How to Convert a Steel Gauge to Thickness

••• Jupiterimages/ Images

The industry convention of using gauge to denote the thickness of steel sheets (as opposed to the actual measurement in inches) allows manufacturers to express the cost of sheeting in terms of raw material usage. Known as the "Manufacture's Standard Gauge For Sheet Steel" (MSG), the system uses the weight of a 12" by 12" by 1" piece of steel (i.e. 41.82 pounds per square foot) as a baseline. While a formula originally existed for directly converting gauge number into actual thickness, manufacturers soon realized that the density of solid steel is significantly lower at the surface (a phenomenon called "crowning"). For example, a cubic foot composed of twelve 12" by 12" by 1" steel plates would weigh less than a cubic foot of solid steel. Today's MSG system is basically a version of the earlier gauge measurement that's been recalibrated to reflect the effects of crowning. Therefore, the most accurate way to convert steel gauge to thickness is to simply consult the official MSG definitions.

    Determine which specific type of steel the sheet is made of, e.g. sheet steel, galvanized steel or stainless steel.

    Determine whether the stated gauge of the sheet follows the "U.S. Standard Gauge" system or the "Manufacturer's Standard Gauge" system. Note: the largest thickness of sheet steel in the MSG system is "3." If the stated gauge is 2, 1, 0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0 or 7/0, then the U.S. Standard System is being used. Similarly, the largest thickness of galvanized steel under MSG is "8" while the largest MSG thickness for stainless steel is "6/0."

    Visit "" to look up the official thickness (in inches) of your material's specific gauge.

    Multiply this measurement by 25.4 to convert its units to millimeters.

Related Articles

How to Calculate the Area of Steel
Differences Between 52100 & E52100 Steel
How to Calculate Steel Gauge to Inches
How to Convert Microns to Gauge Thickness
How to Convert an Area to Square Feet
How to Convert mmHg to a kPa
How to Convert Barometric Pressure to mmHg
How to Convert Cubic Meters of Natural Gas to MMBTU's
How to Convert Mils to Gauge Thickness
How to Measure Wood Density
A Comparison of Steel Beams & Microlam Beams
Rebar Size for Slabs
How do I Compare 4140 & 4150 Steel?
How to Convert Foot-Candles to Lux
Meter Stick Vs. Yard Stick
What Is MQ in the Metric System?
How to Calculate the Thickness of Aluminum Foil
How to Calculate Thermal Expansion of Steel
Steel Vs. Galvanized Steel Strength

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!