Knowing the Difference Between Metal Sheet, Plate, and Foil

One of the most important choices one has to make when it comes to construction or industrial manufacturing is what type of metal to work with. And while it’s important to be discerning when it comes to length and size, people often neglect to take thickness into consideration. Considering how important thickness is, you’ll want to make sure that you are communicative with your metal supplier about the thickness of the metal that you procure from them. Depending on its thickness, metal can be classified as plates, sheets, or foils.

Now, to really get the most out of your metal it’s crucial that you understand the differences between the thickness of metal. To help you out with this, we’ve prepared a brief article discussing everything you need to know about metal sheets, plates, and foils. If you want to know more about this, read on to learn the differences between metal sheets, plates, and foils.

Differences Between Sheets, Plates, and Foils

It’s crucial that you understand how the three thicknesses differ. Here’s a brief summary of the three types of products that you’ll be choosing from:

  • Metal Plates: Plates are the thickest options when it comes to metals. Metal plates measure at around 6mm or thicker.
  • Metal Sheets: While they may look similar to plates, sheets vary in thickness depending on your needs. Sheets are the medium thickness option for metals. Sheets aren’t as thick as plates as they measure anywhere from 0.5mm up to 6mm in thickness.
  • Metal Foils: Foils are visibly the thinnest type of metal. The main thing you have to understand about foils is that they are any sheet metal that has a thickness of less than 0.2mm.

The Applications of Metal Sheets, Plates, and Foils

Despite their differences, it’s important that you understand that there is no one best type of sheet metal. The metal you use will fully depend on your needs. To help you better understand this, here is a quick run-through of the applications of metal sheets, plates, and foils.

  • Metal Plates: Stainless steel plates are commonly used for industrial applications like construction or applications that require hygienic properties. This is why plate metal is also often used for food processing applications.
  • Metal Sheets: Metal sheets have industrial and commercial uses. One of its most significant advantages is that it is corrosion resistant. This makes metal sheets perfect for railings, gates, and automobile parts.
  • Metal Foils: Due to their thickness, metal foils aren’t the most sturdy. With that being said, metal foils are great for food service, packaging, and chemical processing.


We hope this article has helped you better understand the differences in the thickness of these three sheet metal options. The main thing you have to keep in mind when selecting sheet metal for construction or industrial manufacturing is that your specific project will dictate what thickness will work best. Aside from the thickness, you’ll also want to make sure that you only utilize the best and highest-quality metal as using subpar metal will significantly affect the outcomes of your projects.

If you’re looking for a reputable and trustworthy distributor, then you’ve come to the right place.  KGS Steel is one of the best steel distributors and service centers in Birmingham. We are a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service center. Contact us today!

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Bessemer, AL 35022


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Nashville, TN 37210


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