For better or worse, the US is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t use the Metric system as its standard. And while we are happy with the Imperial system for the most part, it can make certain projects a bit challenging. But getting metric metal sizes in the US can often be difficult as well. But lucky for you, Online Metals has you covered! We’ve got a large and growing selection of metric metal.
What are metric metals?
These are simply metals that have their thickness or diameter measured in millimeters instead of fractions of an inch. They are typically the standard alloys as well. There are a few specific alloys that are more popular in Europe than the US, such as 6060 Aluminum. This material is typically almost only available in metric sizing.
Most of our metric metal is available in round, square, and rectangular bars and tubes. Typically, these come in packages of multiple bars of 36″ or 72″ lengths. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, our metric materials are not available in custom cut lengths.
Why should I use metric sizes?
Although the US uses the imperial standard, the use of metric metal for projects is more common than many people realize. Because work orders for components, machines, and structures are fulfilled from the US to jobs all over the world, metric sizing is increasingly common. We live in a global economy, and we frequently send and receive parts made to metric specifications.
Also, certain industries often use more metric sizing. For example, the automotive, medical, and firearms industries all use large amounts of metric metal. If your project was designed outside the US, is part of an international industry, or heavily utilizes parts from outside the US, there’s a good chance that it will call for metric sizes.
One of the main reasons to order metric metal is cost and time. One of the most common mistakes in American shops shipping international orders is conversions and machining materials to the wrong size. This wastes time, material, and money redoing the work. When you buy in metric, you skip not just an entire step, but the step that is also the most troublesome.
Understanding Metric Metal Sizes
Visualizing metric distances can be challenging, so we’ve got you covered here. With the Thickness Information Table we’ve listed a number of practical everyday items to see how metric sizes compare. We also have another Fraction Conversion Chart so you can see how fractions compare to decimal equivalents and metric sizing.