Here’s A Quick Way To Know How To Choose The Correct Stainless Steel Sheet


Once you have decided that your DIY project is going to require some stainless steel sheet, you basically have three decisions before you, in order to select what you need.

The two most foremost factors in choosing to use stainless steel sheet are its resistance to corrosion and staining. Technically this is not the case. It most certainly can corrode and stain. However, under most commercial and residential applications its strong resistance to corrosion and staining will normally suffice.

The other misconception is to do with what most people call a “sheet”. In the metals industry the rule of thumb is that anything over 3mm thick is no longer called a sheet but is referred to as plate. So if your application calls for anything over 3mm thick, then you are actually looking for stainless steel “plate”, not stainless steel “sheet”.

Step One – Grades.

The two most commonly used grades are 304 and 316. Now, 316 is to be preferred above 304 if your application is in a corrosive environment like salt water for instance. Although, both 304 and 316 suffer pitting and crevice corrosion the 316 grade is notably less.

Grade 316 is also considered “food grade”,and is used where food products are being handled. If you were looking to use a piece of stainless steel sheet as a splash back however, you could save some money and use grade 304 because it would not be coming into actual contact with the food preparation.

Step Two – Thickness

The thickness of a sheet is most commonly between 0.4mm and 2.5mm. Anything thinner than 0.4 would usually be referred to as foil and more than 3mm thick would mean its a plate.

Stock standard dimensions of a 0.4mm up to 0.9mm thick sheet would be either 2000mm X 1000mm or 2500mm x 1250mm. Between 0.4mm and 2.5mm you would also usually be able to find a 3000mm X 1500mm available. Having selected the right thickness and grade for your project, you can now have your stainless steel sheet custom cut. Using either a guillotine, laser cutter, or waterjet cutting machine you are able to cut some very complex shapes with precision accuracy.

Step Three – Finish

Depending on your application you can decide on what finish you would like the sheet to have. The manufacturing process of these sheets involves them, first being rolled to correct size and thickness, then annealed and pickled and lastly passivated by passing the sheet one last time between some highly polished rollers. This prepares it to accept one of many available finishes and surface patterns.

The most poplar finish is the brushed finish. This finish consists of many fine lines or scratches, all running in the same direction. The Satin finish is produced by softly brush-scratching the sheet until a dull sheen is produced. Lastly, the mirror finish which as the name implies, creates a highly polished and reflective effect.

In order to protect the surface of your stainless steel sheet, a plastic coating is applied to either one or both sides of the sheet as it passes through the plastic coating machine

Whether you need a full size stainless steel sheet or a custom-cut for your business or home, you are now better prepared to know what you’re looking for and hence make an informed decision when ordering.

Post time: Oct-29-2018
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