Aluminum is a versatile, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant material, making it a popular choice for various applications. When working with aluminum, you should consider its two primary forms: aluminum sheet and aluminum plate. Read on to find out what you should know about aluminum sheet and aluminum plate.
The primary distinction between aluminum sheet and aluminum plate lies in the thickness. Aluminum sheet is thinner, typically ranging from 0.008 inches (0.2 mm) to 0.25 inches (6.35 mm) in thickness. On the other hand, aluminum plate is thicker, generally starting at 0.25 inches (6.35 mm) and extending up to 6 inches (150 mm) or more.
Due to the differences in thickness, aluminum sheets and plates have different applications. You’ll find aluminum sheet used in:
- Architectural applications: Aluminum sheets add an aesthetic appeal to many buildings, and the material’s natural corrosion resistance makes it a go-to choice for facades, frames, and wall cladding.
- Automotive and aerospace applications: Aluminum sheet is lightweight but strong, making it perfect for cars, airplanes, and spacecraft.
Meanwhile, you can find aluminum plate in:
- Structural components: Aluminum plates are durable. They’re ideal for use in bridges, buildings, and other forms of infrastructure.
- Machinery: Aluminum plates have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, meaning that they’re suitable for heavy machinery applications.
Choosing the Aluminum Material for Your Project
When you need to pick between sheets and plates for your machine-ready blanks, start with a clear understanding of your project. If it requires a lighter weight or lower cost, aluminum sheets are likely better for it. Conversely, a project that calls for higher strength or greater thickness probably calls for aluminum plates.
Now that you understand what you should know about aluminum sheet and aluminum plate, we hope you have a better sense of the materials you need to complete your projects efficiently. You can always rely on the team at TCI Precision Metals if you need more help—just reach out!