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Thread: Sheet metal grain direction?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    18

    Default Sheet metal grain direction?

    Hello friends:

    Bought a piece of 4x10-foot 20 ga. cold rolled sheet for a project. I will be cutting it up into 9-inch by 36-inch pieces and making some bends at the ends that have about a 1 1/2-inch radius to 90 degrees in some pieces and also to 180 degrees in other pieces.

    I know that sheet metal can have "grain" but I can't find anything that will tell me if this 20 ga. c.r. sheet has it and if so, in what direction it runs. I presume that the grain would run lengthwise to the sheet. I also presume that that my bends would be easier if I cut the parts from the sheet so the grain ran parallel to the axis of the bend.

    Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
    Greg Lewis
    Eyeball Engineering
    Our motto: That looks about right.
    Turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap since 1983.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Your grain will run paralell to the length of the sheet. Bends are esier ( less pressure ) paralell to grain direction. However they are usually less consistant from one peice to the next. On hot roll steel as you get to 3/16" and thicker bending in line with the grain you can get cracking if you use a radius less than the thickness of the sheet. Cold roll you can bend either way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas!
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    5,651

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    I wouldn't worry about a 1.5" radius on 20ga. Especially if it's 1008cr. I fold it back on itself all the time. It's a good working material and forms well. Just did some 1" drawings today. When you start getting into 1010 or above, the forming in harder but with your radius you shouldn't have any problems no mater the grain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Thanks, guys. This is a big help. I'll be forming these with hands and mallets over pieces of hardwood and pipe as that's all I have to work with, and the return bend wouldn't fit into anything in this town anyway.

    By the way, they hit me for $52 for the sheet, which seems high. Then they wanted another $25 just to cut it in half so it would fit into my truck. After some whining, they dropped that to $10. I've never faced a cutting charge before when the material is cut once to fit the truck. But it would have cost me the $10 in fuel to go to the only other yard in town, so I accepted the deal.

    Thanks again.
    Greg Lewis
    Eyeball Engineering
    Our motto: That looks about right.
    Turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap since 1983.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,482

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    I feel your "cutting pain." I got dinged $5.00 to cut a strip of 3/16"x1" in half to get it in my car. Had I known in advance, I would have just bent it!
    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas!
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    $52 is cheap to begin with for 4x10' so you weren't hit too hard. I just paid $66 a sheet for 20ga 4x8'. That's $1.375/lb. There's no place around here that sells it any cheaper (that I know of). Count your blessings.

    It's been many years since I've seen $1/lb steel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kingman Arizona
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    1,722

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    Wow! A 4' X 10' sheet of 20ga. steel....That's enough to make three FIATs...if the sheet metal were thinner.
    No good deed goes unpunished.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    3,873

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltmine
    Wow! A 4' X 10' sheet of 20ga. steel....That's enough to make three FIATs...if the sheet metal were thinner.


    LOL. Good one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saltmine
    Wow! A 4' X 10' sheet of 20ga. steel....That's enough to make three FIATs...if the sheet metal were thinner.
    Saltmine, Saltmine, new cars are not made from sheet metal. They are made from foil. So it's six fiats.
    Greg Lewis
    Eyeball Engineering
    Our motto: That looks about right.
    Turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap since 1983.

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