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Photo By: Jeff Kirlin Photography

At Chicago Metal Supply we stock and fabricate the following architectural metals: Copper, Galvanized Steel, Pre-Finished Steel, Stainless Steel, Galvalume, Aluminum, Zinc and Freedom Gray Copper.

Our Chicago workshop is equipped with state-of-the-industry equipment to virtually fabricate any architectural metal work desired. Additionally, CMS metal crafters are long experienced in all facets of metal work. For custom orders we can replicate any original design or create any new design. So, whatever your specification requirements call for, you can be assured CMS has both the equipment and know-how to perform the work required at the highest levels of quality.

We invite you to visit our Chicago facility. We would be delighted to give you a close-up look at our stock items and our custom fabricating capabilities. Following is a brief review of the architectural metals we stock and custom fabricate:


Copper is among the top metals of choice because it is malleable -easily formed and easy-to-work with – as well as resistant to corrosion and water. Copper is also appreciated aesthetically for its green-turquoise patina that evolves over time. After more than 10,000 years in use, Copper is now very much a part of the green initiative because it is nearly 100% recyclable and is a natural occurring metal that is lead-free.

At CMS, our coppersmiths are all European-trained, and are long experienced in the art of master metal crafting. Our products are expertly made down to the last detail. For custom orders, replicating and re-creating intricate original designs that have deteriorated badly is a common, work-day experience for CMS metal smiths.

Gutters, Soffits, Conductor Heads, Cornices, Corbels, Moldings, Cupolas, Ornamental Trim Stampings – all can be fabricated to exact specifications for virtually any restoration or new construction application.

Custom Work is a key part of our business. Our workshop is equipped with state-of-the-industry tooling, and a workforce well experienced in creating whatever design is desired. If you have just the start of an idea, or detailed drawings, our staff is equipped and experienced to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Lead-Coated Copper

Lead-coated copper is the copper industry’s response for a strong, durable, easy-to-install gray metal finish on a copper substrate. The material has been available since the early 1900s.

Lead-coated copper is copper in sheet or strip form coated on both sides with lead. The lead coating is applied to the copper by hot dipping the sheet or strip in a bath of molten lead.

Lead-coated copper does not extend the life of copper. Its purpose is to provide an alternative color to architectural copper applications. In addition, lead-coated copper runoff fulfills the objective of providing a metal Lead-coated copper is the copper industry’s response for a strong, durable, easy-to-install gray metal finish on a copper substrate. The material has been available since the early 1900s.


Freedom Gray Copper

Freedom Gray Copper is a standard architectural sheet of copper coated both sides with a unique, patented tin-zinc alloy. It provides all the advantages of copper, but in a gray color.

Freedom Gray Copper can be used in virtually all the same applications as copper.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized Steel is a hard material that has had countless applications over the past 150 years. The basic formula for creating Galvanized Steel is to coat steel with zinc. The zinc helps provide resistance to corrosion.

Galvanizing Methods

  • Hot-dip galvanizing of steel involves dipping steel into a container of molten zinc.

  • Electro-galvanizing entails dipping steel in an electrolyte solution that deposits a pure coating of zinc onto the steel. One of the advantages of electro-galvanizing is that the thickness of the zinc can be controlled more easily than by the hot-dip process.

  • Sherardizing is another method, which calls for placing steel in a vacuum, then surrounding it with zinc dust and heating it. Other methods also include Metallic Spraying that fuses zinc to the surface of steel, and by Painting zinc on to steel.


  • Galvanized steel is a widely used metal, made popular by its corrosive-resistant durability and moderate cost.

  • Large volumes of Galvanized Steel sheet metal are used for fabricating gutters and downspouts.

  • Hot-dipped Galvanized Steel Nails.


  • Overtime, a Galvanized surface gradually deteriorates with the protective zinc coating wearing down leaving it more vulnerable to weathering and corrosion.

  • The lifecycle of Galvanized Steel depends on the quality of how the zinc was adhered to the steel. Galvanized steel can last over 150 years in rural areas with low automotive emissions and pollution. Even in areas that promote corrosion, galvanized steel can still last anywhere from 50 to 100 years.

Pre-Finished Steel

Pre-Finished Steel products such as KYNAR® consist of a metal base, known as the substrate, an optional metallic layer, then layers of pre-treatment and primer are employed before a polymer-based paint or film finish is applied to the top and bottom surface of the product.


  • Pre-Finished Steel is used widely in construction applications, including roof and wall systems and internal applications for partitioning systems and doors.


  • PFS Cladding and Rain Screen products are widely used, offering strong, long-lasting performance designed to withstand conditions that will damage other materials within years. PFS provides durability for the whole life-span of the building.




Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is made up of various steels alloyed with at least 10 percent chromium and sometimes containing other elements and that are resistant to the damaging effects of water and moisture. It is used for a variety of roofing metal products such as flashings – roof, wall and soffit panels – and fasteners because of its strength, lightweight and resistance to rust, staining and corrosion.


Galvalume® is the registered trade name for a patented sheet metal product having a coating of corrosion-resistant aluminum-zinc alloy applied by a continuous hot-dipping process. The aluminum and zinc alloy coating provides an optimum balance between. . .

  • Long term general corrosion resistance, high temperature oxidation resistance, and heat reflectivity of aluminum

  • Galvanic protection of zinc at scratches and cut edges.

Galvalume sheet coating is typically 55% aluminum, 1.6% silicon and the balance zinc, available in three coating weights.



  • Ideally suited for most types of roofing and siding applications

  • An estimated 40 billion square feet of Galvalume sheet steel now covers buildings in all kinds of climates and environments.

  • Nonresidential roofing – bare or unpainted Galvalume sheet is used for low slope, concealed fastener standing seam roofs. Pre-painted Galvalume sheet is mostly used for steep slope architectural roofing and mansards to enhance the appearance of the building using color, form and texture. Nonresidential roofs can be new or retrofitted over both old steel and nonmetallic roofs.

  • Residential roofing – pre-painted Galvalume sheet is generally used, although some architects and home owners use bare Galvalume sheet because they like the look of its bright metallic surface. Galvalume residential roofs can be new or retrofitted over old roofs.


  • More durable than Galvanized Steel.

  • Much lighter (roughly 30% lighter) than asphalt roofing. Galvalume won’t rot, burn, split or break.

  • Weather resistant to sun, wind, rain and hail. Highly fire-resistant.

  • Offers many of the benefits of Aluminum, Steel, Corrugated, Tin and Copper metal roofing – with a much smaller and more affordable price tag.

  • Extremely durable – Galvalume roofs and wall panels maintain their color, shine and water proofing characteristics for many years.



Aluminum is a silver-white metal. It is ductile, malleable, and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. The pure metal is soft, but it becomes strong and hard when alloyed.

  • Aluminum has about one-third the density and stiffness of steel. It is easily machined, cast, drawn and extruded. It is non-magnetic and non-sparking.

  • Corrosion resistant and lightweight.

  • Good thermal and electrical conductivity (59% conductivity of copper, both thermal and electrical).

  • 100% recyclable without any loss of its natural qualities.


  • Roof and Wall Systems – over three billion pounds of aluminum are used annually in construction in the U.S. Much of that total is used in aluminum roof and wall systems for commercial buildings.

  • Ideal for retrofit applications in addition to new construction.


  • High Durability, Low Maintenance – Aluminum is especially receptive to today’s high-performance, architectural coatings and colors, providing long-life, maintenance-free, color-fast performance.

  • Excellent Reflectivity – Aluminum offers a high degree of radiant heat reflectivity regardless of whether a roof is low or steep slope. This ability to deflect the sun’s heat-generating rays results in less heat transfer to the interior of the building during the summer which, in turn, lowers energy costs by reducing cooling loads. Reflectivity is becoming increasingly important as certain areas of the U.S. enact energy codes dealing with “cool roofing.”

  • Easy to Shape – because it is ductile, aluminum can be formed into a myriad of shapes and profiles. Its uses are by no means limited to flat panels. Consequently, aluminum wall cladding systems can help create some of the most attractive and functional exteriors on buildings today. In addition, large wall panels, either flat or formed, require fewer joints, producing fast and economical installation.



Building owners and architects are increasingly turning to zinc for its long, maintenance-free life and adaptability to various design styles ranging from traditional to modern.

Zinc is a natural material that never fades and retains its look over its entire life span. It is also a non-corrosive, environmentally friendly product with a 100% clear water runoff. Zinc’s anti-corrosion qualities have led zinc to be used extensively as a protective coating for steel and other metals.


  • Roof and Wall Panels for commercial buildings

  • Gutters, Downspouts and Elbows

  • Decorative roof detail


  • Extremely Long Service Life – 60 to 100 years depending on the geographic location.

  • Low Maintenance – Zinc naturally develops a protective zinc carbonate layer or patina as it weathers and ages, eliminating the need for paints and other coatings. Further, as the patina forms, any scratches or imperfections in the metal tend to disappear.

  • Malleability – Zinc is easily worked formed to achieve a wide variety of complex shapes and intricate details.

Lead Coated Copper
Freedom Gray Copper
Galvanized Steel
Pre-Finished Kynar Steel
Stainless Steel
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