Aluminum vs. Steel: Advantages and Disadvantages

In our last post, we talked about aluminum.  Aluminum is a metal that is used in a few of our products.

However, the majority of our materials use steel.  Both steel and aluminum are great metals that you can find just about anywhere.  But is there a time when one is better than the other?

Truth be told, the subject of aluminum vs. steel is heavily debated.  Depending on who you ask and what they do for a living, you could get wildly different opinions.  Some might say the two are very distinct in their advantages and disadvantages.  Someone else might say there neither has a true edge over other.

For this post, we decided to lay out some of the pros and cons of each anyway.  It’s difficult to directly compare them because there are different types of alloys and densities for each metal.  Nevertheless, we will do our best.

Pros and Cons of Aluminum

Aluminum is a lighter metal in terms of density.  However, because it can’t take the same stress as steel, you typically have to use more of it, sometimes to the point of negating the cost difference.

Aluminum is sometimes cheaper.  If you’re looking for an anti-corrosive metal, then aluminum is cheaper than stainless steel.  However, compared to basic steel, it often costs more.

Naturally it’s anti-corrosive qualities are one of it’s best features.  Aluminum doesn’t give or bend as much as steel, meaning it’s more prone to breaking out right.  It also doesn’t absorb vibrations as well as steel, which can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Pros and Cons of Steel

Steel is known for being tough and heavy.  Because of how tough it is, you can often use less, partially negating the weight.  It can be a little harder to work with, but once you have it set in place and in shape, you can expect it to stay that way.

Honestly, strength is the biggest advantage of steel.  It’s why we use it in everything from our yard ramps to our dockboards.

Aluminum is a great choice for many situations, but if we absolutely had to choose one or the other, we would go with steel.

What do you think?  Do you prefer one metal to the other? Do you disagree with any of our points?

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