Aluminum Versus Steel
Both aluminum and steel are widely used for a variety of metal products and projects. Each material has a distinct set of characteristics making it appropriate for the job. Meta Fab are CNC machining and sheet metal experts who use aluminum and steel to create prototypes and production parts for the automotive, aviation, and medical device industries, and more. We can help you identify the right material for your project, according to strength, weight, corrosion, and cost. The answer is not clear and simple.
Aluminum Versus Steel: Cost
Meta Fab encompasses the entire realm of precision sheet metal manufacturing and CNC machining services. Often, products come to us as only sketches. We build to your specification and budget. When comparing steel versus aluminum, mild steel and carbon steel is usually less expensive than aluminum. However, aluminum is usually cheaper than stainless steel. It is important to weigh all factors rather than just cost. For example, which metal is going to last longest for your investment. We will help you identify factors to find the right metal for your budget.
Aluminum Versus Steel: Weight
Steel is regarded as the heavier of the two metals. Steel gets its weight from the high concentration of carbon. However, the added weight makes steel more durable. Steel is unlikely to bend, warp, or deform underweight heat or force. On average, steel is 2.5x denser than aluminum. There are lighter forms of steel which weigh the same as aluminum. At this point, the steel becomes less durable than aluminum, and is more likely to crack or bend.
Aluminum Versus Steel: Corrosion Resistance
Corrosion can be a serious problem for metals. The dangers of corrosion escalate in wet and mild environments. Aluminum is the winner for corrosion resistance. The metal does not require finishing treatments to protect from weather conditions. Alternatively, steel must be coated regularly to protect against rust. The metal fabrication professionals at Meta Fab can educate you on corrosion resistance techniques so your product lasts for years. Aluminum can be further enhanced with powder coating.
Using the correct metal is imperative to manufacture a high-quality prototype. There are a variety of metals to choose from. The CNC machining and metal fabrication experts at Meta Fab can help engineer your prototype. Contact us today at 503-640-2527.