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Types of Brushed Aluminum Sheets

Frank Luger

Brushed metal is given its soft and distinctive appearance of fine lines running in the same direction by mechanical sanding. Metals commonly sold with a brushed finish include aluminum, stainless steel and nickel.

Brushed metal has a distinctive finish.

Three popular types of brushed aluminum sheets are aluminum light brush, aluminum medium brush and brushed and anodized sheet.

Aluminum Light Brush

Aluminum light brush is usually available in any size up to four- by eight-foot sheets. It complies with commercial grade AA3003H14 and ASTM-B209, a standard specification for aluminum and aluminum-alloy sheet and plate. ASTM International was formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, a globally recognized leader in voluntary consensus standards. Aluminum light brush is commercial grade aluminum which is easy to cut, drill and form. It has the alloy and temper designation 3003-H14. The four-digit code "3003" refers to the alloy, or the combination of metals used in the manufacturing process. The "H14" indicates the temper designation, or the hardness of the sheet. "H1" means the metal was strain hardened without thermal treatment. In other words, it is made stronger by cold forming. The second digit indicates the degree of hardness, from 1/4 hard to full hard. The "4" means 1/2 hard.

Aluminum Medium Brush

Aluminum medium brush is the most widely used brushed aluminum sheet. They sell it in any size up to four- by ten-foot sheets. It is easy to cut with a circular saw or jigsaw fitted with a fine tooth blade designed to cut metal and is also easy to drill and form. It complies with commercial grade AA3003H14. It is available in the following thicknesses, in inches: 0.025, 0.040, 0.063, 0.090, 0.125 and 0.250.

Brushed and Anodized

As well as having a brushed appearance, brushed and anodized aluminum has a clear, anodized finish that eliminates fingerprints and stains. Metal has a natural oxide layer on the surface that protects the material and anodizing is a process that increases the thickness of this layer. Brushed and anodized aluminum is usually available in any size up to four- by ten-foot sheets. It is easy to cut, drill and form. It is categorized as AA 5005, which is a wrought aluminum alloy, consisting of 99.2% aluminum and 0.8% magnesium. It is usually available in thicknesses of 0.032 inches and 0.040 inches.