When working with sheet metal, it is vital to understand the gauge system to specify sheet metal thickness in numbers. People working on steel and precision work often used the term “gauge” or “gage” in making precision components in workshops, factories, and operating tools and equipment types.
Also, here’s a tool that makes it easy for you to figure out what you have rather than having to consult a chart. Otherwise, scroll down to check out the chart.
These are units that are used to specify the thickness of sheet metals.
When you have come across these numbers for various products, they are significant since they indicate the thickness of the metal, which affects the price, and of course, as well as considering the quality of the material.
Commercial steel products are classified into two types: flat and round. Flat metals, such as those used to make folding anchors, flashings, or clips, are also known as sheet metals available in flat pieces or coiled strips. Wire cables are a typical example of round metals. As a result, when you buy these products, the number will be visible on the surface. The number represents the gauge, which measures the thickness of the material.
Take notice, however, that the role in a metal gauge is symmetrically opposed to that of a conventional measurement method. It means that when the value of one material increases, the value of the other decreases. It may appear to be complicated, but it is not. For example, if you are going to purchase a thicker one, look for one with a lower number. The smaller the number, the thicker it is.
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Sheet metal is specified in gauge (ga) instead of fractions of an inch. — specifically, it is inversely proportional. It may sound odd, but here is how it is explained: as the number increases, the thickness decreases. In other words, the higher the number, the thinner the material, and the lower the number, the thicker the material. For example; a 10 is going to be thicker than one with numbers of 11, 12, 14,16, or 18.
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Steel sheet metal are based on an average density of 41.82 pounds per square foot per inch thick. Different materials have different classifications. Non-ferrous materials have a different standard than ferrous ones. Thus, standard steel, aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized steel, brass, and copper have their specific standards.
For example, the gauge of standard steel. We’ll go over steel because it is the most commonly used material. Steel is calculated as 41.82 multiplied by how thick it is. The number in pounds is equal to the product of the two numbers multiplied together. So 41.82 X gauge thickness = Lbs Per Sqr. Ft. To get the corresponding number of steel, you may refer to the chart provided below.
As an outcome, 12ga steel has a thickness of 0.1046 inches. The formula to figure out the weight of the material then uses the thickness multiplied by the value (41.82). Thus, 41.82 X 0.1046 = 4.37 lb/ft2 for 12ga material.
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Steel’s bending strength increases depending on the type of product you are working with, as well as its classification. To explain, the diagram below illustrates a general rule of steel strength.
|Material (gauge)||In decimal (thickness)||Lbs (weight)||↔||14ga material (0.075)||12ga material (0.106)||11ga material (0.120)||10ga material (0.135)|
As a result, a 12ga (0.106t) material is 2.86 times more powerful than a 14ga (0.075t). And 11ga (0.120t) steel is 1.45 times stronger than 12ga (0.106t).
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These sizes are numbers that represent the thickness of sheet metal. The corresponding number varies depending on the weight of a sheet of a particular material for each standard.
You may refer to the chart below to determine the corresponding classification depending on the size standard based on the numbers of each given material.
(Standard gauge for sheet, plate iron, steel)
|Number (gauge)||Estimated thickness
(inch by a fraction)
(Pound per Square Foot lb/ft2)
(Pound in Ounce)
Sheet metals are classified into several series, including aluminum, copper, brass, and the various types of steel: Carbon & galvanized.
Sheet metals, which are cut and bent into various shapes, are the primary form used in metalworking. The term foil or leaf refers to a super-thin sheet, whereas ones that are more than 6mm are referred to as steel plates or structural steel. Check out this article on amp wire, too.
Because of their toughness, they are suitable for being able to withstand harsh and arduous conditions. When significant resistance is required for tolerating both internal and external pressure, the usage of steel is advantageous. They can endure incorrect alignment, temperature changes, tension, and unexpected deformation.
They, in general, are excellent for a wide range of applications due to their exceptional durability and structural rigidity. They can work successfully in corrosive environments. They are appropriate for structures, bridge engineering, plant and residential construction, and conveying pipelines. They may also be used in general machine production, such as excavators, drillers, power trolleys, scrapers, trucks, loaders, cranes, and many more.
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The thickness of a 7ga is 4.7625 inches (3/16”). High-temperature applications, medical equipment, construction materials, chemistry, the food industry, agriculture, and ship components are all typical uses for these metals.
Most gun-safe owners prefer a 3/16” plate because it keeps non-powered equipment out, such as pickaxes, crowbars, and sledgehammers. It is also used for garage doors, fire pits, stamping, and other applications that need heavier materials.
A 10 gauge steel sheet is 9/64” thick and weighs around 90 ounces. Suitable for architecture, decorating, the chemical industry, food processing equipment, the medical industry, the fiber industry, and automobile components.
Food processing, chemical processing, power generating, and wastewater treatment are just a few of the applications that employ 18” sheet metal goods. Heat treatment, pharmaceuticals, beverage bottling, and brewing are some of the other uses.
A 7/64” 12 gauge plate can be used for chemical, food, medicine, papermaking, oil industry, energy industry, construction, kitchenware, tableware, automobile, household appliance, and all types of spare parts.
16 gauge sheets with a thickness of approximately 1.5875 mm are appropriate for escalator or elevator doors. It is used in a variety of applications, including furniture, manufacturing tools, household appliances, freezers, cold rooms, car components, machinery and packing equipment, medical devices, and transportation systems.’
At 2.5 lb per square foot, a 4×8 sheet will weigh roughly 80 lbs.
