Aluminum sheet metal has nearly endless applications across a range of industries and is used in automotive and aircraft body panels, electrical housings, tools and equipment, cookware and appliances, roofing, and many other common parts and products. Here are six key advantages of aluminum sheet metal that make it so popular:
Aluminum is a lightweight material that is almost three times lighter than steel. In fact, aluminum has a better strength-to-weight ratio than steel, which is why it is often used in the automotive and aerospace industries—it reduces dead weight, and therefore energy consumption, in these vehicles, allowing for better load capacity than steel and other metals.
Aluminum is non-ferromagnetic, which means it does not cause magnetic interference. This characteristic makes it the ideal material for use in electrical applications.
When aluminum is exposed to an oxidizing environment, an aluminum-oxide coating naturally forms on the exterior to protect it from corrosion. This layer of protection can be strengthened by anodizing or powder coating the material.
Thanks to its impressive strength-to-weight ratio and natural resistance to corrosion, aluminum sheet metal is extra durable. It can withstand exposure to extreme temperatures and hold up well to general wear and tear. In fact, aluminum can be engineered to match the strength of steel, providing a long-term product or component.
Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and it outperforms copper in electrical applications. For instance, aluminum requires only about half the weight of copper to deliver the same amount of electrical resistance, making it ideal for use in computer motherboards, electrical housings, and LED lights.
Aluminum is unique in that it retains all of its original properties no matter how long it is used. That means, when its work is done in one particular application, it can be recycled for the next. In fact, aluminum is 100% recyclable, and working with recycled aluminum is more cost-effective for professional fabricators than purchasing aluminum freshly mined out of the ground.
How Aluminum Sheet Metal Is Fabricated
There are many processes that go into fabricating aluminum sheet metal, including forming it into specific shapes and cutting unique profiles out of it. Typically, a metal fabricator will use advanced equipment, like a CNC plasma cutter, to precisely process the aluminum according to the requirements of the project at hand.
Industry-Leading CNC Plasma Cutters for Custom Fabrication
Machitech is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty CNC plasma cutting tables and other custom fabrication equipment for aluminum fabrication. Our solutions are fully customizable and include free and unlimited support for life. Contact Machitech today to learn more.