How many sheet metal types are there?
There are as many types of sheet metal as there are types of metal. If an alloy can be stretched out into a sheet, that is all it takes to be sheet metal. Sheet metal is categorized by their alloy, thickness, and then further categorized by its hardness, method of manufacturing, tensile strength, and quality. With all these different variables, the types are endless. here are the most common:
Cold Rolled Steel (CRS)

CRS is pressed into a sheet in a cold state at the steel foundry. It has a more homogeneous composition than Hot rolled steel (HRS), which allows better heat conductivity and is easier to machine. Most of our steel sheets are CRS as well as our bar stock that the machine shop uses. Below gives a description of the common CRS types:

1018 is a very common low carbon steel that is easily formed, machined, and welded.

A366 / 1008 is commercial quality steel that is easy to form and high strength with a good surface finish.

Hot Rolled Steel (HRS)

HRS is formed into a sheet in a molten state and rolled flat while still hot. HRS is usually of less quality than CRS, is more difficult to machine due to variable composition in the metal.HRS for thick plate since thin HRS is very rare. Below gives a description of the common HRS types:

A36 is a very common mild steel. It is much easier to form than CRS 1018, but more difficult to machine.

A653 Galvanized is a steel that contains zinc coating for protection against corrosion.

Stainless Steel (CRES)

CRES is an alloy based on chromium and steel and is categorized by its resistance to corrosion. The gauge thickness is the same as regular steel. Stainless is much harder than regular steel and is not easy to work with in some respects. Our lasers love it and have no problem cutting it. However, it is difficult to punch, and can be difficult to weld. Below gives a description of the different stainless types:

CRES 304 is the most widely used multipurpose stainless steel which is easy to weld and form.

CRES 301 is commonly used for fasteners and springs which offers better wear resistance and fatigue than 304. This type has good weldability.

CRES 316 has great corrosion resistance compared to 304, so it is best used for chemical processing applications. This type has good weldability and temperature resistance.

CRES 303 is a good material to machine, which makes it best used to create screw machine products. It is also good for corrosion resistance and temperature.

CRES 410 is commonly used for fasteners, machine parts, and shafts since it can be heat treated for extra hardness and extra wear resistance.

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