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Differences between aluminium and stainless steel

We know first-hand that stainless steel and aluminium are two of the most widely used industrial metals, as well as being among the most recycled. Properties such as versatility and resistance to corrosion, among others, make them essential materials. However, there are certain differences between aluminium and stainless steel that make their applications different.


In this blog post we tell you what are the main dissimilarities between both metals.

Main differences between aluminium and stainless steel

Weight and resistance

Studying the resistance of both metals, it is clearly observed that the stainless steel is much more resistant than the aluminium, being at the same time more durable, heavier and less deformable. This makes it a metal that can withstand greater weights, stresses and temperatures than aluminium, which is up to a third lighter. Nevertheless, it has a good strength-to-weight ratio.

Electrical and thermal conductivity

In this case, aluminium has better conductivity properties, both electrical and thermal, second only to copper. However, stainless steel is a poor electrical conductor because of its protective oxide layer, which prevents it from rusting.

Production costs

Producing stainless steel is much more expensive than producing aluminium because the process is significantly longer than aluminium. In addition, the steel industry produces more material per year than the aluminium industry.


It is true that the presence of both metals in the industry and in our daily life is very common, but it varies according to these properties of which we have spoken previously. We can see stainless steel more in the automotive, naval and food industry, as well as in transport, construction and sanitary applications. This is because it is very resistant and, at the same time, very hygienic.

With regard to the uses of aluminium, it stands out for its applications in transport due to its light weight. For this reason, it has begun to replace steel in the automotive industry in recent decades. It is also used in the manufacture of machinery and tools, as well as packaging and containers or construction. This metal is more present in everyday life, as it is easier to work with than steel.

Recyclability, a common feature

In spite of the differences that we have spoken about, aluminium and stainless steel are alike in one aspect: in their recyclability.

Both metals are 100% recyclable, their life cycle is infinite, so their use is unlimited and they do not lose quality or properties.

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On ScrapAd, a digital platform for companies in the recycling sector, you can buy aluminum and buy stainless steel easily, quickly and very securely. Sign up for free and start trading.

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