As a term, ‘metal’ is incredibly broad, encompassing a range of materials. These are typically hard, somewhat malleable, and lustrous materials with good conductivity. So when it comes to metal storage cabinets, the range of materials available is enormous. Each of these metals has different properties which make them useful in sheet metal manufacturing for specific purposes. The materials are typically pressed into sheets and then laser cut to form precise parts. There are many use cases and conditions for storage systems, so having many options for metals is of great benefit.
The most common metals used for sheet metal manufacturing include:
- Carbon steels – the basic form of steel that is just an alloy of iron and carbon. This material is strong and cheap to produce so many storage systems will use it. It has poor corrosion performance but is in general a very good option for both the housing and shelves of many storage solutions.
- Stainless steel – many applications or ambient conditions of metal storage cabinets may involve moisture. Stainless steel will substantially reduce the degree of corrosion experienced by the metal but is much more expensive. It uses chromium and silicon to drastically improve normal steel’s tendency to rust and also alloys other metals like nickel to improve flexibility for sheet metal manufacturing. This material is used frequently in cabinet shelves.
- Aluminum – a great alternative to steel as it is very lightweight and corrosion-resistant. It is also nonmagnetic, a property that may be desired for some metal storage cabinets. Aluminum loses much of its mechanical strength at higher temperatures so it will not be suitable in these conditions.
- Copper – copper is substantially weaker than the other metals listed above, this generally prohibits its use for the main structural components of metal storage cabinets. However, its strong corrosion resistance and anti-bacterial effects can be desired in some storage systems and any that involve food or plumbing elements.
Learn more about sheet metal manufacturing by contacting Premier Engineering.