Which to choose: Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
You've come to the right place if you're looking for aluminum pipes or stainless steel pipes or piping systems. But which material best suits your needs?
There are advantages and drawbacks to both aluminum and stainless steel when building any type of piping system.
|Workability/Ease of Use
||While our aluminum pipes can be welded to each other and other aluminum parts, some experience is helpful to achieve excellent results.
||Stainless steel is the winner here because it's easy to weld to a wide variety of materials with common welding tools, and without much experience.
||All of our pipes come with a beautiful, mirror polished finish. Aluminum pipes are a bit lighter and brighter.
||All of our pipes come with a beautiful, mirror polished finish. Stainless steel pipes have a deep, darker surface.
|Durability and Corrosion Resistance
||Aluminum has relatively good corrosion resistance, and is commonly used in engine parts, aircraft, and other hostile environments.
||Stainless steel has even greater resistance to deformation, corrosion, and breakage.
||Aluminum costs more per pound. However, cost per pound isn't important; what's important is cost per volume. Because aluminum weighs less for a given volume, the cost of a given part will be less if it is made of aluminum compared to stainless steel.
||Stainless steel costs less per pound, which is why several manufacturers retained their preference for steel parts for so long. Cost per unit is what's important, which is why aluminum is the winner here.
||The greatest advantage of aluminum over stainless steel is weight. The same part, if made of aluminum instead of stainless steel, can weigh 1/3 as much! This makes aluminum the ideal candidate when making parts in weight-sensitive applications, such as race cars or airplanes.
||Stainless Steel has a good strength to weight ratio, so if your application requires higher strength than aluminum, stainless steel might be the way to go.
It's also worth noting that aluminum conducts heat better. This can be good or bad, depending on what you are doing.