How Do Sheet Aluminium and Stainless Steel Metal Differ in Fabrication?

Blog | November 20th, 2019

Companies that produce parts and structures of any equipment have opted to fabricate metals from either aluminium or stainless steel. Metal fabrication is a process of creating metal structures through cutting, bending, and assembling them into their designated places. Products made of metal fabrication are being used by huge industries and households alike.

Both aluminium and stainless steel have specific characteristics that make them suitable in almost all metal fabrication jobs. While both of them are considered metal, they still have their own differences when it comes to several properties that affect the whole metal fabrication process.

Strength and Weight

Aluminium is not as sturdy as stainless steel, but it weighs almost one-third of steel, which makes it a good material for aircraft, automobiles, and others. Stainless steel is heavy and sturdy, where deformation and other related actions won’t easily affect the metal. This metal is excellent for roofs, appliances, computers, skyscrapers, and bridges.

Thermal Conductivity

Aluminium can transfer heat effectively to another material, which makes them an excellent choice for computer heat sinks, cooling systems for vehicles, air conditioning units, and others. Stainless steel, on the other hand, has a higher melting point than aluminium. This characteristic of stainless steel makes the metal ideal for holding heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Electrical Conductivity

Just like thermal conductivity, aluminium is also a good conductor of electricity, making it the best material for high-voltage power lines, car radiators, and air conditioning units. Alternatively, stainless steel is not a good conductor of electricity.

Corrosion Resistance

One weakness of aluminium is its high oxidation rate, making the metal prone to rapid corrosion. Stainless steel, with the application of paint and other coating material, can resist corrosion since it is made up of elements that make it non-porous. The resistance of stainless steel to corrosion makes it the most suitable material for aircraft, architecture beams and frames, and others.


Some aluminium products can cause a reaction to food products through discoloration and changes in flavour. However, most canned goods are made up of aluminium. On the contrary, stainless steel doesn’t interact with any food, making it the best material for kitchen tools like cooking pots, pans, and others.


The process involved in fabricating aluminium takes less time and effort, which makes it less expensive when compared to stainless steel.

Fabricating Methods

Thanks to its lower melting point, aluminium can be moulded or cut into many forms and shapes with ease. However, the welding process of this metal is quite complicated. In contrast, stainless steel is fabricated by machining, welding, and work hardening.

Aluminium and stainless steel are two different metals that serve different purposes. If you have more questions about the metals and the process of fabrication, reach us out at McKean’s Sheetmetal.

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