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Aluminum and stainless steel often come under heavy debate regarding their usability and practicality in the industrial and construction sectors. Although both metals look the same, their composition makes them miles apart from each other. However, both can be used for the same purpose with varied performance. FastMetals sells pipe stock (here: https://fastmetals.com/pages/pipe-stock) which can be used for a variety of construction and structural projects. If you are confused about which metal is the best for your next project, the following pointers can help you decide.
Stainless steel pipes are known for their weight and the subsequent strength it offers to the structure. Their weight makes them an ideal fit in heavy industries and their products. However, aluminum is one-third the weight of stainless steel, making it lighter. This is why aluminum is an ideal choice for huge products, helping them reduce their weight and increase their performance. Stainless steel pipes are usually used in building and construction, while aluminum is widely used in automotive industries.
This is where aluminum takes a back seat; although it is anti-rust, stainless steel offers more resistance. Aluminum will eventually rust after some time, but rusting and corrosion are nearly impossible due to chromium coating on stainless steel. This doesn’t mean aluminum is not worth taking a chance, it is also highly resistant, but other factors like sunlight can damage them over time. Water with high PH levels is also responsible for corrosion in aluminum; these pipes are often insulated. However, both metal pipes are designed to withstand corrosion depending on their application and maintenance.
Both metals almost cost the same per kilogram; however, due to aluminum’s lightweight, it costs less than stainless steel. This is why aluminum pipes are preferred in construction, as it does the same job but at a lesser cost. However, since stainless pipes are used in heavy industries, their practicality trumps aluminum’s low cost. The cost difference between the two alloys is why aluminum takes the lead over stainless steel pipes.
Due to its lightweight, aluminum is easier to manipulate and bend according to your requirements. However, stainless steel pipes are difficult to work with as they would break after a certain point. Aluminum pipes will not bend even after extreme bending, making them ideal for construction. However, stainless steel is easy to weld compared to aluminum which will break due to heat.
- Electrical and Thermal Conductivity
Stainless steel pipes are notorious for electrical conductivity, whereas aluminum is an excellent conductor. This is why aluminum pipes are widely used in electrical circuits as they conduct electricity safely and efficiently. Similarly, aluminum is a better thermal conductor than stainless steel making them ideal for HVAC systems and automobiles. However, stainless steel pipes will survive under high temperatures, whereas aluminum ones will bend at the same temperatures. Stainless steel’s heat-resistant properties make them a hit in kitchens and heavy industries.
Stainless steel and aluminum pipes are crucial to building materials or other industries. However, the differences alter their usage; therefore, select one according to your requirement by considering the above differences.