Rigidized®, or embossed metals, pioneered in the 1940s by the Rigidized Metals Corp. of Buffalo, New York, are an attractive way to add value to stainless steel sheet for a wide variety of applications.
The three-dimensional deep-texturing process that creates rigidized metal enhances durability and beauty while adding structural strength, impact resistance, and the ability to hide scratches. It also allows for down-gauging, resulting in lighter, longer-lasting products and significant cost savings.
The process can be applied to any metal sheet, including: steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, brass, titanium, bronze, galvanized sheet, perforated sheet, and galvanneal.
Embossed metals can be produced with an unlimited number of textures, such as leather, linen weave, wood grain, stucco, sand texture, and squares. The textures can completely cover the surface, or can be applied in a pattern, such as diamond or wave.
For interior architectural applications, rigidized metals are used in countertops, walls, floors, ceilings, backsplashes, range hoods and other applications where metallic beauty and long-term durability are important. They make an artistic statement, adding a perfect accent to any room.
Metal finishes can add even more drama to the three-dimensional embossed pattern. These include:
- powder coated and highlighted
- low reflectivity matte finish
- “coined” linen, squares and sand-tex
- vibration non-directional polish
- random swirl
- bead blasted
In addition to aesthetic qualities, rigidized metals keep designs looking attractive longer by defying dents – thanks to improved impact resistance – and resisting scratches, due to the reduced surface contact area. This saves on maintenance and long-term replacement costs.
For architectural, industrial and transportation applications, embossed metal sheet brings both design and functional benefits to building products, elevators, door panels, appliances, metal office furniture, and automotive trim. The strength of rigidized metal helps prevent “oil canning,” or waviness in wall claddings. It can also be used to control reflections and eliminate harsh glare.
Embossing sheet metal improves its functional performance in a number of ways. It can reduce static and friction, increase stiffness and rigidity, increase total surface area for improved heat transfer or acoustic transmission, disperse liquid more efficiently to prevent corrosion, and improve traction – for example in diamond plate.
Durability and Sustainability
The Rigidizing process increases sheet metal durability – providing long-term cost savings – and saves weight, which allows use of lighter gauges.
Rigidized metal in an architectural design is an environmentally responsible choice, and contributes to credits for a LEED building certification. For example, using thinner gauge material for the same strength reduces consumption of natural resources. Rigidized stainless contains up to 60% recycled content and can be fully recycled itself. It produces no volatile organic chemical emissions (VOCs) and has no surface coatings that could pollute the environment.
Industrial Metal Supply offers three material options for rigidized embossed and textured sheet:
- Stainless steel