Shop Materials General Information



If you are looking for materials to help with your project, ECE has a variety of options to choose from. Please review the list of commonly stocked materials to decide which material, quantity and size you need. Please be aware that the department must pay for these supplies, so make sure you test or simulate samples of your design before placing an order. If you have any questions about the possibility and implementation of your project, please contact the machinist or the technical services manager for advice.


Below is a list of materials we typically have in stock; however, availability may vary depending on the project or course.


Important Terms to Know:

  • ID – Stands for “Inner Diameter”. Applies to Pipes as they are measured using the ID.
  • OD – Stands for “Outer Diameter”. Applies to Tubes as they are measured using the OD.
  • Gauge – A standardized measurement of thickness for steel sheets
  • Thou – Stands for “thousands of an inch”

*NOTE – Because many materials are made in the USA, the units of measurements are often in Imperial.

Please DOUBLE CHECK your units as there might be confusion between Metric and Imperial.


Sheets of Aluminum are available for project fabrication. Aluminum is a softer material compared to steel and more malleable. Aluminum comes in "thou" measurements. At ECE, we usually carry the following thickness material:

thou (thousandths of an inch) thickness (approx. in inches)
40 1mm
60 1.5mm
80 2mm
125 3.2mm
187 4.7mm
250 6mm
375 9mm

Width and length can usually be custom requested (however, when requesting, please make sure that you include all dimensions and are specific about the thickness, width and length.
For more information about aluminium sheets please click HERE

Pipe stock and tubes are available from the machine shop and these are the usual dimensions we carry for. Please note that pipes are measured by INNER DIAMETER while tubes are measured by OUTER DIAMETER . These are nominal sized, which means the numbers are rounded off, hence there are rooms for error with the measurements.

Pipes comes in 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2 inch measurements and in both plastic and steel materials.DSC_1025

Tubes comes in 0.5 inch, 0.75 inch, 1 inch, 1.25 inch dimensions.

Because pipes and tubes aren't as often used, additional dimensions can be requested and the machinist can try to source it for you. Please request your materials via via the "request materials page".

Plastics (primarily acrylic) sheets are available for order for projects and these are the sizes/thicknesses they come in:

1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 5/16 inch, 5/16 inch, 1/4 inch.

The values have nominal values, meaning that there are room for error. The largest width and length they come in is 4 feet by 8 feet. However, the machinist cut the size you would like. You can do so by placing an order the "request materials" page on this site.

Mild steel sheets are available for project production and at ECE we generally carry them in 2 Gauge increments from 24 to 16 Gauge. Gauge is a common form of measurement for thickness of mild steel sheets and below is a table that gives the conversion of steel sheets. 

Gauge Thickness (in inches)
16 0.0598
18 0.0478
20 0.0359
22 0.0299
24 0.0239
26 0.0179

At ECE, three main types of wood are available for projects. Each different type has its own dimensions and thickness.
Door Skin - This is a type of plywood, but it is not as sturdy. It comes in one thickness size, which is 1/8th of an inch.
Dimensioned Lumber - These come in nominal dimensions of height x width (measured in inches). 2x4; 2x6; 2x8 while the length can be customized up to 8 feet.
For more information about dimensioned lumber, please CLICK HERE
Plywood - 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch (measured in thickness).
For more information about plywood, please CLICK HERE.
To order lumber for your project, please submit a request with your desired dimensions of your materials via the "request materials page".