Galvanized steel sheets provide sophisticated functionality for do-it-yourself projects, construction and fabrication. Lightweight, versatile and rust- and water-resistant, these sheets are used for myriad undertakings like metal roofing, awnings, barriers, canopies, housing materials, ducting systems and steel buildings. Often used for maintenance-free industrial walkways, road grate covers, washtubs and backyard grills, galvanized steel also works well in more delicate applications like electronic appliances, computers, work stations and precision instrumentation.
The galvanizing process involves treating the steel with zinc to prevent rust or iron oxide from forming. The zinc coating prevents corrosive materials from reaching the underlying steel. Even if the sheet gets scratched, zinc's properties resist rust from forming along the breach. Zinc-treated steel resists heat, water, ice and extreme cold, which makes these sheets ideal for gutters and outdoor fabrications.
Choosing the right gauge of steel sheets involves checking the thickness for each specific kind of metal. You can't substitute copper or aluminum gauges but must choose the right gauge for zinc-treated steel. The engineering specification for 16 gauge is 0.0635 inches, the thickest of the products listed here. 18 gauge sheets are 0.0516 inches, and 20 gauge sheets measure 0.0396 inches. 24 gauge, the lightest of the listed sheets, measures 0.0276-inches thick. When using steel in applications where stress and shearing strain are factors, use the gauge information to calculate load-bearing strength and resistance to choose the right gauge for your needs.