When you step inside a machine shop, do you know the difference between steel and aluminum fabrication? Both processes have one-of-a-kind features. Metal fabrication involving aluminum or stainless steel vary significantly because of the limitations and strengths of either material. As a potential client, you should know the difference between the two, so that you can pick which would work best for your project.
The Process of Fabrication
Aluminum is a versatile metal. You can cut it into different forms to meet certain product specifications. It is easy to turn into anything you wish. On the other hand, stainless steel can go through tough processes during fabrication. It is limited when it comes to the cutting process. Brazing, hardening, welding, machining, and soft soldering are only some of the things you can do to stainless steel. Stainless steel products such as industrial garbage cans result from hot forging, cold forging, folding, deep drawing, bending, rolling, and spinning.
Products of aluminum and stainless steel fabrication have their limitations and benefits. These make the products fitting for specified uses. Below are the specified features of both metals:
- Aluminum. This metal is advantageous when weight is concerned. It is weaker than stainless steel but its lightness is beneficial to various industries such as aviation. Since it weighs less, it is also less expensive, especially if it needs to be shipped. Aluminum is also better at conducting heat than stainless steel. Because of this, aluminum is a common option for making air conditioning systems and car parts. Aluminum is workable—easier to cut, softer, denser, and more resistant to abrasions than stainless steel.
- Stainless steel. Stainless steel is stronger and heavier than aluminum. If you want strength and you don’t mind the weight, then you should opt for stainless steel. Stainless steel and aluminum are both resistant to corrosion. Chromium, known to resist corrosive elements, is present in stainless steel. Stainless steel can also withstand at least 400 o F (temperature at which aluminum becomes soft and damaged). Stainless steel is also easier to weld.
Do you still want to learn more about metal fabrication? Just check out our experts at appalachianmachine.com and your local machine shop for more details.