Direct integration of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) onto industrial sheet metals has been studied. The stability of the metals, including zinc-coated and plain carbon steel, stainless steel and copper in a standard iodine electrolyte was investigated with soaking and encapsulation tests. Stainless and carbon steel showed sufficient stability and were used as the cell counter-electrodes, yielding cells with energy conversion efficiencies of 3.6% and 3.1%, respectively. A DSSC built on flexible steel substrates is a promising approach especially from the viewpoint of large-scale, cost-effective industrial manufacturing of the cells. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.