Metal Fabrication Resources by Blackstone Advanced Technologies

Blackstone Advanced Technologies Blog
Jan 25, 2019 11:05:00 AM

Metal Sheet and Plate Thickness: What's the Difference?

metal sheet and plate thicknessMetal fabrication involves building metal components and structures for various purposes, all with varying needs in weight, sturdiness and so on. Before your project can get underway, it's paramount that the engineer has all the right tools so the process runs smoothly.


Choosing the right metals to work with in an industrial enclosure isn't as complicated as it may appear at first. Here’s an explanation of the properties and differences in metal sheet and plate thickness.


Sheet and Plate Thickness

Plate Metal

Any sheet of metal that is 6mm or thicker is a plate metal. Plate metals are known for their durability, so they’re used to build structures that require this property.


With this type of metal, it doesn't matter if the overall mass is increased during the metal fabrication process. This makes it ideal to use in automobile manufacturing.


Sheet Metal

Sheet metal can be made from many different metals, such as:

  • Aluminum

  • Steel

  • Copper

  • Brass

  • Titanium

  • Tin

  • Nickel

It’s always thinner than 6mm but thicker than foil. This kind of metal is somewhat thin and lacks durability, so it’s often corrugated to give it extra strength without increasing mass.


Here are some examples of what sheet metals can be used for.

  • Architectural materials

  • Automotive industry

  • Computers

  • Dumpsters

  • Electrical enclosures

  • Holding tanks

  • Railroad cars

  • Washing machines

The Differences

There is only one difference between plate metal and sheet metal, and that is the thickness (or gauge, as we say in the industry). A thicker metal will have a lower gauge number and likewise, a thinner metal will have a higher gauge number. The most frequently used gauges tend to range from 7 to 30.


Although at a glance it may not seem like that big of a deal to a novice, it’s important to learn how to tell the difference between these two types of metal so that the correct metals are used for a specific application.


The Manufacturing Industry

Metal fabrication is an essential process in the manufacturing industry, as it provides an array of components that are used for industrial, transportation, scientific, military, and other purposes. Constructing the complex components required in these industries takes experience, but with the right training and expert input the desired outcome is achievable.

sheet metal size charts