One of the main advantages of the miracle that is stainless steel is its sheer versatility. It can be alloyed to make it stronger, resistant to corrosion, and easy to weld or extrude. It can also be formed into different shapes and thicknesses, making it a truly flexible and highly useful product.
Two of the most common ways in which stainless steel is sold are as sheet and plate, but many people are confused as to the differences between the two. In fact, the terms “sheet” and “plate” are often interchanged when referring to the same thing, but there are actually significant differences.
Stainless Steel Sheet
Stainless steel sheet has a thickness greater than foil, but less than 6mm. Sheet metal is often used in architecture for aesthetic finishes where long-term durability is not a consideration. Sheet metal can be made stronger without being made thicker, and therefore heavier, by the processes of corrugation and “diamonding.” Corrugation is the process whereby the metal is creased at regular intervals to form ridges, while diamonding is when diamond ridges are added to give added structure to the metal.
Stainless Steel Plate
Once stainless steel is more than 6mm thick, we refer to it as plate metal. It is used in applications where durability and strength are the primary considerations. These would include in those parts of a building where the metal is required to support a lot of weight. Stainless steel bar is also often used in these applications as well. Stainless steel plate is also used extensively in the car manufacturing industry where durability and strength are needed in order for the vehicle to pass crash testing.
Essentially, the only difference between stainless steel sheet and stainless steel plate is the thickness to which the metal is rolled out, and the subsequent applications for which these two types of metal are used. In addition to vehicle manufacturing, plate metal is also used in the aviation and transport industries, and to provide structural sections for ships, military vehicles, railways and trucks.
Sheets, on the other hand, are popular in cookware and other domestic appliances, as well as to make license plates for cars, and even the base of light bulbs!
Steelmor has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of stainless steel sheet and plate – and many other types of stainless steel – to the South African market for over 40 years. We’d love to chat to you about you project needs, so please contact us today.