What are the differences between steel and aluminium?

Steel and aluminum are two widely used metals in various industries. And they possess distinct characteristics and properties. When you selecting the materials for your business, you may do not know how to choose suitable material between these two materials. Here are some key differences between steel and aluminum for your reference:

  1. Composition: Steel is primarily composed of iron and carbon, with small amounts of other elements. It is an alloy, which means it is made by combining different metals. Aluminum, on the other hand, is a pure metal and is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.
  2. Density and Weight: Steel is denser and heavier than aluminum. The density of steel is about three times higher than that of aluminum. Consequently, for a given volume, steel will weigh significantly more than aluminum. Nowadays, in car lightweight manufacturing business, many manufacturers choose aluminium instead of steel.
  3. Strength: Steel is generally stronger than aluminum. It has a higher tensile strength, which is the ability to withstand stretching or pulling forces, and a higher compressive strength, which is the ability to withstand squeezing or crushing forces. Aluminum, while not as strong as steel, still exhibits good strength-to-weight ratio.

    Aluminium sheet plate for sale
    Aluminium sheet plate for sale
  4. Corrosion Resistance: Aluminum has excellent corrosion resistance due to the formation of a thin, protective oxide layer on its surface. This oxide layer prevents further oxidation and acts as a barrier against corrosion. Steel, on the other hand, is prone to rusting and requires additional protective measures, such as coatings or galvanization, to prevent corrosion. In marine industry, there are many ships utilizing aluminium alloy because of the good corrosion resistance of aluminium material.
  5. Thermal Conductivity: Aluminum has a significantly higher thermal conductivity than steel. This means that aluminum conducts heat more efficiently than steel. Consequently, aluminum is often used in applications where heat dissipation is important, such as in heat sinks for electronic devices.
  6. Electrical Conductivity: Aluminum is a better conductor of electricity compared to steel. It has approximately twice the electrical conductivity of steel. Therefore, aluminum is frequently used in electrical transmission lines and wiring.
  7. Formability: Aluminum is more malleable and ductile than steel. It is easier to form and shape, allowing for complex designs and intricate details. Steel is generally less malleable and requires more effort to shape, but it can be hardened to increase its strength.
  8. Cost: The cost of steel and aluminum can vary depending on market conditions and specific grades. Generally, aluminum is more expensive than steel on a weight-to-weight basis. However, the overall cost can be influenced by factors such as the required strength, durability, and the specific application.

    Wanda Aluminium Sheet Manufacturing
    Wanda Aluminium Sheet Manufacturing

It’s important to note that these differences are generalizations, and there are various types and grades of steel and aluminum, each with its own specific properties. The choice between steel and aluminum often depends on the particular application, considering factors such as strength requirements, weight considerations, cost, and environmental conditions. Wanda is professional aluminium sheet supplier with rich experience. For your aluminium sheet purchasing requirements, we are glad to provide suggestions for you. You can send inquiry to us freely.

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