T-shapes, solid bars, and hollow tubes. Bars and tubes can be square, rectangular, or round. Steel studs, used as structural components of walls as well as to construct interior partition walls, are C-shaped or U-shaped.
Sheets of steel may be thicker plates, either flat or with raised diamond or cross patterns. Thin sheet metal (steel or other metals) is used when flexibility is important, such as for flashing or applied to surfaces as roofing material or walls. Metal floor and roof decking is made from sheet steel bent or corrugated to add strength. Thinner sheets of expensive or more precious metals may be laminated to a substrate with adhesives.
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Slotted and expanded sheet metal is used for lath with plaster, and for grilles and other objects. Expanded metal is formed by slitting the metal sheet with the resulting diamondshaped openings. Perforated metal has openings punched in the steel plate.
Metal can be made into welded wire fabric, with a variety of sizes and uses, including reinforcement for concrete or for fences. Smaller mesh hardware cloth has utility uses, including window screens. Heavy rope can be made of twisted strands of metal around a core.
Metal pieces are connected by welding, which combines two metals by melting pieces at high temperatures, then adding a filler. The weld puddle hardens to form the joint. Brazing uses heat to join brass or bronze, and soldering seals joints at a lower temperature. Sweating is the term used for soldering copper pipes. Mechanical fasteners include bolts and rivets.