1.27mm is the thickness of an 18 gauge sheet. It is used for architectural decorations such as luxury doors, advertising nameplates, aisle panels, ceilings, and cabinetries. Some of its applications include the tunnel project, entertainment venues, hotels, light industrial, and culinary equipment. This type is also commonly used in various appliances, one of which is farmhouse and utility sinks. The choice of material will naturally affect the price of the sink – when you go with a stainless steel option of a higher quality, the associated price tag will also reflect it.
The good news is that when you choose a higher quality stainless steel, you’ll also be less likely to experience things such as denting and dings, which may be advantageous if you’re planning on using it for something like a utility sink where people tend to be less careful.
If you happen to come across one of these 4×8 18 gauge sheets, you’ll know that it is really quite heavy, weighing in at roughly 32 lbs.
A 20 gauge with a 3/80” thick plate is utilized for storage, pressure and processing tanks, pipe and tubing, enclosures, cabinets, and housings for all sectors, particularly the maritime, transportation, architectural, chemical, and food processing industries.
The cost these are somewhere between $10 and $40 per, depending on the dimensions that you are going with. However, you should know that this may not include the cost of shipping, and given that you’re talking about a material with a substantial weight, you’ll want to factor that into your budget as well.
A metal plate that is 1/32” thick, also known as the 22 gauge, is used for architecture, decorating, the chemical industry, food processing equipment, medicine, the fiber industry, and car components. Applicable also in the construction and automotive industry. You’ll be happy to know that a 4×8 sheet of this material is substantially lighter than some of the higher range ones, as it comes in at roughly 40 lbs, or 1.25 lbs per square foot.
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Because of its.635mm thickness and lightweight, 24 ga steel is ideal for garage storage cabinets, culinary utensils, domestic decoratives, displays, name tags, and other applications. Shops currently employ this product to make metal wall decorations and interior home arts.
Overall, products of various classifications can be found in a wide range of everyday objects, from tiny to large. It became the basis of all engineering today. They are used in marine equipment, production equipment, photography, the food sector, coastal facilities, ropes, cd bars, bolts, knots, and construction materials, house facades, furniture, etc.
According to research, the system was developed in the British wire industry before the standard, and metric measuring systems became commonly used. They were employed at that time to determine the diameter of the metal wire being drawn. Until then, the gauge system had been a popular method of indicating the thickness of wire and sheet metals.
Wire drawers developed a better method of measuring their products at the start of the industrial era by determining the weight of the material. However, without stating the specific product you are working with, the quality of being heavy or weightiness of a specific substance is somehow immaterial. As a result, wire drawers entered diameter scaling depending on the number of draws performed and quickly became a gauge. Because each drawing operation reduced the diameter, more drawings resulted in a thinner wire. It is why a more significant number corresponds to thinner material.
Steelmakers discovered that weight was simpler to quantify than thickness throughout the development of metal sheets. If they are by weight per square foot, thinner material will weigh less per square foot.
And today, for consistency, the standard is SWG for wire, MSG for steel, and AWG for non ferrous or non-iron-based metals.
The mechanical characteristics of these products are the same as those of the base metal. Steel ones have high tensile toughness and durability, making them ideal for use in construction and equipment. Almost all of the standard manufacturing metals are also in the form of sheets. Carbon & stainless steel, copper, and aluminum are among them. Furthermore, copper ones are frequently used as a decorative layer in modern architecture.
Tool to measure thickness
Certain tools can make it a lot easier to determine the thickness of a particular material. They come in a variety of shapes and characteristics nowadays. Depending on the application, each one performs somewhat differently.
The common types and their applications indicate the parameters associated with a specific kind of material. This includes material, coating, and wire and thickness.
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Because of the topic of the article, let us focus on wire and sheet metal ones. The metal ones are precision-cut holes and slots that make it easy to see how the thickness and corresponding classification of a given material or object. This device determines the corresponding number for sheet metal and wires.
The tool, which we linked to in the table at the top of the article, is very easy to use. It not only allows you to use it for your various stainless steel purposes, but you can also use it for wires. If you’re frequently working with either of the materials that this can help you out with, it’s a convenient little tool to put in the back of your truck. It doesn’t take up a whole bunch of space, and it only costs a couple of dollars. It’s the tool that you may not think you need, until you do, and then you’ll be sad you didn’t get it. There’s also a straight tool that we have included a link to, but the round one provides more functionality.
To access the decimal equivalent sizes, it has a corresponding number from its template. Some contemporary options have analog, digital, the ability to fit in your pocket, and other unique characteristics. By using the tool we’ve shown a picture of above, you’ll be able to see that 12 gauge steel is 2.7781mm thick, 10 is 3.5718mm, 16 is 1.5875mm, 18 is 1.27mm, 20 is .9525mm, 22 is .7937mm and 7 is 4.726mm. However, it’s important to note that not all types of steel will have the same thickness for their numerical classification.
Different standards apply to different materials. Because ferrous and non-ferrous metals of the same gauge have varying classifications, different devices are needed to measure ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Standards for other types of products
As we mentioned before, this is not the only industrial standard measurement size out there. Nor is it necessarily the one that is used in every single country. In order to make sure that people are talking about products with the same characteristics, it’s very convenient to have these standards to go from. Without them, it would make it a lot harder to achieve the desired purposes.
Have you ever wondered what happens if you use the wrong extension cord or wire whether you’re welding or trying to power an appliance in your bath? The same way there are certain components in a car, like an air control valve, that need to be functioning properly, so do your extension cords. Without the proper standards, as well as reliable information on what these standards are rated for, it would be extremely hard for you to stroll down to Home Depot and find the cord that you need.
And unfortunately use of the wrong cord could have monumental consequences. We’re not just talking about the potential for your lawn mower to break down if it isn’t treated properly, we’re talking the potential for fires. Think about the important work that steel does. The same way that electrical cords play a vital role, you’re also talking about metal products that often need certain strength characteristics to be able to do their functions.