Buying a 1 16 Stainless Steel Sheet

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Stainless steel sheet metal is typically measured by gauge thickness, up to 1/4 inches thick. The higher the number, the thinner is the sheet.

304 stainless steel is an all-purpose grade that boasts superior heat resistance and corrosion resistance, yet remains nonmagnetic for use in aircraft structures, trailer bodies, architectural components, auto trim components, wheel parts and wheel assemblies.


When purchasing stainless steel sheet, it’s essential to understand its gauge (or gage). A piece’s gauge indicates its thickness with lower numbers indicating thicker metal. While the system is independent from both standard and metric measurements, conversion charts exist so gauge sizes can be converted between them; additionally, different materials have different standard/metric thickness measurements; for instance 18 gauge steel is 0.0478 inches thick in one gauge system while it measures at 0.0401 in another gauge system.

Stainless steel is an alloy composed of iron and other elements. Due to its superior rust-resistance, stainless steel finds widespread application across a range of applications; common ones being automotive trim and components, architectural components, kitchen utensils/tableware and aircraft structures/trailer bodies among others.

Shear cutting or laser cutting are often employed to form metal sheets into sheets for efficient yet cost-effective results, and then bent, formed or welded into various shapes as desired. Stainless steel sheets are often seen used commercially or industrially; however, some applications exist even within residential settings.

There are various grades of stainless steel available, each offering distinct properties. Type 304 stainless steel is one of the more widely-used grades, often found in food processing equipment and tanks, chemical equipment and general fabrication applications. Type 316 is more resistant than its counterpart and suitable for marine or oil field equipment environments.

When choosing an appropriate metal for your application, it’s essential to understand its working environment and which corrosion resistance attributes are most critical. For instance, in highly corrosive environments like an outdoor area where salt is applied as road treatment or an aquatic center with chlorine pools, type 316 stainless steel should be chosen in order to prevent rusting.

Understanding the gauge system can help you select a grade of stainless steel appropriate for your project. If unsure which material fits, contact an established supplier for more information regarding gauges and conversion charts.


Stainless steel sheet is typically thin and strong, making it an excellent material choice for many projects. You can cut stainless steel using various tools or bend it to conform with any project; thickness can also be an important consideration depending on its use.

There are multiple varieties of stainless steel, each offering its own advantages and disadvantages. The most widely-used variety is Type 304 stainless steel which offers good corrosion resistance at an affordable price point and is commonly found in kitchen appliances, backsplashes and marine hardware applications.

If you require a stronger and more durable type of stainless steel, type 316 may be your perfect solution. Thanks to molybdenum’s exceptional corrosion resistance properties, this grade is often found in marine and acidic environments, surgical tools as well as food and pharmaceutical applications.

316L steel is similar to its counterpart 316, but contains less carbon for improved workability. It can be cold rolled, formed or welded making it suitable for numerous applications.

Stainless Steel Supply offers specialty grades tailored to specific uses. Type 316/316L stainless steels are well suited to environments prone to high levels of corrosion such as pools with chlorine and outdoor applications where salt is used to melt snow during the winter, marine hardware applications and marine hardware installations. Type 347 stainless steel offers exceptional strength and corrosion resistance in strongly oxidizing environments and can be cold rolled, formed, welded or machined; perfect for various industrial, automotive and marine applications.


Stainless steel sheet metal is composed of iron and the metal chromium, the latter providing it with corrosion-resistance capabilities and strength. It is extremely durable and strong making stainless steel an excellent choice for many different applications – easily welding into shapes or being formed to forms, plus available in multiple finishes and thicknesses for an array of uses.

Selecting the ideal stainless steel product is key when selecting one for any application. Type 304 offers excellent corrosion resistance and can be roll-formed easily, while Type 316 boasts greater pitting-type corrosion resistance that makes it suitable for environments that feature chlorine-based chemicals like swimming pools or road salting services.

Competitive Metals stocks multiple grades of stainless steel, each one offering distinct properties and uses. Our most popular grade is Type 304 which makes an excellent choice for industrial and marine applications while remaining lightweight, easy to work with and capable of withstanding extreme temperatures.

Type 316 stainless steel is often the superior choice when exposed to high levels of chlorine or salt spray, making it suitable for food processing equipment and architectural trim applications.

If you prefer the look of a brushed stainless steel sheet with a natural-looking, low maintenance finish, the #4 grade finish is an excellent option for kitchen appliances, backsplashes and other decorative purposes.

When purchasing stainless steel with the #4 finish, you have the option to specify where you would like its grain to run for a 10% extra fee. Simply input this dimension into the length box of the cost calculator where it would best serve its function (if it runs along its 10″ dimension for example, simply put this dimension here before clicking “Yes” when asked about grain preference).

Corrosion Resistance

Common belief holds that stainless steel does not rust, yet it may corrode when not the appropriate grade is chosen for an application. All grades contain at least 10.5% chromium which works with nickel, molybdenum and other alloying elements to form an ultra-thin passive layer which protects it against corrosion – this layer prevents it from rusting. If exposed for too long however it could develop pitting corrosion which shows itself by tiny pits appearing on its surface and eventually weakening its integrity and becoming compromised over time.

Austenitic grades of stainless steel are among the most frequently used options for applications requiring high corrosion resistance, typically comprising between 16-22% chromium content with up to 35% nickel content, creating an extremely durable material which resists oxidation, pitting and cracking.

Grades 304 and 316 stainless steels are both typical austenitic grades that can be found in various industrial applications. Grade 304 can resist corrosion from most oxidizing acids such as nitric acid and sulfur gas; making it suitable for food processing equipment while its durability and value make it popular in buildings and decor applications as well. Grade 316 contains higher amounts of molybdenum than its counterpart, further strengthening its corrosion resistance against chlorides and other aggressive chemicals.

Other austenitic grades, such as grades 409 and 430, offer lower cost solutions for applications that don’t need as high a level of corrosion resistance. Both grades feature good strength, ductility and fabrication characteristics but don’t possess as high corrosion resistance levels compared to their counterpart austenitic grades.

Martensitic and duplex stainless steels are also widely available, with martensitic grades featuring superior corrosion resistance over duplex alloys. These grades feature a mixed microstructure composed of austenite and ferrite, strengthening through heat treatment for increased strength while remaining easy to work with and possessing good machinability properties.

Precipitation hardening martensitic steels offer high levels of corrosion resistance and strength, and can often be used in components designed for high temperatures such as furnace and heater parts.

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