Why We Use Metal Sheets Essay

Why We Use Metal Sheets Essay

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For as long as people have had the means, metal has been beaten into sheets and used for architectural purposes, from roof coverings to sewer pipes. In the late seventeenth century, this hand-hammering process was later replaced by large “rotating iron cylinders” which pressed metal into flattened sheets (Simpson 31). These water-powered rolling mills allowed for more uniform sheets as well as a less laborious and time-consuming process. The sheets were allowed to be thinner, which was advantageous when creating smaller details, such as gutters and roofing. The process of creating metal sheet metal evolved, creating a better product.
The early materials used were lead, copper, zinc, and iron; steel was introduced as another material in the late nineteenth century. Lead was used mainly for roofing, gutters, and downspouts. However, it was quickly discovered that because of the severe climates, the expansion and contraction of the metal meant it would tear easily. As a solution, it was melted and mixed with tin to form as alloy as a coating. This provided a more stable building material (31). Copper was also used because it was more durable and lighter in weight than lead. As it was

Tin was another material, but it was too soft to be used by itself. For this reason, it was combined with other materials, such as iron, providing a more aesthetically pleasing coating on the exterior. While it could cost almost twice as much as an iron roof, it was sure to last three times as long (32). Because of the expense, it was used only for roofing on important buildings, while smaller decorative details were used on less important commercial and residential structures. Copper became a less popular material to use for ceiling tiles because ...


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...ompany, who in their 1911 trade catalog, declared this notion (citation). However, it was soon found that the little error a client would make attempting to install the ceilings themselves made the ceilings less than satisfactory. It was discovered that the truly difficult installation process should only be carried out by the trained and skilled professional necessary for proper installaiton.


Brian Greer's Tin Ceilings. "History of Tin Ceilings." Brian Greer's Tin Ceilings. Brian Greer's Tin Ceilings. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
http://www.ehow.com/about_4674151_history-tin-ceilings.html
http://www.americantinceilings.com/installing-a-tin-ceiling-pg1.html
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20437428,00.html

Works Cited
W.H. Mullins, Sheet Metal Architectural Ornaments, Statuary, Cornices, Building Fronts, Finials, etc. (Salem, Ohio: W.H. Mullins, 1894).

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