Sheet metal

As a flat plate mill finished products made ​​of metal is called, which is delivered as a panel. Almost any metal can be processed into sheet. Particularly thin sheet (typically having a thickness less than 60 microns ) can be referred to as a film, as is the case of silver foil, aluminum foil or gold leaf.

  • 4.1 hot rolling
  • 4.2 cold rolling


In order to produce plates, which are a ready mill product is required so-called slab. These can be produced in ingot casting or continuous casting process. Slabs are in addition to sticks and blocks, and the casting the first shaping of steel after the liquid production.

Types of sheet metal

Steel sheets are distinguished on the basis of several characteristics. Usually the subdivision is based on the thickness.

Thin sheet

Thin sheets are sheets with a thickness of less than 3 mm. It is warm or cold-finished rolled sheet, which is mostly used for Umformzwecke. Depending on the type of steel this thin sheets can also tinned, galvanized, copper plated, nickel plated, painted, enamelled or plastic coated. Thin sheets are cut from strips or supplied as a coil. Exceptions are fine sheets with specific requirements for the texture, which must therefore be converted into alternating directions. Thin sheets are distinguished by quality, land quality, drawing quality, deep drawing quality and extra deep drawing quality. An overview is to EN 10130 or EN 10346th on thin sheets are particular requirements.

There are three major main consumer groups:

  • Vehicle technology with ≈ 42%
  • Iron, sheet metal and metal industries ≈ 20 %
  • Electrical ≈ 15%.

Heavy Plate

EN 10029 defines heavy plate as a flat product of thickness t ≥ 3.00 mm. The difference from the hot-rolled strip is that it is not wound into a coil. Usually sheets are coiled with a thickness up to 3 mm, thicker plates are usually produced as a heavy plate. The manufacturing process of heavy plates is the reversing hot rolling process, see below.

Medium plate (deprecated)

Since then, the DIN was changed in 1543, in 1981, the term middle plate is no longer standardized. Earlier it was divided into fine, medium and heavy plates. These were:

Sheet formats

Panel, a rectangular plate in standard sizes

  • Small size: 1000 × 2000 mm, also referred to as normal panel
  • Medium Format: 1250 × 2500 mm, also called middle panel
  • Large size: 1500 × 3000 mm, also called large panel

In addition, the following dimensions standard formats that are available on stock in Germany.

The technical possibilities of producing steel sheets, ends today at approximately the dimensions of 4700 × 20.000 mm.

To further increase these opportunities or to develop, is currently uneconomical. Because of the unit weights can no longer be transported economically or large formats from a single piece will not need the metal sheets. The largest sheet formats are required in bridge construction, for drilling platforms and pipeline construction. Especially for pipelines, an increasing demand is expected. For this time will be built new plate mills, especially in Russia and China.

Manufacturing process

Hot rolling

For hot rolling, there are two possibilities of the technology.

Cold rolling

Cold rolling is a process which is connected downstream of the hot rolling. To cold-rolled material in the thickness range produce ≤ 2.99 mm, is required as a preliminary hot-rolled material.

Fields of application

Steel sheets are mainly used in

  • Domestic appliance
  • Automotive
  • Engineering
  • Pipeline construction ( gas lines )
  • Rail vehicle
  • Shipbuilding, including offshore structures
  • Steel and bridge

To bridge the time gap between delivery of materials and processing, the metal plates can be stored in so-called sheet metal bearings.


The processing in the flat state, especially cutting the sheets is done by oxy-fuel cutting, plasma cutting, laser cutting, water jet cutting, nibbling (punching ) shear cutting or sawing. More special tools are the shears and plate shear

Downstream processes are especially deep drawing, bending, drilling, hallmarking, collaring, roll forming or round rolls. Besides editing of individual sheet metal parts is also connecting ( joining) of sheets of importance. Here, the following methods are used: welding, soldering, riveting, crimping, screwing, gluing and clinching.

Special plates

  • Checker plate
  • Black plate
  • Tinplate
  • Corrugated iron