Stainless Steel vs Aluminium

Although Stainless Steel & Aluminium might look similar, there are a lot of key differences between the two materials. In this blog post, we cover just a few of these to explain how the two materials compare to each other.

If you’d rather learn by video or don’t have time to read through this blog post, then you’re in luck! We’ve also created a quick, 60-second guide as a YouTube video.

Weight

Stainless Steel is typically 2.5 x denser than Aluminium, therefore making it the heavier material. Due to Aluminium’s lightweight properties it is often favoured in the aerospace industry.

Strength

Compared to Aluminium, Stainless Steel is stronger due to a higher tensile strength… However, Aluminium is more ductile.

Tensile Strength definition: the resistance of a material to breaking under tension.

Ductile definition: Ductility is a physical property of a material associated with the ability to be hammered thin or stretched into wire without breaking.

Corrosion Resistance

Stainless Steel has a multitude of differing grades in both Austentic and Ferritic, offering different levels of corrosion resistance to suit any application. If Stainless Steel does rust, it can be scrubbed away and the chromium shield will renew itself.

Aluminium has a thin layer of Aluminium Oxide, which protects the material from rusting. However, this does not protect the Aluminium from any other forms of corrosion.

Heat Resistance

Stainless Steel can be used at much higher temperatures than Aluminium. Aluminium can become very soft above around 400° Celsius.  

Welding

Stainless Steel is much easier and quicker to weld compared to Aluminium. This is because Stainless Steel shrinks less upon solidification and expands less when heated.

Cost

Aluminium is typically cheaper than Stainless Steel. However, both are recyclable materials.


The UKF Group supplies a large range of both Stainless Steel & Aluminium products, supporting our customers through every stage of their projects.

To get started, call us on 01527 578686.

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