What are the Differences Between Aluminum and Stainless Steel?
Should steel or aluminum be used in the production of a product? This is a controversial issue.
First of all, As BOR Aluminum we will start with the definition of aluminum and steel for you.
Aluminum; Aluminum and its alloys are the most preferred industrial material after steel. It is the most common and most used non-ferrous element in the earth’s crust. The most commonly used ore for aluminum production is bauxite ore. Although bauxite ore is abundant in nature, it is more costly than scrap aluminum production. Because, in primary production, alumina is first produced from bauxite ore by a process called Bayer, and then aluminum is produced from alumina by molten salt electrolysis.
The reason why aluminum is used in many sectors is that it has superior properties compared to other metals. Aluminum is light at the top of these features. 2 has a density of g / cm3 and an atomic weight of 26.97 g / mol. Due to its high strength, its specific strength is also high. According to IACS standards, thermal and electrical conductivity is at a serious value of 61% compared to copper. The corrosion resistance of aluminum is very high. Thanks to the alumina layer it forms on the surface, it is preferred in a very corrosive environment. Due to its surface-centered cubic crystal structure, its formability is easy.
Steel; It is a substance that occurs with iron and carbon intake. In steel, there are also alloying elements in proportions other than carbon. What makes it different when producing steel is the elements and the internal structure of the steel. Manganese, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon are found in certain proportions as raw materials in steel. However, if desired, it can be added to the steel in different elements.
There are two options when obtaining steel. The first is iron ore and the second is recycling from scrap. After the materials obtained by these two methods are turned into liquid steel, they are shaped as billets or blooms by the casting method.
Steel is a substance sensitive to heat treatment. With the chemical compositions applied together with the heat treatment, the desired hardness, electrical, mechanical, and physical properties on steel can be fully obtained. In this way, steel becomes resistant to corrosion and high temperatures.
For a steel to be formed, its structure must first be exposed to the required amount of heat. However, we can mention a different subject here, which can be cold formed using the pressing and forging method following its chemical composition and internal structure.
- Shape and surface smoothness can be determined by processing on steel benches.
- Joining can be done by welding.
- Most steels can be dyed, coated with plastic, metal, and enamel.
So what are the different aspects of these two superior metals? Let us examine. Here are 10 features that distinguish steel and aluminum!
10 Differences Between Stainless Steel and Aluminum
- Corrosion Resistance
Overall, steel is more resistant to rust. It has a very durable structure with the effect of iron, chrome, nickel, manganese, and copper it contains in stainless steel. Chrome material in particular is added to the steel alloy to provide corrosion resistance. Another reason that the steel is very resistant to corrosion is that it does not have a porous structure.
There is a passivation layer in aluminum. This ensures that the aluminum has high oxidation and corrosion resistance. If aluminum is oxidized, its surface becomes white and becomes porous. In some overly acidic or base environments, aluminum can easily corrode.
- Power / Weight Ratio
As you all know, steel is heavier than aluminum. So steel is stronger compared to aluminum. By weight, steel is 3 times heavier than aluminum. However, the heavy steel makes it difficult to use as a sector. Especially, for this reason, the planes are made of aluminum.
- Cost difference
Aluminum is cheaper than steel as it is easier to process.
- Thermal Conductivity
Aluminum has better thermal conductivity than steel. Therefore, it is used especially for automobile radiators and air conditioners.
- Welding construction
Stainless steel welding is easier than aluminum.
Stainless steel is a very hard material. In contrast, aluminum is very soft and easy to process material. That is why aluminum is often preferred.
- Thermal Properties
It can be used even at temperatures where stainless steel aluminum cannot be used. Stainless steel can be processed at a temperature above 400 degrees.
- Electric Conductivity
Aluminum electrical conductivity is quite high. Stainless steel has a weak electrical conductivity. Aluminum is often used in high electrical lines because of its lightweight, high conductivity, and corrosion resistance.
- Contact With Food
When aluminum comes into contact with food, it can change the color and flavor of the food. However, steel does not have such an effect.
The answer to this question is quite simple. It is a stronger metal than stainless steel aluminum.
As you can see, these two materials have their characteristics. While aluminum is light, it can be used frequently in areas where steel cannot be used, whereas steel is frequently used in areas where high strength is required.
In any case, both materials are very durable and reliable.
However, aluminum is cheaper and frequently preferred. Therefore, aluminum is used in billet production. If you are looking for an aluminum billet manufacturer, it is enough to contact us.