Steel vs. Aluminum: Differences in Fabrication

Paper or plastic? Regular or super-sized? Steel vs aluminum? Life is always about options.

From aerospace to medical to electronic and other industries, our clients have a wide variety of metal fabrication needs. At Midwest Metal Products, we custom design equipment for customers across the world. For more than 50 years, our precision and expertise have helped solidify our reputation as a preferred vendor for dozens of industries. One of the ways we help you is to provide options.

When it comes to metal, you have a choice. Let’s consider both aluminum and stainless steel. While they may look alike, both metals are really quite different. Much of that difference involves their innate properties and how they are fabricated.

Steel Vs Aluminum: The Differences

Aluminum is a lightweight metal, a mere 1/3 the weight of stainless steel. It is suitable for many uses. Although not as strong as stainless steel, it offers versatility in the fabrication process. It’s also less expensive. Once considered difficult to weld and cut by some, we’ve found aluminum just as easy as steel to fabricate. It’s our experience that makes the difference.

If you need a strong lightweight material for your equipment — like those in the aerospace industry — aluminum is often the better choice.

Because it’s a stronger material, stainless steel is more difficult to cut and often requires a fairly extensive fabrication process. In the plus column, it is less likely than aluminum to corrode and can withstand temperatures higher than 400 degrees. When weight is not an issue, stainless steel is usually the best option.

No matter what your design scope or size, talk with the experts at Midwest Metal Products about the best type of metal for your next project.