Metal is synonymous with durability and longevity. While this statement is true, the reality is that all metals are not created equal. Some people are under the impression that as long as they choose a metal, they're good. This is especially the case when it comes to steel and aluminum. There are a number of differences between these two metals that can make one option a better choice for certain projects. Learning the differences between these two materials can assist with selecting a metal selection best suited for your fabrication needs.
One of the more prominent differences between aluminum and steel has to do with corrosion assistance. Aluminum is naturally rust-free. After it has been spun, there are no further processes that have to be performed to create this quality, it's inherent. Steel on the other hand is not rust-free naturally. It must be coated and treated after it is spun to produce this quality.
The real dilemma is the fact that certain abrasive chemicals can actually break down the protective coating. In this case, when the steel is exposed to moisture it will eventually show signs of corrosion and quickly begin to rust. In an environment with high moisture levels or if the metal will be used around abrasive chemicals, aluminum might be a more viable solution.
In terms of malleability and strength, aluminum and steel are quite different as well. In terms of malleability, aluminum is a more flexible material than steel. It is sometimes referred to as an elastic metal because of its pliability. If your fabrication needs require a piece of metal that can slightly curve or bend under pressure, aluminum might be a better choice for your project in this instance. Steel is more solid and doesn't have the ability to bend under pressure without cracking; however, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
For this reason, if your fabrication needs require a piece of metal that is very strong and that doesn't curve or bend, the steel would be a better choice. Taking a few moments to consider the flexibility needs of your project can help you make a better determination as to which option is best.
When in doubt, don't hesitate to rely on the expertise of the metal fabrication company you are working with. In addition to the fabrication process, these professionals can also assist you with the planning and design phase. Click here for more info.