive electronic equipment from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radiofrequency interference (RFI). As a result, the electronics and telecommunication industries love using aluminum protective coverings.

Lower Cost

Another significant advantage of using aluminum as a protective covering is its cost-effectiveness. Aluminum is abundant, which keeps production costs relatively low compared to other materials with similar properties. The easy long-term maintenance of aluminum also contributes to your savings.

Furthermore, aluminum is lightweight, which reduces the price of shipping and handling. The cost-effectiveness of aluminum is particularly beneficial for industries that require large quantities of protective coverings, such as automotive manufacturing and construction.

Contact a Reliable Aluminum Sheet Metal Supplier

The benefits of using aluminum as a protective covering are numerous and far reaching. Its corrosion resistance, electrical and thermal conductivity, and cost-effectiveness make it a standout choice for various applications. Whether you’re looking to shield against the elements or provide effective heat dissipation and electrical grounding, aluminum is a material that can meet your requirements.

At Thin Metal Sales, we supply the West Coast with exceptional materials for their protective covering needs. Our team will help you create custom aluminum sheets for your business and give you a quality of service you’ve never experienced before. The next time you need protective coverings for your project, contact the most reliable aluminum sheet metal supplier.

Why Copper Is One of the Most Important Metals

Why Copper Is One of the Most Important Metals

Copper has long been one of the most important metals supporting human life. We use copper for various essential functions, including building construction, transportation equipment, consumer products, and industrial machinery. Continue reading to learn why copper is one of the most important metals supporting our modern economy.

Unique Qualities

Copper is one of the most widely used metals in the world. There are also more than 500 copper alloys in existence. If you’ve ever used a smart device, you have benefited from the existence of copper. Copper is the engine of the industrial economy because of its unique qualities, which include:

  • High ductility: You can easily shape and stretch copper into many forms.
  • High thermal and electrical conductivity: Copper conducts heat and electrical energy better than most metals.
  • 100 percent recyclable: Copper is one of the few materials you can recycle without any performance loss.

Few Substitutes

Another reason why copper is one of the most important metals is that there are few substitutes for copper. Only silver operates as a stronger conductor. However, silver is far more expensive than copper, which significantly decreases its usefulness.

High Impact

Americans use thousands of pounds of copper during their lifetimes for both essential and routine functions. Copper is the third-most-used metal in the United States, after iron and aluminum. Without copper, our daily lives would look drastically different. Wherever you look in your home or on the street, you’ll find something that uses copper elements.

Find the Best Copper and Brass Sheet Manufacturer

If your business needs copper to operate successfully, you should go to only the top manufacturer. Thin Metal Sales is the best manufacturer of copper and thin brass sheets on the West Coast. For more information about our copper products, please contact us by phone or through our website.

Understanding Everyday Uses of Sheet Metal

Understanding Everyday Uses of Sheet Metal

We encounter sheet metal every day, from the smartphones we carry to the cars we drive or ride in. Sheet metal comes in various gauges, sizes, and thicknesses; you can shape it into virtually anything! Read on to understand the everyday uses of sheet metal.

Transportation Industry

The automotive industry uses sheet metal for almost all operations and products. This industry uses sheet metal for cars, trains, buses, and rail cars. Sheet metal is also common for components in these vehicles, like oil pans, hoods, roofing, seating, and springs. Various aspects of a car, including engines and hoods, consist of sheet metal.

Construction Use

The construction industry uses sheet metal the most. Given its versatility, construction workers use sheet metal for many projects, like balconies, frames, industrial walkways, staircases, and support beams. Manufacturers use sheet metal to hold structural components in one place and support the entire structure. They also combine sheet metal with other materials to create floors, ceilings, or walls.

Plumbing Systems

At the turn of the 21st century, sheet metal became popular for plumbing systems because of its versatility. Galvanized metal piping made of sheet metal will last longer than lead and iron pipes.

Arts and Decoration

Sheet metal has many recreational and artistic uses, and many artists and architects take advantage of that fact. For instance, playground equipment like swings, slides, and see-saws contain sheet metal. Artists can make sculptures, decorations, and other artistic pieces with sheet metal. Consumers are even using sheet metal in their homes! Many people like metal bookcases more than wood for their striking presence.

These are just a few of the everyday uses of sheet metal. If you’re interested in learning more or taking advantage of steel and metal sales, we have you covered at Thin Metal Sales! Contact us today, and we’ll answer all your questions.

Different Types of Stainless Steel and When To Use Them

Different Types of Stainless Steel and When To Use Them

These days, you see stainless steel everywhere you go. Whether it’s your cabinets, fridge, countertops, or even your car, stainless steel has various applications. However, what many people don’t know is that stainless steel falls under a variety of categories and grades that indicate its strength and other factors, such as oxidation resistance, melting point, and corrosion resistance. If this is all new to you, don’t worry—check out this explanation of the different types of stainless steel and when to use them.

Austenitic Stainless Steels

Companies and manufacturers use austenitic stainless steel most frequently since this material has a high chromium content. This means that the stainless steel will resist corrosion and rusting better than other metals, and it is non-magnetic. That said, you can make austenitic stainless steel magnetic after you perform cold work on the steel. People use this form of stainless steel for large-scale industrial applications, such as building airplane structural components. Still, there’s a chance you’ve purchased something as simple as cutlery that contains this type of steel without even knowing it.

