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Tech Article #4 - Sheet Metal Gauge Conversion Chart

by Kevin Smith

Knowing the proper size of your sheet metal can make life a lot easier when using your sheet metal brake. Here you will find a chart and easy forumlas to properly match your metal to your brake.

Gauge #

Mild Steel

Stainless Steel

Aluminum

7

.179

----

----

8

.164

.172

----

9

.150

.156

----

10

.135

.141

----

11

.120

.125

----

12

.105

.109

----

13

.090

.094

.072

14

.075

.078

.064

15

.067

.070

.057

16

.060

.063

.051

17

.054

.056

.045

18

.048

.050

.040

19

.042

.044

.036

20

.036

.038

.032

21

.033

.034

.028

22

.030

.031

.025

23

.027

.028

.023

24

.024

.025

.020

25

.021

.022

.018

26

.018

.019

.017

27

.016

.017

.014

28

.015

.016

----

29

.014

.014

----

30

.012

.013

----

31

----

.011

----

 

General Rule of Thumb:

The maximum capacity of a sheet metal brake or shear is based on the total thickness/gauge of mild steel at its full length.  For example, 20-gauge mild steel is .036” thick.  So, a 20-gauge brake has a maximum bending capacity of .036”.  Now to find the maximum capacity for aluminum, simply multiply the thickness of your mild steel by 1.5.   For Example, we determined that 20-gauge mild steel was .036” thick, so multiply .036” by 1.5 (.036 X 1.5).  The answer is .054”.  According to the chart provided above a 20-gauge brake will also bend 16-gauge aluminum but not quite 15-gauge, because .054” falls between .051”, which is 16-gauge aluminum, and .057”, which is 15-gauge aluminum.NOTE: You may brake or shear thicker material in shorter lengths.  For example: A 6’ 20 gauge brake will bend a 6’ length of 20 gauge mild steel.  It will also bend a piece of 2’ 16 gauge mild steel.

This article was published on Tuesday 20 March, 2007.
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