Corrugated metal sheets are widely recognized as the most common product used for roofing, either if it is an industrial or a residential building. In fact, you can see the corrugated metal sheets in the biggest cities and also in the developing countries of the world. But how did it all started?
In the early 19th century, in England, an engineer at the London Dock Company named Henry Palmer invented a form of sheet made out of wrought iron -a certain type of iron alloy that is malleable, tough, ductile, easy to weld and it contains a very low carbon content. Invented for roofing and coating dock buildings and structures, the wrought iron sheet rapidly became popular among architects and builders that wanted a roofing material that can outlast the old fashioned products that were used until that point, was resistant to corrosion, fire and weather elements and was lighter, easy to transport and install.
By the end of the 19th century, wrought iron was replaced with mild steel and the design that proved to be the best for these sheets was the corrugated one. And because the sheets were galvanized, the material got the name “Corrugated Galvanized Iron” - or colloquially known as CGI; even if the iron did not appeared anymore within the corrugated metal sheets, the CGI nick-name stick to it. Like any other materials used in the roofing industry, corrugated metal sheets went through several improving processes as the time passed by.
If the 19th century was the century that made the corrugated metal sheets famous and mass production and export of them for countries like the U.S., England, Australia, New Zealand and Chile helped the international industries involved in the making process, at the beginning of the 20th century, corrugated metal sheets encountered a huge drop in public demand because of certain drawbacks specific to these materials: the easy denting of the sheets by hailstorms, or objects that might fall on them; the high costs of installation; the powerful sound that the rain was making when it hits the roof and, even if the corrugated metal sheets were having a long life span, the sheets were still prone for scratch, peel or simply fading in time.
The main customers of the CGI remained the big industrial and agricultural companies that were using intensely these materials for their buildings and structures. Another important and “loyal” -if we can say so, users of corrugated metal sheets proved to be the armies of different countries.
However, corrugated metal sheets made a wonderful breakthrough back in the most requested roofing materials list in the 1950s, when materials like aluminium, certain alloys -like zinc, copper, steel, stainless steel were now used in the making of the metal sheets.
Since then, the corrugated metal sheets not only were constantly improved in quality and endurance, but also stepped up from being an industrial preferred material to the residential building roofing. This fact led to the evolution of the corrugated metal sheets in order to satisfy the whole design of the buildings, either if it’s about the shapes or the color used by the customers.
Nowadays, the corrugated metal sheets are lighter, tougher regarding corrosion, rust, storms, acid rains and, most importantly, they are in class A of fire resistance.