Aluminum Sheet Metal vs Steel Sheet Metal

How Long Does a Metal Roof Last

If you are looking for metal that you can use for architectural fabrication or specific project purposes, you have probably thought about both aluminum and steel. Even though both options can be effective, there are some notable differences that you need to keep in mind. You need to work with a professional team that can help you select the right metal to meet your needs. What do you need to know about these options, and which one is better than the other? There are a lot of factors to consider, so take a closer look at aluminum and steel below. 

Pros of Aluminum

One of the first options you have probably heard about is aluminum. It has been used for a long time, and one of the most common types of aluminum is 3003. It is frequently used in manufacturing. Some of the most important benefits of aluminum include:

  • It is generally less expensive when compared to steel, so it could help you save money.
  • It has greater elasticity than steel, so you might be able to do more with it.
  • It is also more malleable than steel, so if you need to customize aluminum, you should have plenty of options.  
  • Aluminum also has a higher weight-to-strength ratio.
  • Aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. 

These are just a few of the many reasons why so many people have used aluminum for so many years. 

Cons of Aluminum

Even though there are plenty of benefits aluminum provides, there are some significant drawbacks as well. Some of the biggest drawbacks of using aluminum include:

  • While it is less expensive and steel, you generally have to use more of it for the same task. If you have to use a lot of aluminum, it could negate the cost difference.
  • Aluminum is also not as strong as steel. It is much more likely to warp and deform when it is exposed to temperatures greater than 400 degrees F, so you need to think carefully about how you will use it.
  • Aluminum is also a great conductor of heat, which makes it much harder to weld

You need to think carefully about the benefits and drawbacks of aluminum before you decide whether it is right for your needs. You should also compare it to steel. 

Pros of Steel

There are a lot of people who enjoy using steel for metal fabrication projects because it is durable, reliable, and battle-tested. Some of the biggest benefits of going with steel include:

  • It is much easier to weld with it. If you have a project that requires a lot of welding, steel might be the better option.
  • If you decide to go with stainless steel, which includes chromium, it is incredibly resistant to corrosion. If you need something that can stand up to moisture, stainless steel might be the best option.
  • Even though it is a matter of personal preference, many people believe that steel is more aesthetically pleasing than aluminum.
  • Steel is much harder than aluminum, so it is much less likely to deform or warp under a variety of stressful conditions, including extreme heat.

You need to work with a professional team that can help you maximize the benefits of steel. 

Cons of Steel

Some of the biggest drawbacks of going with steel include:

  • It is significantly more expensive than most types of aluminum. The cost can vary depending on the exact metallic makeup, but on average, it will be more expensive than aluminum.
  • The weight-to-strength ratio of steel is relatively low. This means that steel is both hard and heavy. It could make it difficult to transport from place to place.
  • It is not as malleable or elastic as aluminum, which means that it can be more difficult to work with in certain situations.

There are situations where steel can be useful, but you need to compare the benefits and drawbacks of steel to those of aluminum. That way, you can make the right choice for your project.

Contact Alpine Sheet Metal Systems for Help With Metal Roofing and Sheet Metal Fabrication

No matter what the project might be, you need to make sure you to the right metal. That is where we can help you. We are Alpine Sheet Metal Systems, and we have a significant amount of experience working with a wide variety of metals. That gives us the training and experience necessary to help you. We can compare the benefits and drawbacks of each option, helping you make the right choice for your next project. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team, and request a quote to see what your options might be. 

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About Jeff Folsom

Jeff Folsom is the founder and president of Alpine Sheet Metal Systems, a key player in North Texas’s commercial construction sector, specializing in roofing and architectural design. He also leads Alpine Roofing Construction and Alpine Thermal Imaging Systems, expanding his influence across the U.S. Residing in Dallas, Jeff enjoys travel, auto racing, and boating in his free time.

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