Plates typically refer to metal sheets of varying thickness for several different purposes within your equipment. They can support and hold parts as well as segment different functions within components of your equipment. A fan mounting plate, for example, distributes the weight of the fan among the fasteners. Plates include shave plates on snow throwers, muffler plates, cylinder head plates, or a fan mounting plate. Plates can wear over time from abrasion and friction and may need to be replaced.