Aluminum and steel are the backbone of metal manufacturing, and both materials have their advantages and disadvantages when used in metal fabrication projects. Here are some basic differences between the two.
Aluminum typically has good thermal conductivity and is therefore often used as a heat sink for computers and as a cooling system for vehicles. Stainless steel does not conduct heat well. However, it has a higher melting point than aluminum and can be used over a wider range of temperatures.
Aluminum is a good conductor of electricity and is known for its electrical conductivity. It is commonly used in high voltage overhead power lines, automobile radiators and air conditioning units because of its light weight and resistance to corrosion.
Stainless steel is composed of elements such as iron and chromium, an additive that helps resist corrosion, while ordinary steel is very susceptible to corrosion. Therefore, steel needs to be painted or powder coated to prevent rust and corrosion.
Aluminum is highly oxidizable, and the formation of a passivated layer on its surface due to oxidation makes it highly resistant to corrosion.
One of the biggest differences between the two is the weight of the material. Steel has a much higher density compared to aluminum, which can cause the weight of steel to skyrocket. Mild steel is lighter than carbon steel, but aluminum is much lighter in any case. Therefore, in weight considerations, aluminum is better than steel and is a very light but strong material.
Strength and durability
In most cases, steel is much stronger than aluminum. The carbon in steel makes it hard, and the higher the carbon content, the harder it becomes, while the ductility becomes lower.
Aluminum is not as strong as steel, but is far more flexible and ductile, which is why aluminum foil can be made very thin.
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