Ferritic Stainless Steels

Ferritic stainless steel is a magnetic material boasting great corrosion resistance properties, and manufacturers often harden this type of steel through cold working. You might be surprised to learn that this steel is relatively inexpensive due to its low nickel content. Also, it is another metal manufacturers use for cookware, although this steel can be used to create car components as well. Ferritic stainless steel is both malleable and strong, making it one of the most versatile and popular choices when considering the different types of stainless steel and their applications.

Duplex Stainless Steels

This form of stainless steel is a hybrid of both austenitic and ferritic stainless steel. This material is stronger than its individual counterparts, with improved cracking resistance and better erosion-resistant capabilities. Duplex stainless steel is magnetic due to its high ferritic content, and it’s easy to weld. This steel is perfect for industries that drill for oil underwater since it is resistant to corrosion from saltwater.

If you’re looking to take advantage of some stainless steel sales, check out the various metals and alloys available at Thin Metal Sales. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for more details—we’re always happy to help.

Benefits of Using Brass Over Stainless Steel

Benefits of Using Brass Over Stainless Steel

Deciding between brass and stainless steel may come down to what’s more aesthetically appealing. However, the differences between the two metals go beyond color and what matches your kitchen or bathroom. Let us break down the brass tax and explore the benefits of using brass over stainless steel.


Brass is far more corrosion-resistant than stainless steel. Steel is very vulnerable to corrosion in its unprotected, unalloyed state. Because of that, chromium in stainless steel coatings helps to reduce the corrosion rate. Even with chromium, however, steel can still corrode.

Brass resists corrosion better than other metals. It has no iron interaction, making it last much longer than steel. As a result, brass is the metal of choice in the plumbing industry. Opting for brass ensures no faulty or busted pipes can wreak havoc on your project.

More Malleable

Ductility is vital with metals because we often contort them into unique shapes. Brass is better to work with because steel is quite stiff. While rigidity is ideal for some circumstances, other applications require malleable materials.

Brass is the answer to your flexibility needs. You can use brass in various applications, most notably in the automobile sector. When steel gets too hot from the engine or other components, it can crack or break. Brass, on the other hand, adapts to heat.

Better Conductor

Conducting electricity is an important ability for many metals. The primary difference between steel and brass is that the latter is a far better electrical conductor. Steel combines iron and carbon, making it poor at conducting electricity. For this reason, many electrical experts advocate replacing steel wires with brass. In addition to lowering the risk of electrical fires, brass simplifies supplying power to a house.

Applications for Each Metal

Stainless steel and brass have unique uses thanks to their composition. Steel is ideal for building projects due to its durability and longevity. It is a popular choice among architects for making the framework of structures like bridges and houses.

Smaller, more delicately manufactured projects often include brass because of its versatility and affordability. You can mold and shape brass to suit your needs with relative ease. It’s common in producing plumbing fixtures, valves, and fasteners for automobiles and airplanes.

It all comes down to what the project is when debating the benefits of using brass over stainless steel. Thin Metal Sales can cater to your needs by being the most trusted brass sheet supplier. We are happy to fulfill your requests, whether it’s for a small or large job.

4 Industrial Uses for Aluminum Sheet Metal

4 Industrial Uses for Aluminum Sheet Metal

We may often take for granted how valuable aluminum is in our daily lives. Everywhere you look, you will see something that has aluminum components involved. These four industrial uses for aluminum sheet metal are just the tip of the metal’s importance.

1) Home Appliances

You will find aluminum in many modern homes in their appliances. People often view aluminum and stainless steel interchangeably, especially with appliances like ovens, refrigerators, and laundry machines. However, it will take you a moment to realize how vastly different the materials are by trying to move one. A stainless-steel appliance requires a lot of strength even to budge. On the other hand, aluminum appliances are far lighter.

Temperature resistance is another benefit of aluminum. While stainless steel can handle the heat of the kitchen, it can struggle with the cold. Both hot and cold temperatures won’t phase aluminum appliances.

2) Packaged Goods

Because of aluminum’s malleability, manufacturers depend on aluminum cans for many food and drink items. Aluminum doesn’t rust. So even if you find a decade-old can of soup in the back of your pantry, it will look as flawless as it did the year you bought it.

Aluminum packaging stands head and shoulders above the competition because of its high-end appearance and feel. Companies often get creative with aluminum packaging because of the distinctive forms and striking visuals they can create with it.

3) Strong Cookware

Many of the same benefits you can apply to packaging and appliances also apply to aluminum cookware. As we know from appliances, aluminum can handle both ends of the extreme temperature spectrum. A quality kitchen won’t want to handle weakened stainless-steel pots and pans from cold food items—instead, aluminum cookware is the way to go.

More importantly, aluminum cookware has a non-stick coating that is nearly impenetrable. Add in the fact that aluminum is extremely lightweight, and this cookware becomes the most trusted ally in the kitchen.

4) Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

Using lightweight aluminum for manufacturing vehicles is beneficial for handling purposes. Plus, the weight reduction also improves fuel efficiency. The lighter the car, the more MPG you get. Furthermore, aluminum is corrosion resistant, making an all-aluminum body far more robust than any other material without sacrificing safety measures.

These four industrial uses for aluminum sheet metal prove why it’s the preferred choice for many applications. You can experience the benefits yourself when you’re looking for aluminum sheets for sale from Thin Metal Sales. We offer sheet metal in various materials and sizes to help accommodate all our customers regardless of the job.