How Does Aluminium Differ from Stainless Steel?

20 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Are you planning to buy sheet metal for a DIY project at home? Do wish to make a choice between aluminium and stainless steel? Read on and discover some key differences between aluminium and stainless steel. Use this information to help you to make an informed decision about which metal would be better for your project.

Thermal Conductivity

Aluminium has a higher ability to conduct heat when compared to stainless steel. It is therefore important for you to consider this quality when choosing a metal for your project. For instance, you can buy aluminium if you would like to fabricate items that you will use to conduct heat, such as a custom radiator for your vintage car.


Another key difference that you should bear in mind is the workability of the metal that you choose for your project. Aluminium is soft. This makes it quite easy to form or cut as you fabricate the component that you desire to have. Stainless steel is hard and may be difficult for you to cut or form during the fabrication process.

Strength Vs Weight

Stainless steel is a very strong metal. It is also very heavy. On the other hand, aluminium is lightweight and not as strong as stainless steel. This makes stainless steel ideal if you are making components, such as car exhaust systems, that should be strong. However, aluminium would be a better choice if you would like to build a miniature plane for your kids to play with. This is because you will not need a very powerful engine to lift the miniature plane off the ground.

Reaction with Food

Are you planning to make products (such as cooking pans) to use in the kitchen? Pick a metal that will not affect the taste or colour of your food. Aluminium cookware may react with the food that you are cooking and cause it to change colour or have a metallic flavor. Stainless steel is not as reactive as aluminium, so it may be a better choice if you will use the fabricated products to cook.

As you can see, you need to think very carefully about the application of the products that you wish to fabricate before you choose which metal to buy. The discussion above covers some of the most important factors that you should think about before comparing the prices of the different metals available. You can also talk to steel and aluminium suppliers for further advice before you make a final decision.