When specifying for a sheet metal design project, size matters. Knowing the right numbers -- and what’s reasonable and what’s not -- can be the difference between project success and failure. Be prepared and have a sheet metal sizes chart on hand next time you’re calculating specs!
You can use these charts to figure out what the average vendor will offer you price-wise. Remember that a standard-size part costs less than a custom-size part.
Sheet Metal Sizes Chart: 3 Important Terms
Gauge is a number that indicates the thickness of a piece of sheet metal, with a higher number referring to a thinner sheet. Gauge size standards are developed based on the weight of the sheet for a given material.
In general, as the gauge number increases, the thickness decreases.
The thickness of a metal sheet affects your ability to cut it. Thicknesses can vary greatly.
The thinnest sheets are called “foil” or “leaf,” while pieces thicker than 0.25” are called “plate.” In general, higher gauge means thinner sheet. Because parts are formed from a single sheet of metal, designs must maintain a uniform thickness.
To keep your product from distorting or cracking, make sure any inside bend radii are at least 1x the material’s thickness.
In the United States, sheet metal fabricators measure weight by pounds per square foot. (The metric system uses kilograms per square meter.) This number indicates the heaviness of a sheet with that specific gauge.
Galvanized Steel Chart
If you have the sheet thickness, you can use it to figure out other useful things, like weight. But don’t bother -- we’ve figured them out for you, and put them in handy chart form!
Check out the example below for galvanized steel:
Get Them All Below -- in Full-Sized PDFs
For your convenience, we’ve collected all of the relevant data -- including gauge, thickness, and weight for the metals you use most often. Feel free to print it out for reference or share it with fellow engineers.
The free download includes:
- Regular steel
- Galvanized steel
- Stainless Steel
Be careful -- a gauge used for galvanized steel, for example, is not going to work for stainless steel, and vice versa.
Have other questions about sheet metal size specifications? Have an unusual thickness requirement? Your sheet metal fabricator may be able to solve design dilemmas for you or even offer an alternative to your gauge specifications.