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Which metal is best for fabrication projects? Aluminum or steel?

This is an ongoing dilemma faced by businesses involved in the manufacturing of metal parts. Both these metals are extremely important in this industry and have their respective advantages and disadvantages. They are both synthetic alloys, meaning that they do not occur in this form in nature.

They are created using other naturally available metals. Companies that intend to buy steel online India shall surely benefit from this article that discusses the pros and cons of each of these metals.

Steel is a mixture of carbon and iron. The first step in the manufacture of steel is mining, followed by smelting of iron to remove its impurities. Then carbon is added at a specified temperature to make carbon steel. This is then used as a base to manufacture different grades of steel.

Aluminum, on the other hand, is produced after undergoing a few steps. The primary ingredient in the manufacture of aluminum is bauxite. A thick paste is created by grinding bauxite, known as alumina. It is then smelted along with cryolite, and an electric current is passed through it. The liquid, upon cooling, becomes aluminum.

Given below are the pros and cons of both these metals.

Heat conduction

Heat sinks in computers are usually made of aluminum. Aluminum has higher thermal conductivity as compared to steel. Hence it is used in cooling systems of vehicles. Stainless steel is not a very good conductor of heat, but it has a higher melting point. Hence steel may be used over a wide range of temperatures.

Anti-corrosion property:

Stainless steel is made up of iron, manganese, copper, nickel, and chromium. Chromium has anti-corrosive properties. But normal steel is prone to corrosion. Hence steel should ideally be painted or coated to prevent rusting.

Aluminum has high oxidation and thus is less affected by corrosion. Hence it is used in making aircraft due to its anti-corrosive property as well as lightweight and flexibility.

Weight

Carbon steel is quite heavy. Though mild steel is lighter than carbon steel, it is also flimsy. Due to its lightweight, aluminum is preferred by many. It is light as well as sturdy.

Strength

The carbon in steel makes it hard. The higher the amount of carbon, the harder the alloy is. The strength of steel is far more as compared to aluminum.

Malleability

Steel is very hard and durable. But aluminum is malleable. It means that it can be molded into fine shapes easily. It is more flexible and elastic. Hence it is used in manufacturing aircraft parts.

Cost

The cost of both aluminum and steel depends on the global market. It is based on demand and supply, fuel costs for transportation, and so on. However, leaving aside the fluctuations, if the same quantities of aluminum and steel are compared, aluminum tends to be the more expensive one of the two metals.

Which metal is better among the two is a matter of a lot of deliberation and debate. However, it can be safely said that the choice of the metal depends on the user’s requirements.

Steel is the metal of choice for construction work such as skyscrapers, stadiums, roadways, and so on. Aluminum is used for building stairs and shapes that cannot be made using steel or wood.

Companies that wish to buy steel online in India can find guidance from this article and choose the appropriate metal as per their requirements.

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