10 Differences Between Aluminum And Stainless Steel

By just looking, you may feel that Aluminum and Stainless Steel are similar, but they are quite different. Go through these 10 differences when deciding which type of metal to use in your next project:

Strength to weight ratio

One major difference between the two is strong. Aluminum is not as strong as steel, but when it comes to weight, it is almost one third. This is the main reason why airplanes are made from aluminum.


Stainless steel is made up of chromium, iron, manganese, nickel, and copper. Chromium works as an agent to resist corrosion. Aluminum is highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion, mainly due to its passivation layer. During oxidation, the surface of aluminum turns white and sometimes pit.


Stainless steel costs more than aluminum.


Stainless steel is stronger than aluminum while ignoring the weight.


It is relatively soft and easier to cut and form aluminum. Due to its resistance to wear, it can be challenging to work with stainless. This makes stainless harder to form than aluminum.


Aluminum can be difficult to weld as compared to stainless.

Thermal properties

It is easy to use stainless steel at much higher temperatures than aluminum, which can become very soft above 400 degrees.

Thermal Conductivity

Aluminum is a much better conductor of heat than stainless steel. For this reason, air conditioning units and car radiators make use of aluminum.

Electrical Conductivity

As compared to most metals, stainless steel is a really poor conductor. On the other hand, aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity. Due to its corrosion resistance, high conductance, and lightweight, high-voltage overhead power lines are generally made of aluminum.

Effect on Foods

Stainless steel is less reactive to foods. Aluminum can react to foods that may affect color and flavor.

For more information, call Fort Bend Steel Supply at (281) 499-5800.

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